This recipe looks like a lot of steps, but as you read through it, you will find it's really not that hard. I used to make the regular friendship bread and then a friend at church told me about the lemon poppy seed version, and I'm addicted to that one now. This is a delicious, sweet bread that's good for breakfast, dessert, gifts, or just because. In the picture above, the regular muffins (or "cinnamon" version) is to the left and the lemon poppy seed muffins are to the right.
1. Do not use metal spoons or bowls for mixing
2. Do not refrigerate
3. If air gets in bag, let it out
4. It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble, and ferment
Day 1: Receive starter or make it yourself*
Days 2-5: Squeeze bag.
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squeeze bag.
Days 7-9: Squeeze bag
Day 10: Place batter in a bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir. Take out 3 cups, and place 1 cup each into three separate gallon ziplocks. Give one bag and a copy of this recipe to two friends and keep one for yourself. To the remaining batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract**
In a separate bowl combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon**
1/2 tsp salt
1 large (or 2 small) box instant vanilla pudding**
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Prepare 2 loaf pans: spray bottoms of pans (for soy-free, spread pure canola oil in bottoms), sprinkle a mixture of 3 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon on bottom of pans.** Pour batter in each. Bake at 325 degrees for 60-80 minutes or until center is firm.
Lemon Poppy Seed Version
Lemon pudding mix instead of vanilla pudding**
lemon extract instead of vanilla**
poppy seeds instead of cinnamon**
do not add the sugar & cinnamon mixture to the bottom of loaf pans**
*Friendship Bread Starter
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. Combine yeast with flour, sugar, & milk in a gallon ziplock bag.
-To make muffins, spray muffin pan bottoms and add a heaping ½ tsp of the sugar/cinnamon mixture to bottom of each muffin holder (leave out mixture if making lemon poppy seed version). Fill muffin pans about ¾ full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.
-If you want a lower fat/calorie version, substitute ½ cup unsweetened applesauce for half of the oil, use fat-free milk, and sugar-free pudding.
-If you don't have 3 people to give bags to, do not add the flour, sugar, & milk on day 6. On day 10, it will only make 2 bags, one for a friend and one for yourself. I have also found you can only make one bag for yourself and have extra "starter" in your bread, and it turns out fine as well.