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Monday, June 17, 2024

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
Amish Friendship Bread Recipe – Photo by Marta Dzedyshko:

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In a world that often moves at a rapid pace, there’s something inherently comforting about the slow, intentional rhythm of Amish life. Rooted in tradition and community, the Amish way of living emphasizes simplicity, humility, and close-knit relationships. One delightful tradition that has found its way beyond the borders of Amish communities is Amish Friendship Bread.

Amish Friendship Bread is more than just a delicious treat; it’s a symbol of camaraderie and connection. The recipe is designed to be shared, passed from friend to friend, fostering bonds and spreading warmth with each loaf baked. Originating from the Amish tradition of sharing a portion of sourdough starter, this bread has become a beloved staple in kitchens around the world.

The process of making Amish Friendship Bread begins with the starter, a fermented mixture of flour, sugar, milk, and yeast. This starter is what gives the bread its distinctive flavor and texture. Once you receive a portion of the starter from a friend, you nurture it over the course of ten days, feeding it with additional flour, sugar, and milk until it becomes bubbly and active.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions:

  1. In a glass or plastic container, combine the flour, sugar, and milk.
  2. Stir the mixture until well combined.
  3. Cover the container loosely with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Do not seal the container completely, as the starter needs to breathe.
  4. Place the container in a warm, draft-free area of your kitchen.
  5. Allow the starter to ferment at room temperature for 5-7 days, stirring once a day.
  6. After 5-7 days, the starter should be bubbly and have a slightly sour smell. It’s now ready to use in your Amish Friendship Bread recipe.
  7. If you’re not ready to bake with the starter immediately, you can store it in the refrigerator. Feed it with 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of milk once a week to keep it active.

After the starter has matured, it’s time to transform it into a delicious loaf of bread. The recipe is simple yet versatile, allowing for endless variations to suit your taste preferences. Whether you prefer a classic cinnamon-sugar flavor or want to experiment with additions like nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit, there’s no wrong way to enjoy Amish Friendship Bread.

Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
  • 1 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional additions: nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9×5-inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Amish Friendship Bread Starter, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. If desired, fold in any optional additions, such as nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean.
  8. Allow the bread to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Once you’ve baked your loaves of Amish Friendship Bread, be sure to share them with friends and loved ones. You can pass along some of the starter along with the bread, continuing the tradition and spreading the joy of homemade baking.

In a world that often feels divided and disconnected, Amish Friendship Bread serves as a reminder of the importance of community and connection. With each batch baked and shared, we strengthen our bonds with one another, one slice at a time.

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