Friendship bread project: can baking help to divide the world?


Friendship bread project: can baking help to divide the world?

Chef Carla hall has never heard of “friendship bread” before someone gave her a plastic zip-up pouch filled with yeast and a mushy starter. As a young caterer, she was busy baking the storm and was happy to tell her friend what she had done in a few days.

Her friend was not happy, just stared at her. “Are you finished? She asked. “It’s not important. You should use some of it and pass it on to someone else, which is why it’s called friendship bread.”

Hall was embarrassed and said, “I broke the chain. I took her love literally and beat it. It was like a one-night stand.”

Friendship breads – also known as Amish friendship breads – are baked chain letters. Combine flour, sugar, milk, water and yeast in a simple start, then develop at room temperature for 10 days. The originator, like a sweet version of a sourdough starter, lets some people bake a loaf of bread or other baked goods, and then they give the rest to their friends. If a small part of the motivation is retained, it can be the basis for a new set of motives.

The dinner invited all believers to break bread together.


The dinner invited all believers to break bread together.

In the past year, my family and friends often find themselves in on the opposite side of the political divide, if it is possible under the guise of friendship bake delicious food, to ease the conflict, and even become the source of treatment?

Darien Gee thought that when he first heard the bread of friendship in 2009. In fact, she felt so fascinated with that idea, that she USES it as the basis of the novel – proper landmark titled friendship bread (Random House, 2012) – three stories link bread stranger, at the same time of dealing with personal demons forged a friendship.

“In the community, starting the crowd positive transfer, contact with different family and very different life, reflecting the common ground between us,” he said, why bread concept resonates with her friendship. “We did it together, we did it together, because we were all involved in the process.”

When her daughter came home one day with a bag of leaven and some bread, she was first introduced to friendship bread. “The story of the novel when I eat bread, I eat in the five months for a first draft, I’ve been all the way to come up with more bread recipes to help tell a story of friendship.” Diet, in fact, after the publication has become so popular, Gee find it necessary to establish a dedicated to their websites, friendship bread kitchen produced hundreds of recipes, from cookies to pretzels, three cookbook, and more than 77000 subscribers.

These dinner parties provide a simple message: refugees welcome.


These dinner parties provide a simple message: refugees welcome.

The origin of the friendship bread – and a similar version of the so-called hermann friendship cake in Europe – has been the subject of some debate, and whether the recipe is actually Amish. Anne Byrn for her book “the cake” (Rodale Books, 2016) to study the history of hundreds of recipes, remember, friendship in a newspaper column in the late 1980 s boom, but think formula can be traced back to further afield.

“The concept behind it is really old,” she said. “recipes for friendship cakes, not friendship bread, date back to the 1860s. Before the invention of baking powder in 1855, the starter was made of wild yeasts from the air, and they provided the bulk of the cake and bread. “She said that pioneering women traveling to the Oregon trail would eat the starter on their trip and would certainly share it all the way.

Byrn said the friendship cake was particularly popular in the 1930s, when family members of the depression era tried to become resourceful and plan for the future. However, about 50 years later, the recipe for a cake of friendship bread made use of modern convenience, such as dry yeast and instant pudding.

This is a kind of evolution, can bring some bad memories, such as the commentary in 1990: “someone gave me a few years ago some such thing, but it is a completely different formula, using a set of Jell – O vanilla pudding. It turns out that the bread is super sweet, not what we like, but my MIL likes it, and she gets tired after a couple of weeks, and nobody wants the damn first place.

3,2,1… Bake! The mission of making bread in space.


3,2,1… Bake! The mission of making bread in space.

In fact, the most common bread-and-butter recipe does include a bag of instant pudding and other ingredients. It was condemned by some, but tut was one of those who liked it: the result of the wet raisins and nut inlay, the free crown with cinnamon sugar, still a favorite.

“It’s something that ‘likes it or hates it,'” says ji. “The use of instant pudding may be controversial, but I have to admit that I still love the original after 250 recipes.”

Although detractors claim that the pudding combination means friendship bread can’t be Amish, bourne is not sure.

“Many Amish recipes start with pudding mixture or cake mixture,” she says. “Just because it’s Amish doesn’t mean it’s from scratch.”

