Last week, the Amish friendship bread started up at work again. Every couple of years, someone brings in baggies full of white, yeasty starter and a pile of recipe papers. The next week, there are four times as many baggies from people who have made more to share. Eventually, we end up with a teacher’s lounge table overflowing with baggies that no one will take.
Since I know that this is the process, I have chosen to use all of my starter at home. Now, this is not a traditional sour dough starter. First, because it uses yeast –which is a big no-no among sourdough aficionados. Second, the addition of so much sugar makes it very sweet.
I also find the word Amish suspect. I do not know any Amish people personally, and therefore am unable to verify that this recipe actually originated with them. But…in order to differentiate it from traditional sourdough…I will go ahead and use “Amish” despite my uncertainty.
If no one at your workplace is proffering bags of starter, here is the recipe.
Amish Sourdough Starter
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
Day One: Mix ingredients gently in a glass or plastic container (Ziploc bags are typical).
Days Two-Four: Stir the ingredients. (If using a bag, squish the contents around a little).
Day Five: Add another cup each milk, flour, and sugar.
Days Six- Nine: Stir or squish
Day Ten: Add one cup each milk, flour, and sugar. If you are giving the mix away, take out four cups (placing each cupful in a separate container). Give four friends each one cup of starter, instructions for days two – ten, and a recipe. Use one cup of your starter and keep the rest to start the steps over.
Traditionally, the recipe you give is one for an Amish friendship bread. Since I haven’t made one in awhile and can’t vouch for the recipe that I was given (since I used mine for other recipes) I will not include that here.