"$uper" frugal living. "$aving" money...one idea at a time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Amish Friendship Bread

If you will remember, this is what I gave out for frugal neighbor gifts this year and, I must say that we, ourselves, have been enjoying it (every 10 days...he he he) ever since.

It's the gift/recipe that just keeps on giving and giving and....you get the idea.

What I like most about it is that it's cheap, it's flexible and it always turns out SUPER tasty. 


IMPORTANT NOTES:  Do NOT use ANY type of metal spoon, bowl, whisk, or beaters...
(see note* below).
DO NOT refrigerate
Batter will rise, bubble and ferment...
if using a plastic bag, let air out as needed.

1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup sifted flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes.  Stir well.  In a 2-quart glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine flour and sugar.  Mix thoroughly (or flour will get lumpy when milk is added).  Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture.  Loosely cover the mixture with lid or plastic wrap...or place in a plastic zip bag.  The mixture will get bubbly, let air out as needed.  Consider this Day 1 of the 10 day cycle, or the day you received the starter.  For the next 10 days handle the starter as follows:

Day 1- make or receive the starter, do nothing
Day 2- Stir starter in bowl, or if starter is in a plastic bag, mush the bag
Day 3- Stir or mush bag
Day 4- Stir or mush bag
Day 5- Stir or mush bag
Day 6- Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk.  Stir to mix or mush the bag.
Day 7- Stir or mush bag
Day 8- Stir or mush bag
Day 9- Stir or mush bag
Day 10- Follow these instructions

If in a bag, pour the contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl.  Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 1/2 cup flour and 1 1/2 cups milk.  Stir (with a non-metal spoon or whisk).  Measure one cup batter into four 1-gallon zip bags and give away, along with a copy of the recipe.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Add the following to the remaining 1 cup batter:
3 eggs
1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large or 2 small boxes instant pudding**
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar (some recipes don't call for this)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Grease two large loaf pans.  In a small bowl, mix together, an additional, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.  Dust the greased pans with 1/2 of this mixture.  Pour batter evenly into the two pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top.  Bake 50-60 minutes.  Cool bread until it loosens evenly from the pan (about 10 minutes).  Serve warm or cold.  

*NOTE:  Because of the starters extremely acidic properties, the use of metals can cause a chemical reaction that messes with the fermentation process and basically kills the yeast (not to mention contaminating the starter).  There are some arguments as to whether clean, stainless steel can be used for the starters.  I don't use it.  I do, however, use my stainless steel beaters after the starters have all been divided up and placed in bags and I am prepping the rest of the ingredients for baking. 

**You can use any flavor pudding you want.  Try using one small vanilla and one small banana cream.  Try one large chocolate pudding plus add 2 TBSP cocoa powder for SUPER yummy chocolate bread.  The possibilities are endless.  You can find lots of varieties (like lemon poppyseed, banana or apple) on allrecipes.com .  

Today I tried 1 small box butterscotch and 3 boxes chocolate pudding...then added chocolate chips (pictured above).  SO YUMMY!

Helpful Hint (I got this idea from my mom):  When giving away to others, it's always nice to include the date of your starter (day 1), the date they will need to add ingredients (day 6), and they date they will bake (day 10).  like so:

Remember that if you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking it every 10 days.  If you get tired of the cycle....give all the starters away and make some for yourself again when you are well rested and ready to go again.  :)

Happy Baking and Making Friendships!

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