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Sweet and Sour Bread?
February 7, 2008 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I've got some Amish Friendship Bread starter that i've been keeping in 1 gallon zipper bags. The directions state to add 1 cup of flour, sugar and milk on the 5th day, and bake on the 10th, after feeding it another cup of flour sugar and milk. What else can this starter be used for? What's the best way to store it, do I have to split it into 4 before using 1 cup for bread? Any other sourdough tips?
posted by TuxHeDoh to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love Amish Friendship bread! I had a batch that I kept around for about three months before it got too much to handle. To answer your questions:

What do you mean by "what else"? If you do a Google search for Amish friendship bread recipes, you'll find plenty of different things to add to make it into different things - but those different things are still usually breads and muffins and the like (and almost always sweet). I've seen additives like chocolate, banana, dried fruit and so on. Just a note: the friendship bread I've had experience with is not sourdough - it's more a dessert bread or quickbread. So I don't know if you have a different type, or if you're thinking you're going to be doing the wrong thing with it. It's a very sweet bread.

I prefer storing it in a plastic tupperware-type container, like Gladware or the like. Makes it much easier to stir (which you should be doing every day, even when not adding something...). And it's much easier to add the things you need to.

I believe you do have to split it because you need to keep the ratios correct. I suppose you could just take out the one cup and leave the rest together, but it'll turn into a HUGE batch. If I couldn't find someone to give the "extra starters" to, I would sometimes just toss it (because one starter on my counter was plenty, thank you).

Hopefully that helps. Enjoy!! It's fun and tasty.
posted by bibbit at 2:04 PM on February 7, 2008


This is the second link on a Google search for Amish friendship bread, and there are tons of variations.

Also, Wikipedia does refer to Amish friendship bread as a type of sourdough, so ignore my comment on that above. But I will say that it doesn't taste sour at all, but instead should be served and eaten like dessert.
posted by bibbit at 2:06 PM on February 7, 2008


What else... I guess I am wondering if this could be used for sourdough pancakes, and other items, and not just variations on the sweet bread.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 2:37 PM on February 7, 2008


Technically, Wikipedia is slightly wrong. Because this starts with an ordinary yeast, it's a passed-on sponge rather than a true sourdough. Mine tastes only slightly sour, and more sweet and boozy.

Sourdough starters tend to rely on local wild airborne yeasts (the most basic sourdough starters were originated by setting flour-and-water slurries uncovered in a slightly warm place to capture the local yeasts. Different strains of yeasts have different flavors -- this fact figures into winemaking as well as sourdough yeast starter collecting.

I once had a sourdough starter that had history and provenance -- a friend of mine (Canadian) got it from his friend Spider Robinson, and its history could be traced back at least as far as the 1800's, when it had traveled across Canada in a leather sack kept warm inside the ear of an ox. Or so I was told. (Alas, it died when I got hit by a car in 1991 and my roomie forgot to feed it for over a month. If ANYONE can track that particular yeastie-beastie down for me, I'd appreciate it!)
posted by lleachie at 3:04 PM on February 7, 2008


lleachie writes "I once had a sourdough starter that had history and provenance -- a friend of mine (Canadian) got it from his friend Spider Robinson, and its history could be traced back at least as far as the 1800's, when it had traveled across Canada in a leather sack kept warm inside the ear of an ox. Or so I was told. (Alas, it died when I got hit by a car in 1991 and my roomie forgot to feed it for over a month. If ANYONE can track that particular yeastie-beastie down for me, I'd appreciate it!)"

It's not a Canadian starter, but here's Carl's Oregon Trail Sourdough, and sourdo.com has starters from
various international sources. The San Francisco and Yukon starters are in there also.
posted by Araucaria at 3:44 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Araucaria, bless you! I had once stumbled upon the sourdo.com site, but lost it because I didn't bookmark it. Now I have it. The Yukon one might be very, very close!
posted by lleachie at 6:06 PM on February 7, 2008


What else... I guess I am wondering if this could be used for sourdough pancakes, and other items, and not just variations on the sweet bread.

There are two uses for sourdough--as a flavoring agent, and as a leaven. The starter you have (which isn't really a sourdough starter per se, since it doesn't rely on lactobacilli) can be used for a flavoring agent in any recipe you want. You may have to adjust the recipe to taste, since most recipes for things like sourdough pancakes assume a sour starter. But, knock yourself out. It might help you if instead of thinking of the starter as something distinct, you think of it as wet bread dough, which is essentially what it is. You can use it in any recipe that uses flour and water.

lleachie, see here for a bit more information on long-lived starters.
posted by OmieWise at 6:56 PM on February 7, 2008


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