Cooking and Baking

Amish Friendship Bread starter

A woman I work with started it a few months ago. I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when she comes by with this lovely looking cinnamony moist coffee-cake bread and puts it out for everyone to have a piece. It really was delicious -- rich and moist and comforting. "Mmmmm" I said, "this goes perfect with my coffee!" Five minutes later she returns from her office with a ziploc baggie of batter, a rather intimidating list of dated instructions complete with warnings not to use anything metal, and announces that I should "keep it going..." I did. And about 10 days later I was chasing down my very own unsuspecting friends, pushing baggies of batter on them, convincing them that they would not regret it, and assuaging their fears about leaving a batter bubbling on their countertops. "Really", I said, "It makes a wonderful cake!" I should have known I would once again be on the receiving end. Two weeks ago one of my friends (to whom I had given a bag o' batter) returned the "favor" and gave me another batch...only it was a very busy week for me, and by the time day 10 rolled around when I was supposed to be baking my bread and splitting my batters, I was neck deep in household stuff and kids' field trips and work deadlines, and baking just wasn't on the agenda. I figured I could let the batter sit an extra day or two (after all, it had been sitting on my counter for almost 2 weeks!) and bake it when I had time; only I never got around to it...and when I finally opened the bag my nostrils were assailed with the pungent odor of overripe batter & sour milk. I just couldn't bring myself to use it. So now here I sit, with my cup of coffee sadly cake-less, wondering how to start over...yes...I actually want to start the circle of batter life all over again. Is it possible? How does one "start" an Amish Friendship Bread starter? (be glad we're just cyber-friends, or I'd happily give you a baggie!)

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