A friend gave me a Friendship Bread start a few weeks ago. I had always heard about them and was excited to see what all the fuss was about. It seemed easy enough to do; you mush a bag for a few days and add in milk, sugar, and flour, then make a really good dessert bread to share with others.
If you do not have a start, you can make the “mother batch” from various recipes. The one that seemed to match my batch the most can be found at Allrecipes.com. On the sixth day you add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk, and 1 cup of flour to the batch. On the tenth day you bake. First you add in 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk, and 1 cup of flour. Then you take 1 cup of the mixture out and add it to a new bag (do that 4 times), so you can keep a batch and give 3 more away to friends.
Then to what is left in the bowl you add:
- 1 cup vegetable oil (or 1/2 oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
Mix and put in 2 loaf pans. Then bake in a 350* oven for 1 hour.
After making it by the book a few times I wanted to experiment with it. I added ½ cup Applesauce instead of all the oil and added 3 peeled and diced apples in place of the vanilla pudding mix.
It was very good, not as sweet as the original but still good. This is more like a cake than a bread.
I plan to try different variations, like banana and pumpkin, in future batches. I like that this recipe is one that allows you to play around with it.
Making this bread has also added a new book to my library list, Friendship Bread by Darien Gee. It sounds like an interesting story about how a simple starter can bring people together. I loved sharing the starters with friends and encourage you to make a batch to pass along.
Have you made Friendship Bread before? What variations have you made?