What is Amish Friendship Bread?

 

By Tobin Dimmitt

 

 What is Amish Friendship Bread?Amish individuals have a number of fun and unique traditions which involve participation from other residents in the community. One of these traditions is the baking and sharing of Amish Friendship Bread. The nature of this delicious bread is similar to a chain letter – one individual creates a bath of bread and shares it along with the starter dough to other members in the community. The other members then create their own bread using the starter dough and continue the cycle of passing it on.

 

History of Amish Friendship Bread

 

No one knows for sure who the first Amish resident was to start the friendship bread tradition. However, some believe it was originally intended as charity for the sick and needy members of the community. When residents were poor, sick or otherwise unable to care for themselves, bakers in the community would make sourdough bread to give them. Over the years, this tradition obviously changed Amish Friendship Bread is now spread among the entire community.

 

How Amish Friendship Bread is Made

 

The first step in the creation of Amish Friendship Bread involves a bag of sourdough starter that is created and passed down to other members in the community in the same fashion as a chain letter. While everyone has their own unique method for creating the starter, most of them involve a high amount of sugar with a lactobacillus culture. This unique make-up creates a much sweeter tasting bread than traditional dinner rolls. In addition to making bread, some Amish residents use it to create apple-cinnamon bread and other baked treats.

 

Thankfully, though, you’re not forced to bake a batch of bread if someone gives you a starter. If you’re busy with work or life in general, you can freeze it to use at a later date. Unlike a chain letter, you wont receive 10 years of bad luck for doing nothing with your dough starter.

 

There are many different recipes for creating Friendship Bread. When someone passes you a bag of starter dough, they will usually include the recipe for their bread. While the recipes vary greatly, most of them involve beating or mashing the starter bag of dough for several days before actually baking it. After you’ve beaten it for nearly a week, you’ll then add the necessary ingredients listed on the recipe and cook it accordingly. Making Amish Friendship Bread is a lot of work, but most will agree that it’s well worth it in the end.


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