Think of this versatile recipe as the chain letter of baking. You can create your own starter, then gift it to friends to keep the delicious baked goods flowing. It’s unclear when the Amish Friendship Bread starter first originated, or if it’s even Amish. However, it looks as though the first version may have been posted online in the 1990s. There are many variations, but this is my favourite. Like many chain letters out there, the source is unknown.
Amish Friendship Bread
To make the starter, proof yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. In a non-metal bowl combine flour and sugar until thoroughly mixed. Stir in milk and yeast mixture. Pour into Ziplock bag and mark the date. Today is day 1. Do not put in the fridge, do not use metal spoons or bowls.
On days 2-5, squeeze the bag several times.
On day 6, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, and squeeze the bag to mix.
On days 7-9, squeeze the bag several times.
On day 10, in a non-metal bowl combine batter with 1 ½ cups each of sugar, flour and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon (it will probably be lumpy). Measure out four cups into large Ziplock bags, date and seal. Gift three to friends and keep one for yourself (this is day 1 of a fresh starter).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour remaining batter into bowl and add all of the remaining ingredients, reserving ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of cinnamon.
Grease 3 standard loaf pans (8×4 inches). Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon and use it to dust the pans. Pour batter into pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture on top.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve.