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


Friendship bread is a bakery chain letter: a simple starter, you allocate, keep some for yourself, and share with others. It’s an old tradition that connects neighbors by sharing food. NPR wants to see you revitalize it in the community. Share your stories on social media – use #NPRFriendshipBread- and we may bring your experience to the next story.
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.
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 friendship bread 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 book was published has become so popular, jean find it necessary to create a dedicated to their websites, friendship bread kitchen produced hundreds of recipes, from cookies to pretzels, three cookbook, and more than 77000 subscribers.
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, the recipe for friendship bread, which has evolved into a similar cake in 50 years, takes advantage of modern conveniences such as dry yeast and instant pudding.
This is a can bring some bad memories in the course of evolution, such as the commentary in 1990: “someone gave me a few years ago some things, but this 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.
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 Amish Cooking, which was hosted by the late cookbook author Marcia Adams in 1989, is a possible source of renewed 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?”
No knead bread recipes from her own standards, in contrast to the instant pudding recipe, Landsman went on to make the two loaves of bread, a whole wheat bread, the other is a flour platter, there are a number 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 and isolated from our families,” she said. “You can be in the absence of starter making any of these recipes, but they don’t, because you don’t have this kind of sharing and transfer of elements, it allows you to connect to the community and others, 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 you and sharing, especially if you share 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.


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