Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Amish Friendship Bread Half Feeding

I thought of another tip. This is about Amish Friendship Bread. You know that starter that someone gives you in a big ziplock bag? You have to "mush" the bag for 5 days, & on the the 6th day you "feed it" 1 cup milk, 1 cup four, & 1 cup sugar. You feed it this same amount of milk, flour, & sugar on day 10, & then it's baking day. After you've "fed" the mixture on baking day, you have 4 new starters, plus 1 cup of batter that you use to make the loaf of delicious cinnamon bread. You usually give 3 starters away to friends, & keep 1 starter for yourself to start all over again (it's day 1 for these starters), & bake one batch of cinnamon bread. It's great...at first. After a few cycles of 10 day periods, you run out of friends to give starters too. Or, all your friends have already had this experience, & they quickly tell you ""NO!" when you offer them a starter. LOL It just gets hard after a while when you can't get rid of, I mean, you can't give away all your extra starters. If you have a hard time wasting things, you end up making several batches of bread on baking day. There are great variations to this recipe so you end up making not just cinnamon bread, but lemon poppyseed muffins, chocolate coffee muffins, caramel apple bread or muffins, & the list goes on & on. It's wonderful to have a freezer filled with so many different kinds of bread & muffins. But it really does make baking day every 10 days a lot of work.

Well, I had a starter in the freezer & I decided to get it out & have another go at it (it had been 3 years since I had done it). After 3 cycles or so I hit that time where I couldn't get rid of my starters anymore. I found a GREAT tip online. I can't find the link now. I was sure I saved it to favorites so I could link to it, but now I can't find it anywhere. You can actually give your bread "half feedings".
Instead of 1 cup each of the flour, milk, & sugar, you can feed it it a half cup of all of those ingredients. And the result? On baking day, you end up with 3 cups, which means you only have 2 starters & then 1 cup to make a batch of bread with. So you can bake 1 batch, save a starter for yourself, & then have 1 starter left over to either give away or just make a second batch.
On baking day I have been making 2 batches. It's not hard to do, I make them both at once. If I make bread, it means 4 loaves of bread. 4 loaves of bread to bake every 10 days is much more managable.
Another tip for this amish bread is that you can use a bundt pan in place of 2 loaf pans. So if you do it that way, every 10 days you make two bundt loaves, & then only 1 starter to keep going.
And when you get tired of it all & you need to stop, just put that 1 starter in the freezer & you can start the whole thing up later.

So if you've done this before & cringe when someone offers you a starter, try giving it another chance & only give your starter half feedings. It works really well & that bread really is so good!
I'm going to start posting some of the variations I'm been making, which can take the form of breads, bundt cakes, muffins, & yesterday I even made cookies.
To see more Kitchen Tips, please visit Tammy's Recipes!


Stacey said...

Now that was a tip worth sharing! Thanks! But I do have a question. I threw out my last starter, because it had been in my freezer for so long. Now I want to start again. How do I make the starter? Any ideas?

Sharinskishe said...

How awesome is this!!! VERY AWESOME!!! I too don't have any starter right now, but somewhere in my bookmarks is a site that has a starter recipe. I haven't tried it yet, but I think I try and find it soon and try half feeding the starter.

Wonderful solution to a wonderful product and difficult challenge.

Thanks for sharing your tip!



Jane said...

Hi Stacey,
Well, I'm not too sure. I did a google search on "amish friendship bread starter recipe" & I found 2 basic recipes. One just said to put 1 cup each of milk, flour, & sugar in a big ziplock bag & this is the starter & consider it day
1. I just wasn't sure if this would do it or not. I haven't tried this. I also found one that called for yeast, but I thought this wasn't supposed to have yeast in it. I also found a link or two with some really complicated directions. So, all those words to say that I'm not really sure. I had a starter in my deep freezer that had been there for 3 years. I was probably crazy to try it to see if it was still good, but I did. I thawed it & smelled it. It smelled exactly like how I remembered it smelled.
I would probably try the 1 cup each of milk, flour, & sugar one.
Have fun making bread!
Hello Sharinskishe,
I'm glad you'll try this. I don't have the recipe for the starter, but I imagine it can be googled.
Have fun making bread!

Stacey said...

Thanks for your reply! I actually found a recipe for the starter on Recipe Zaar (I LOVE that site!). I will likely give it a try soon.

Katherine Gardner said...

Ok read your tips have been making this bread for years now it's hard to make a mistake you can feed it 1/4 of a cup of sugar 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup flour you just have to put it in a bowl that will stay cool. you can even reduce it to table spoons you just have to slow the fermentation process down by placing it in the frigerator. It's just like making sour dough.