Friendship Bread with Starter

Friendship Bread is a great bread for everyday or even the holidays.  It’s moist, with a crunchy topping, and full of the flavors of cinnamon.  When you’ve made this bread, you can give your friends a sample of it along with the starter that was used to make it! Then your friends can bake their own bread and pass it along to their friends, AND this is why it is called “Friendship Bread”.

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STARTER:
1/2 cup Warm water
1 pkg. Active dry Yeast
1 1/2 cups Warm water
1 cup Milk
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar

FRIENDSHIP BREAD:
3 Eggs
1 cup Vegetable oil
2/3 cup Milk
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 large OR 2 small INSTANT Vanilla jell-o Pudding mix

SUGAR TOPPING:
1 cup granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cinnamon

Begin by proofing the yeast in a plastic bowl.  Combine the packet of yeast with the 1/2 cup warm water, stir to dissolve the yeast.  Cover and allow the yeast to “bloom”.

NOTE:  Never use anything “metal” to contain or mix the starter.

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Once the yeast has bloomed, add the remaining starter ingredients, and using a whisk, mix to combine, removing any lumps. Guess what?  You just made your starter!

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Divide them into ziploc bags by pouring 1 cup into 3 separate bags. These can be used to pass out to your friends OR just keep them for yourself.  Using a sharpie marker OR on a fancy recipe card, jot down these instructions:

DAY 1 – The day you made the starter or receive the bag
DAY 2 – Day 5 – Mash the bag
DAY 6 – Add 1 cup All-purpose flour, 1 cup Whole milk, 1 cup sugar to bag, Mash to combine.
DAY 7 – DAY 9 – Mash bag
DAY 10- Pour contents of bag in large bowl, add 1 1/2 cup EACH of all-purpose flour, sugar, and milk.  Measure out 1 cup into 3 ziploc bags (and the cycle keeps repeating), With remaining batter follow instructions for making the Friendship bread, ENJOY!

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TO MAKE THE FRIENDSHIP BREAD:

With the remaining 1 cup of starter in the bowl, you can make 2 loaves of Friendship bread.

NOTE:  For the recipe above, you will always use 1 CUP STARTER!

Preheat the oven to 325° degrees.  Pour the remaining 1 cup starter mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, oil, and milk.  Mix this for about 2 minutes, until combined well.

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Add the remaining ingredients.

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Mix the ingredients well for about 3 – 5 minutes or until a smooth batter forms.

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Now in a smaller bowl, combine the sugar topping mix.  Lightly spray or grease 2 loaf pans.  Using about 2 tbsp. of the sugar mixture, coat the bottom and sides of the pans.

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Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans.  Tap the pans on the counter to remove air bubbles. Using 1/4 cup EACH of the sugar topping, generously top the batter in the loaf pans. This is what gives the bread its slight crunch.

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Bake the loaf pans in the preheated oven for about 45 – 55 minutes OR until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the counter, before removing from the pan.

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Remove from the baking pan and cool completely on a wire rack.  Slice with a serrated knife and serve.

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