I love quick breads - always have. So yummy, so easy to make - just perfect for breakfast or a snack. So when a friend gave me some Friendship Bread starter, I was very excited to give it a go. I pushed past the initial gross factor and kept it going for the entire 10 day stretch. The result? One of the yummiest cinnamon breads I’ve ever had. And now you will love it too.
You’re probably wondering how I can share this recipe - am I inviting you all to stop by my house and pick up your own starter? Nope. I’m going to help you get it started from scratch and then you can share the wealth and start your own Friendship Bread tradition with your friends & neighbors. It’s a recipe and an activity - fun!
First, the rules
Do NOT use metal spoons or bowls for your starter. Ceramic or plastic is fine, I use a plastic baggie or tupperware for mine. And do NOT refrigerate. (yes, really)
Now, the starter
In a plastic baggie or tupperware combine the following:
1(1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk
Stir or mush it together and let it sit on your counter. (yes it’s going to be like a science experiment fermenting away but a very yummy experiment)
Day 1: after getting the starter going or receiving some starter, do nothing
Day 2-5: mush the bag or stir with a wooden spoon if you’re using a plastic container
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir or mush.
Day 7-9: Stir or mush
Day 10: Baking Day!
Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk to the starter. Stir to combine. Take out three cups, putting each into its own container or baggie. Those are three starters for you to give out to your friends. To the starter that is left add the following and mix well:
1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
in a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
- Now stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients so you have one big bowl of batter.
- In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp cinnamon with 1/4 cup sugar. Grease two loaf pans and sprinkle the bottom of them with about half of your cinnamon/sugar mix.
- Pour your batter into the loaf pans, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon/sugar. And bake at 325 degrees for one hour.
Baker’s note: I’ve kept the starter going for two solid months and initially I made it following the recipe’s instructions which gave me three batches of starter - one to keep and two to pass on to friends. At some point in that first month, I ran out of friends and family who wanted starter. It was like a brush fire - everyone was giving everyone else starter. But I still wanted to keep the bread going so I needed to figure out a way to pare down the starter portions. My idea was to make the bread and have just one batch of starter leftover for myself. Whenever a friend of mine wants some, I can always bump up the proportions to give some away but now I can keep a batch going just for us. (and it’s so good I could eat the entire loaf myself!) How do I do it?
On Day 6 add 1/2 cups instead of whole cups. Ditto for the first step of baking day, just add 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar & milk. Then you pull out one cup of the starter to keep and the remaining will be just right to make your two loaves.
Barb lives in Crown Point with a hungry family that includes three kids. You can find her on Saturdays at the farmer’s market and the rest of the week out running, playing at the beach, on Twitter and on her daily blog, Quick Like A Bunny where you never know what she’ll be writing about.