Byrn also points out that the 1989 PBS Cooking show came from the Amish Cooking in Quilt Country, hosted by the late cookbook author Marcia Adams as a possible source of repopulating friendship bread. Adams, even in her recipe “heart: the Midwest kitchen best the old and new” (clarkson potter, 1991) on the starting formula and the traditional “chain letters”, writing:

“My observation is, let the first staff like marriage – this is a real commitment, and it is forever, and like the agency, as the growth of the age it will get better.”

“I could stay for a month and then they became fashionable,” says Emily landsman, who had little luck in the past. But friendship bread is different. “Right away, I’ve been able to separate it and keep it alive.”

As a frequent contributor and baker of jewish food experience, Landsman had never heard of friendship bread before being asked to try it, but now she’s hooked. “I like the fact that you should share,” she said. “I gave my new boyfriend’s best friend’s wife a baker, and I knew I needed her approval, so what better way to get in touch with her than through bread?”

Starting own standard not knead bread recipes, in contrast to the instant pudding recipe, Landsman went on to make the two loaves of bread, a whole-wheat bread, another with spelling of flour, and a batch of sesame seed volume, the first month. She even dehydrates the starter to make it easier to transport as a gift.

Gene says starting is an integral part of the friendship bread experience. “We have become so independent,” she said. “You can be in the absence of starter making any of these recipes, but they are not the same, because you don’t have this kind of sharing and transfer of elements, it can make you linked with others and the community, a method of cooking and request we don’t have too much these days. ”

For NPR, therefore, The Salt of The readers, this is a bakery challenge: to make your own bread, and a batch of friendship and start a new chain, and then tell us what you do and who share with you, especially if you and your family, friends or colleagues, their conflicts with your view of The world. Post the resulting photos on social media and mark them with #NPRFriendshipBread, and we’ll probably do a follow-up to your friendship bread experience. The song is in our @nprfood.

“I think any act of giving is the first step in healing a broken or worn relationship,” said ji. “My intention is to bake, and I would like to think that baking, coupled with dedication, may be the beginning of a new conversation.”

Can baking promote unity? Let’s find out.

Kristen Hartke is a dc food and beverage writer.

Friendship bread starter.

To Darien Gee,

Yield: 4-6 cups of finished starter.

1 0.25 ounce package (2 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast.

1/4 cup of warm water (110 ° F)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of milk

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in water. Let’s stand for ten minutes. In a 2 quart non-metallic bowl, mix the flour and sugar together, then slowly stir the milk and dissolve the yeast mixture. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and place at room temperature until bubbling. This is the first day of the 10-day cycle. Once the mixture is bubbling, the mixture can be transferred to a gallon of zippered plastic bag, sealed and placed at room temperature, followed by the following steps. Remember that the bag can be filled with air as an initial starter, so be sure to release the air to prevent the bag from bursting. The finished starter can also be frozen in increments of 1 cup and thawed when ready for use.

Day 2: mash bag.

Day 3: crush the bag.

Day 4: crush the bag.

Day 5: crush the bag.

Day 6: add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Mash the bag until it is mixed.

Day 7: mash bags.

Day 8: mash bag.

Day 9: crush the bag.

Day 10: pour the starter into a non-metal bowl and add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of milk. Mix well with a non-metallic spoon. Split the starter’s 1 cup portion into a separate gallon zippered plastic bag. Keep a bag for yourself and keep the rest of the food, along with these instructions and your choice of toast recipe.

The original Amish bread.

To Darien Gee,

Production: 2, 9 “x4” bread.

1 cup of friendship bread starter.

Three eggs

1 cup of oil

1/2 cup of milk

1 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

11/2 teaspoons baking powder.

Half a teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

2 cups of flour

1 or 2 small boxes of instant pudding (any flavor)

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 cup raisins (optional)


Half a cup of sugar

1- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 325 ° F (165 ° C). Lubricate two large (9 “x 4”) bread plates and dust with a cinnamon-sugar mixture and keep excess.

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients and pour the batter into the bread tray. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over the top and bake for 1 hour, or until the center’s toothpick is clean and the bread is slightly pulled from the side of the plate. Chill for 10 minutes in a saucepan, then roll over onto the rack to cool completely.


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