Monday, January 18, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread

Photo courtesy of

Doesn't this loaf look beautiful and delicious? Well it is! And the real beauty is you share it with your friends.

That is, if you have friends. I've discovered that I don't actually have friends, well at least not Amish friends who appreciate a good loaf of bread or two or twenty. Nor do I have non-Amish friends who are grateful that I want to share something so delicious with them.

10 days ago, a good friend asked if I would like an Amish friendship bread starter. I chuckled at first, remembering my mother receiving one of these in a mason jar when I was a kid. The reason I chuckled was the memory of a slew of cursing that occurred with each feeding, separating and sharing time. I had been wanting a bread starter (sourdough, not a sweet bread like this) but figured this would be a way to get my feet wet and back into bread baking, regularly.

I accepted the offer of the starter. I spent ten days mushing the bag, feeding it and lovingly baking two gorgeous loaves of bread, but not before I separated out 4 servings of starter to share with my friends...well, the people I thought were friends.

I posted on Facebook to see if anyone wanted a starter---I figured this was a good way to ask for volunteers without sending a direct email to people or worse, calling them! I sent one starter with my mother-in-law who was going to visit a friend that she only sees once a year. It just happened that they were heading to a church fundraiser at a local restaurant and would see lots of people they knew. My mother-in-law gave it to her friend with the caveat, "I don't care if you take it over there and throw it in the trash, but you have to take it." So abrupt over friendship bread, where's the friendliness surrounding this sacred starter?

I saw the first hit to my Facebook plea, I was hopeful as I opened the email. Nope, no response to the bread...she wanted to know what soup I would be bringing to soup and swap.

Second response, WAHOOO!!! It was about the bread, YIPEEE!!!

It read, "Haha. I just saw your mother-in-law trying to get rid of some at Cici's. good luck to you!"

Friendship bread, my foot! You don't make friends with this stuff, you run them off as they're laughing in your face.

Well, for all you HAHA friends, I won't mention any names, there is a cure for someone who has lots of Amish Friendship Bread starter: Take Control of your Amish Friendship Bread Starter

I will be fine with my Amish friendship bread starter and my 10 step program (HA, I don't need 12!---if you don't get this joke, congratulations). I am in control and am now equipped with the tools to liberate myself from the oppressive thumb of a simple bread starter.


Jess, Andrew and Family said...

Awww, I didn't see your facebook plea! I've been given "the starter" at least a half dozen times and I always mess up or forget to do a step around day 6. I had never had the bread before, so I never really cared about tossing the starter away when I messed up. That was until about a year ago and someone brought me the BAKED bread! Ohh my gosh is that stuff good! I'm not much of a baker, but after eating it and reading the post you linked to, I might be inclinded to give it a go again!

Stephanie Saunders said...

*chuckle* I baked the bread and both Kent and I loved it. I think I made the additional bags, forgot to give them away, and then tossed 'em in the trash. And then, like Jess, I tossed it in the trash when I got sick of it.

erinmalia said...

alright, i am sufficiently shamed. i'm sorry! i just don't have the discipline for this bread. sure i'd love to eat it, but i'm more the instant gratification type when it comes to baked bread. (well, as instant as a yeast bread can be.) am i forgiven?

Amanda said...

Erin, I wasn't trying to shame you...I said I wouldn't mention any names :)

No worries, your comment gave me good stuff to write about :)

erinmalia said...

well i aim to inspire!

Dasilva said...

I really like the amish friendship bread. It does get overwhelming though after you've made a bunch of batches, and have nobody to give the starters too. I will have to give freezing a starter a go next time around.

maria said...

I have finally baked mine and it turned out pretty good. I did a few experiments which all turned out well. First of all, I wasn't ready to bake it on the designated day so I put it in the refrigerator for a week or so. I took it out a few hours before I was ready to bake it to let it "wake up". I had some coconut milk to use up, so I substituted that for the milk. I didn't do the streusel topping because I wanted the bread to be less sweet. I also didn't feed the starter on day 10, just skipped that step and followed the recipe from there, without dividing. I baked all of it, leaving me with no starters to give away. I am FREEEEE!

Monica Kate Fish said...

sad day :( I didn't see your facebook post. Next time you get a "starter", you can count me in.