Amish Friendship Bread requires a secret ingredient to obtain it's unique flavor- a bread starter. The Amish Friendship Bread starter is basically a sourdough bread starter. The Amish bread starter is created and allowed to ferment for 10 days. After that, the starter is divided up into 4 parts. One part is made into bread, one cup is saved for yourself, and the remaining two are given to friends (or frozen if you'd like). In return, your friends repeat the cycle and then give the starter on to their friends which, in return, give the starter on to their friends, etc. And so the baking continues on and on and on... So let's get started!
Note: Do not use metal bowls or containers. I like to store the Amish bread starter in a jar with a cloth covering the top.
1 package (.25 oz) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 cup all-purpose flour (not whole wheat)
1 cup white sugar, divided
1 cup warm milk
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water together. Let sit 10 minutes. In another bowl, mix the flour and sugar. Slowly stir in the milk. Add yeast mixture and stir. Cover starter loosely with plastic wrap or place in a large ziplock bag, being sure to allow a little air to escape to avoid the bag from bursting. Follow instructions for the following days:
Day 1 - this is the day you made your starter or received your starter Day 2 - Stir Day 3 - Stir Day 4 - Stir Day 5 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk Day 6 - Stir Day 7 - Stir Day 8 - Stir Day 9 - Stir Day 10 - You made it! Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 Cup milk. Divide batter into four equal portions and place 3 of those portions into individual bags.This is also day 1 for the new cycle.
Keep starter at room temperature. Refrigerating the starter will slow down the fermentation process considerably.
The Amish bread starter can be stored in the freezer. When you're ready to use it, just remove it from the freezer and pick back up counting on the day that it was frozen. Now it’s time to have some fun! As mentioned before, there are literally hundreds of different flavor combinations possible. Check out our Amish bread recipes page for ideas.
Amish Bread Starter Tips:
If properly kept, the amish bread starter will last a long time - weeks, months, or even years!
In order to properly maintain the amish bread starter, add flour and sugar as instructed. This feeds the yeast and keeps it fresh. Do not use metal utensils as the starter is very acidic. Do not keep the amish bread start in an airtight container as it needs to breath.
Be sure to keep the starter in a clean container but be mindful that soap will kill the starter, so rinse the containers well before using. If the starter has a very offensive smell or looks orange or pink, discard.
Amish Bread Starter
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