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Sunday, December 4, 2011

FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . . .

Amish Friendship Bread

The classic Amish Friendship Bread is by far the simplest and the best.  The starter is a sourdough starter, a yeast based starter with a lactobacillus culture.  Because there is so much sugar in most Amish Friendship Bread recipes, the result is sweet.  The starter can be passed around indefinitely.  In fact, the longer it's been around, the better.  

If you've received a starter from someone, there's a little bit of flour and love from their kitchen, as well as all the other kitchens before it.  As long as you continue to "feed" your starter, it can stay at room temperature indefinitely.  One of the wonderful things about the starter is that you can bake almost anything with it.

Amish Friendship bread is all about friendships and community.  It's about connection.  It's about fun.  It's about nurturing other people.  It's about not taking anything too seriously, but to find the simple joy and pleasure in every moment.

If you don't have a starter, here's the recipe for making one your own.

INGREDIENTS

1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in water.  Let it stand for 10 minutes.  In a 2 quart non-metal container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar.  Mix thoroughly or the flour will lump when the milk is added.  Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.  Cover loosely and let it stand at room temperature until bubbly.  Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle.  For the next 10 days handle the starter according to the instructions for the Amish Friendship Bread.