Everyone has heard of something like this. You have a starter that you feed periodically to bake something out of and it grows exponentially- perfect for gift giving and such. My mom has started yet another round of these and I finally got one. It looks easy enough to start and it's just as easy to keep going. I've also started to do my homework on sourdough bread and it turns out that this friendship bread also falls under the category of sourdough. I think any starter that relies on yeast and ferments at room temp qualifies. Interesting, no?
The basic starter recipe calls for 1 package of regular yeast, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup milk. Stir with non-metal implements and store on the counter in a non-metal container that lets a bit of air in. This is day one.
Days 2-5 Stir with a non-metal implement
Day 6 add one cup each of flour, sugar, and milk- stir
Day 7-9 Stir
Day 10- Today is baking day! Add one cup each flour, sugar, and milk. Stir. Take out three cups. These are for gifts, but make sure to keep one for yourself if you plan to do another batch in 10 days. You bake with what's left over.
There are tons of recipes for friendship bread, but here is the basic.
Mix starter with:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix:
2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 (5.1oz) box instant pudding
1/2 tsp salt
Add dry ingredients to wet. Mix and pour into two well-greased and sugared bread pans. Bake at 325F for 1 hour.
I used what I had on hand to create Pistachio Cranberry Bread. I had a small (1 oz) box of pistachio pudding. Add to that some salted pistachios and dried cranberries, nix most of the cinnamon and you're set. It turned out pretty well. My mom sent off three loaves of bread with me and those are more cake-like. Mine is something that would go well with coffee. I kept a cup for myself and plan to keep experimenting. Next stop, sourdough.