Sharing the bread starter for Friendship Bread is more about friendship than it is about baking. If you have ever received a cup of the starter for this deliciously sweet bread (or its cake counterpart), you know what it’s all about. A friend reaches out. You then bake the bread for your family, compare notes with your friend, and finally pass the starter on to other friends. It’s a happy web of family, friends and food.
The starter for Friendship Bread is a sourdough starter. Since the bread has so much sugar added, the tangy sourdough taste is pretty subtle. The recipes are as varied as the people doing the sharing.
We have bread starters with only flour, sugar and water. Others sub milk for the water. There are starters with fruit, and starters that take five days to mature while others take up to 10 days to be ready for use. Some people say use only wooden utensils and ceramic or glass bowls, avoiding metal at any cost; others say don’t worry about the metal.
That brings us to the recipes included in this issue’s Recipe Box. A reader received the bread starter, and has baked both the bread and the cake, enjoying both. She’s wondering what else can be made with bread starter. Another reader is looking for “everlasting yeast,” another type of starter — one that uses the fermentation process to produce yeast, the only way our ancestors had to leaven bread before dry yeast or yeast cakes became the norm.
Whichever recipe you use, please let us know how it turned out. We’d love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Recipe Box at the address at the end of this article. Enjoy!
Lisa Powell, Beatrice, Nebraska, has the starter for Amish Friendship Bread, and she says the starter is quite lively and the bread is delicious. She’s wondering if anyone has other recipes in which the starter can be used. She also says, “Can I adapt other recipes to use the starter? I am converting some to sourdough starter and it’s off to a promising start. What else can I do with it? Is this the same organism in Friendship Cake starter?”
We received a few starter recipes, some with variations on the flavor of the bread, but none for recipes other than for bread or cake. Several versions of the starter for both Friendship Bread and Friendship Cake exist. It will depend on which one Lisa is working with so it’s unclear if her starter will work with the cake recipe.
An Internet search turned up a number of websites and blogs that focus on Amish Friendship Bread Starter and what can be done with the starter.
One website, Friendship Bread Kitchen, founded by author Darien Gee, contains several hundred recipes, and Darien has graciously given permission for us to republish a few.
Using Bread Starter
Recipe for Cornbread With Amish Friendship Bread Starter
Christmas Stollen Recipe With Amish Friendship Bread Starter
How to Make Everlasting Yeast
More Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipes
More Sourdough Bread Starter Recipes
Sweet Potato Fries
Sauces for Dipping
• Susan Lewis, Pekin, Illinois, is looking for recipes using the everlasting yeast recipe printed on opposite page.
• Bernice Miller, Bonner Springs, Kansas, remembers a Manor Applesauce Cake that was sold for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she would like a recipe. The Manor delivery person would take orders when delivering bread and other items before the holidays. Bernice’s mother would save her egg money to purchase the applesauce cake for Thanksgiving and the fruitcake for Christmas.
• Nancy Kenney, Adams, Massachusetts, is looking for a recipe for bean and sausage soup that includes kale in the ingredients.
• Nancy Shrock, Birchwood, Wisconsin, would appreciate a recipe for gooseberry pie that includes directions for preparing the gooseberries, including what to do about the fruit’s spines.
• Doreen Klomstad, Harwood, North Dakota, remembers a muffin recipe that was printed in GRIT almost 50 years ago. It contained butterscotch chips.
If you’ve been looking for a long-lost recipe, or can provide one, please send an email to email@example.com, or write to Recipe Box, c/o GRIT and CAPPER’s, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Email is our preferred method of communication, and requests and submissions are more likely to be answered in a timely fashion if sent electronically. Please include your name, address and daytime phone number on any correspondence. Recipes cannot be returned; we will forward the first 10 recipes to the person who made the original request, and then file the rest for possible online or print publication. Addresses are not printed to allow us the opportunity to publish recipes before sending them on to the requesting party.