Thursday, November 21, 2013
Friendship Bread is one of my go-to recipes. Basically, it's a sweet bread made from a fermented sourdough-type starter. The starter I use was given to me by a quilt friend a number of years ago. She has since moved out of state, but I still think about her whenever I take my starter out of the freezer for another batch of bread. The starter adds a bit of tang and yeasty flavor to the bread, as well as providing "rise." This time I made cranberry-orange bread. There are countless other flavor variations too.
Friendship Bread is a moist rich bread that keeps/freezes well, so it's nice to have a loaf on hand for holiday entertaining or tucked away in the freezer for unexpected guests. A bag of starter and the recipe, along with a loaf of bread, makes a nice gift.
Don't let the lengthy recipe discourage you. It has just been written in detail so your questions will be answered ahead of time.
FRIENDSHIP BREAD STARTER
To make 4 cups of starter
1 package active dry yeast (0.25 oz.)
1/4 cup warm water, about 110* F
3 cups flour, divided
3 cups sugar, divided
3 cups milk, divided
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
Let stand 10 minutes until it starts to get foamy.
In a 2 quart plastic or glass container combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar.
Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.
Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature.
Mixture will soon begin to bubble, as yeast becomes active.
Consider this as Day 1 of a 10-day cycle.
Leave mixture loosely covered at room temperature.
On Days 2 through 4, stir mixture with a plastic or wooden spoon.
On Day 5, add another 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to mixture.
On Days 6 through 9 stir again only.
On Day 10, add the final 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of milk to mixture.
After combining all and mixing well, remove 1 cup of starter to set aside for yourself to begin the 10-day cycle again. You can store it in the refrigerator or freezer for future use, or begin again immediately starting at Day 2.
Remove 2 cups starter to give to 2 friends, along with a copy of recipe.
Use remaining starter (a little more than 1 cup) to bake your favorite bread.
FRIENDSHIP BREAD - BASIC RECIPE
1-plus cup starter
1 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 box instant vanilla pudding (5.1 oz)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts
Prepare two loaf pans with nonstick spray.
Preheat oven to 325*
Mix wet ingredients together thoroughly.
Add dry ingredients and combine all until smooth.
Pour into 2 prepared loaf pans.
Bake at 325* for 1 hour or until loaves are browned and test done.
Cool thoroughly on racks before slicing.
Yield: two loaves
For more info and many other bread variations click here: