If you are of a certain age you will remember chain letters. They are the old fashioned version of email forwards. If you don’t send this to 10 friends true love won’t find you, your wish won’t come true, or something bad will happen to you.
Amish friendship bread is the culinary version of a chain letter. If you don’t bake your friendship bread your friendship with the person who gave you the starter is doomed –ok maybe I am exaggerating a little. I don’t think the Amish are that cruel. Actually according to trusty wikipedia Amish friendship bread may not actually have any connection to the Amish people –Shocking!
My sister-in-law is an Amish friendship bread baking master. I am not sure of the actual number of loaves and muffins she has baked, but I would venture to guess over a dozen. She baked a couple of the traditional cinnamon sugar loaves for a family brunch we had last month. That was the first time I had the bread since middle school/high school when my friend Amber had made it and shared her starter with me. With my starter I wanted to make something different than the traditional cinnamon and sugar friendship bread. The combination of lemon and poppy seeds evoke feelings of happiness for me. I knew if I could pull off a lemon poppy seed friendship bread it would be the perfect way to celebrate Spring.
AMISH FRIENDSHIP BREAD -LEMON POPPY SEED VARIATION
2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1.25 oz (1 container) poppy seeds
2 (3 oz) boxes sugar free lemon pudding mix
2 tsp lemon extract
1 c starter*
1/2 c milk
1/2 c no sugar added applesauce
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients. Mix well. Make a well in the center of the bowl. In another bowl mix together all the wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix until just combined.
Pour mix into two greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing bread from pan and transferring to wire rack to cool completely. ENJOY!
*When you remove your 1 cup of starter for this recipe you will have 2 cups of starter left over. Put one cup into a ziplock bag for your friend and the other one cup you will keep for yourself. You can print off directions for how to feed your starter here.