Who says you need the Amish to make friendship bread? Not me! This bread is easy, fail-proof and will go so fast it'll make your head spin! This bread makes an excellent gift so get started now for Christmas.
Friendship bread is a ten-day process so make sure you allot yourself enough time if you're planning on taking it somewhere. It will also result in three starters to give away (if you decide to keep one) so make sure you have friends who want their own starters. Each starter recipe makes two loaves. You can either bake them both at the same time or freeze one once you add all the ingredients. I like to bake one for myself and give the other away.
Not-So-Amish Friendship Bread Starter
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
1/4 C Warm Water
1 Cup Sugar (white or brown)
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Flour
In a small, non-metal bowl mix water and yeast until dissolved. In a separate bowl stir together flour and sugar. Slowly stir in milk and yeast mixture. Pour into a plastic bag.This is day one. Follow these instructions:
Day 1: Mash the Bag
Day 2: Mash the Bag
Day 3: Mash the Bag
Day 4: Mash the Bag
Day 5: Mash the Bag
Day 6: Add 1 C Sugar, 1 C Milk, 1 C Flour. Mash the bag
Day 7: Mash the Bag
Day 8: Mash the Bag
Day 9: Mash the Bag
Day 10: Follow directions below
Pour contents into a non-metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 C Flour, 1 1/2 C Milk, 1 1/2 C Sugar. Label 4 bags with "Friendship Bread" and the date. Measure out 1 cup of starter into each bag. Give away 3 bags and keep 1 for yourself. With the remaining starter in the bowl you will make the bread.
Cinnamon Friendship Bread
Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit.
To the starter add:
1 C oil
1/2 C milk
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 C flour
1-2 boxes instant pudding (vanilla)
1 C nuts and 1 C raisins (optional)
Grease 2 large loaf pans.
In a separate bowl mix together 1/2 C sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with half the cinnamon sugar.
Pour batter evenly into the pans and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake for one hour or until the bread loosens from the sides of the pan and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This bread is a big hit at my house and I'll definitely be making it to give away for Christmas gifts. You can also freeze the batter once you've added the additional ingredients and use it later. Good luck and have fun!