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About this blog: Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star.

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Chain bread

Here’s an interesting religion-esque story from The Salt Lake Tribune. It’s about the tradition of Amish friendship bread, which might not even be an Amish tradition. I’ve gotten involved in this before, and it can be kind of fun, but the story follows a man with a problem: he doesn’t have any one to pass the bread on to. See, you’re given a lump of bread starter and some instructions. You take care of the dough for 10 days, and then it’s ready to become bread. You divide some out to use as starter to pass on to other people, and you use some to make bread for yourself. I’m going to confess to being an inattentive caregiver to my starter. It didn’t make it. But I hear from others that the finished product is quite tasty.

Here are some recipes, in case you don’t want to click for the story:

Amish friendship bread starter
   
    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 1/2 cups sugar
    3 1/2 cups milk
    Day 1: In plastic container with a lid or in a resealable plastic bag, combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Mix well. Cover and store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
    Day 2: Stir or squeeze the bag to mix.
    Day 3: Stir or squeeze the bag to mix.
    Day 4: Stir or squeeze the bag to mix.
    Day 5: Stir or squeeze the bag to mix.
    Day 6: Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk into container, mixing well.
    Day 7: Stir or squeeze the bag to mix.
    Day 8: Stir or squeeze the bag to mix.
    Day 9: Stir or squeeze the bag to mix.
    Day 10: Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cup milk, mixing well. Place 1 cup of the starter into three separate containers. Give a container and these instructions to two friends, making sure to put the date on the container.
    Keep a container of starter for yourself. With remaining starter, make batches of bread, muffins or pancakes (see other recipes).
    Note: Once you have made the starter, you (and the people you give it to) should ignore the Day 1 instructions. Do nothing on that day and proceed to Day 2.
   
    Source: Adapted from www.cooks.com
   
    Amish friendship bread
   
    1 cup Amish friendship starter (see recipe at right)
    2/3 cup oil
    2 cups flour*
    1 cup sugar
    3 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two large loaf pans. In a glass or plastic bowl (not metal), combine all the ingredients. Stir with a wooden or plastic (nonmetal) spoon. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    Makes 2 loaves.
    *Those at high altitudes may need to add 3 to 4 tablespoons flour.
    Amish cinnamon bread
    Topping:
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Bread:
    1 cup Amish friendship starter
    3 eggs
    1 cup oil
    1/2 cup milk
    1 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups flour*
    1 large box instant pudding mix (any flavor)
    Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 large loaf pans. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon for topping and dust pans with half the mixture. Put the remainder aside for later.
    In a large glass or plastic bowl (no metal) combine all bread ingredients. Stir with a plastic or wood spoon (no metal). Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Sprinkle with remaining topping. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 2 loaves.
    * Those at high altitudes should add 3 to 4 tablespoons flour.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/aboutfaith/2007/08/30/chain-bread/