“Michelle! I have something for you! Have you ever heard of Amish Friendship Bread?”
“I’ll bring you a bag tomorrow, but you gotta promise to mush it everyday and then when you make it to bring it in to work for us to eat.”
That was a conversation I had with a co-worker a few weeks ago. He swore this was one of the most delicious things he’d ever eaten and as I wrote, made me promise to go through with the procedure and to bring the bread into work. I did and he was right, it was amazing.
Amish friendship bread is kind of like a baking chain letter. You receive a bag of starter bread from a friend along with instructions and then you must follow the instructions for the next week or so and in the end you have four more starter bags in addition to two amazing loaves of friendship bread.
Although it sounds like a lot of work, it’s actually incredibly easy. Aside from two days (one of which is the final baking day) the instructions only tell you to mush the bag, which results in the bag needing to be burped a bit and takes about four seconds. Other than that you add 1 cup each milk, sugar and flour about halfway though the week and then again the day you bake the bread. Then you divide the batter into five parts, four of which you pass along to a friend (with a set of instructions of course) and the last portion of batter you use for your loaves. To that you add more sugar, flour and milk, instant vanilla pudding and a few other ingredients before sending your creation to the over and about an hour later you have amazing friendship bread. I liken the bread to a cross between a pound cake and a coffee cake, almost a banana-less banana bread. It was so good I had to stop myself from eating an entire loaf. What held me back was that I knew the ingredients and was mesmerized by how much sugar was actually in the batter. I know, I’m a baker and I always use sugar, but this just felt like so much! I think I had to brush my teeth three time after that immense indulgence, but it was so worth it and I hope everyone gets the chance to experience this fun chain recipe. I hope I get it back someday!