Sunday, March 28, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread, Version 1

Finally, I am caught up, and I can write about my new project!
I came across a recipe for Amish Friendship Bread on a blog lately, and it included the recipe for the starter.  I always assumed that you had to get the starter from someone else, and I didn't realize you could just make your own.  Of course it won't have the same fun feeling as using a starter that could potentially be years old (does this gross you out?), but it's still pretty cool.
I was all set to make it Friday morning, when I realized that I didn't have a nonmetal bowl that was big enough.  (You aren't supposed to use metal bowls or utensils because it can react with the ingredients.)  I did however have a container that could hold a half batch, which is what I did.  Usually you're supposed to end up with 4 1-cup portions at the end of the 10 day starter process, and then you can pass some onto your friends.  I'm going to use the half batch to give one cup to a friend and use the other cup to continue the process.  I started another half batch on Saturday morning, so I could give one cup to another friend, and bake a bread with the last portion.
I'm so excited about this, that I've been taking tons of pictures of the starter's "progress."  I'm going to include the progress of my second half batch in another post.

Recipe: Amish Friendship Bread Starter (this recipe is for a full batch)
1 (0.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (110 F) water
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups sugar, divided
3 cups milk, divided

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for 10 minutes.  It should get foamy and bubbly - if not, either the yeast is dead or the water was too hot, and you should start over.  Mix the flour and sugar together very well in a nonmetal container that can hold at least 2 quarts, make sure the flour isn't clumpy.  Stir the milk into it and mix well, then mix in the yeast mixture.  Keep the mixture lightly covered, and at room temperature.

Day 1 - If you are receiving the starter from a friend, do nothing.  If you are making your own, this is the day you do the above directions, then do nothing.
Day 2 - Mix thoroughly with a nonmetal spoon.
Day 3 - Mix thoroughly.
Day 4 - Mix thoroughly.
Day 5 - Mix thoroughly.
Day 6 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk and mix thoroughly.
Day 7 - Mix thoroughly.
Day 8 - Mix thoroughly.
Day 9 - Mix thoroughly.
Day 10 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk, and mix thoroughly.  Put 1 cup batter each into 4 gallon sized bags, and pass onto your friends.  If you want to continue on with the starter, then take 1 cup and start over at Day 1.

Day 1 - right after adding:

Day 1 - 12 hours after adding:
At this rate of growth I was afraid it would overflow by the time 10 days were up!  But don't worry, it comes back down after you stir.

Day 2 - right after mixing:
See - everything came back down!

Day 2 - 12 hours after mixing:

Day 3 - right after mixing:

Day 3 - 12 hrs after mixing:
I love how every morning when I mix it, it goes down to 1 cup, and by the end of the day it has grown back to 2 cups.  This one is more exciting to watch - there is more bubbling action going on.  Maybe it's because it's in a narrower container than my "version 2" attempt.  Either way I am very happy that after 3 days, it is still alive!

Day 4 - right after mixing:

Day 4 - 12 hours after mixing:

Day 5 - right after mixing:

Day 5 - 12 hours after mixing:

Day 6 - right after adding: (finally doing something besides just mixing!)
it's a little lumpy but I assume it's fine

Day 6 - 12 hours after adding:
(now I'm seeing why you need such a big container)

Day 7 - right after mixing:

Day 7 - 12 hours after mixing:

Day 8 - right after mixing:

Day 8 - 12 hours after mixing:

Day 9 - right after mixing:

Day 9 - 12 hours after mixing:

only one day left!  The only problem is that tomorrow will still be Passover.  So I think I am going to use part of it to continue on with the starter, and give the rest to a friend.  Then Monday will be day 10 for the other batch, and I'll give one part to another friend, and use the rest to bake.  I'll probably stick the baking portion in the fridge until Tuesday, so I can bake it after Passover.  I don't think I have enough willpower to keep myself from trying freshly baked bread!

So - does anyone want a starter....? lol

Day 10 - right after adding:

After adding in the last of the ingredients, I put 1 cup of starter in two 1-gallon ziplock bags.  That left me with 1 cup so I can continue on with the starter, with this being Day 1.

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