Sunday, June 5, 2011

Amish Friendship Bread

Prepare the pans....many, many pans.

I baked Amish Friendship Bread in the mid 80's.  I was a young bride, and AFB was the fad in the rural area I called home.  I have my original hand-written Amish Friendship Bread recipe, given to me by my dear friend's mother, who many  (including non-family members like me) call Grandma Byrn.

The underlying principal in the book, 'friendship bread,' is the linking of people and their community and their lives.

The following is written on the back of my Amish Friendship Bread recipe card from Grandma Byrn:
     "From Sue Morton   Lake Geneva, Wisconsin"
At the time, Grandma Byrn and I lived in Obion County, Tennessee.  My first Amish Friendship Bread  starter traveled many miles. 

Grandma Byrn's handwritten recipe card:

Grandma Byrn (2011) with her granddaughter Bridgid

I no longer have the original starter; however, after reading 'friendship bread,' I decided to remake an old memory.  So, committed I became to 10 days and extensive baking.  I'm currently working through round two and will bake again next weekend.

I must say that the recipes posted on Friendship Bread Kitchen's website yield a better textured bread than the bread of the 80's.

Here's a link to iPhone pictures of my new starter, made using yeast, water, flour, sugar, and milk.

First baking with the starter - chocolate!!!  Almond Joy Amish Friendship Bread (the batter was very thick, but baked to a moist, delicious bread that I glazed with ganache)

lemon Amish Friendship Bread, glazed with powdered sugar, cream, and Penzey's lemon powder

Seattle Amish Friendship Bread (I used the normal AFB recipe, omitting cinnamon sugar and adding 4 tea bags of orange-cinnamon tea from Seattle's famous Market Spice in Pike Place Market.)

And, then I decided I should bake the original recipe.
(going into the oven)

 just out of the oven
 15 minutes out of the oven; we cut the bread warm; it was delicious!
beautiful visual appeal on top of loaf
Most recipes can be found on Friendship Bread Kitchen web site.

Look quickly, for this is all that remains.  Here's an 'inside look' at the breads.
Traditional Cinnamon
I have noticed that the bread crust becomes softer and the inside of the bread becomes more moist on day 2-3 after baked.

I have also found that I can sit (covered) 1-cup portions of starter from day-10 distribution on the counter for two days, and then bake bread with no ill effects. 


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