Recipe Box: Sauces for Dipping and Using Bread Starter

Amish Friendship Bread Starter works for stollen and cornbread recipes while other readers share their mouthwatering recipes for a sweet potato sauce for fry dipping.

| March/April 2014

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 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?”

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