Blueberry Amish Friendship Bread

Blueberry Amish Friendship Bread // Dula Notes

Have you heard of this bread before? It’s like a baked goods chain letter. When a starter is given to you, you’re given a baggie of creamy liquid with directions on what to do for the next 10 days. It comes off as a bit bossy, I know. All of a sudden, you have a yeasty little pet on your hands that smells a bit like an old beer bottle. To be honest, I tried getting out of this baking obligation. We were on our way out of town and it seemed like the worst time to acquire something that needed care. When it was apparent that my excuses were not working, I accepted my fate and took the baggie with a smile. My new friend did not require much care, though and sat happily on a table that weekend. Instead of baking with it, though, I gave this first starter away and told my victim that if she needed someone to take a starter off of her hands, I would take one.  This is where the friendship part of the name comes in. After 10 days you bake 2 loaves of bread and give away 4 new starters, continuing the string of excuses from one friend to another.

A few days after I gave away my starter, it was back in my hands to do with what I’d like. Part of the Amish friendship bread guilt-trip is that you always tell the friend that they can just throw it away if they don’t want to make it. I could see myself throwing it in the trash and feeling guilty every time I passed the garbage. Thinking of my little pet bubbling away among discarded coffee grounds while I neglected it. Nope, couldn’t do it. However, out of rebellion I decided to test how flexible the recipe is. No, I wouldn’t intentionally throw it away, but if it got ruined while I played around, well, it seemed more palatable. The directions say to “get creative” by adding nuts or dried fruit. People have tried omitting an egg, decreasing the sugar, adding applesauce and the bread was still good. Those tidbits were scribbled in the margin of my directions.

It was my turn at this recipe and I had lots of ideas. First, I knew I wouldn’t have much time to make it on a Monday night, so guess what? I made it a day early. Scandalous! Then I took a look at the ingredients and first thing was first, I was in no way going to add jello vanilla instant pudding to the bread. I highly doubt the first maker of this Amish yeast bread had that ingredient to work with. Maybe I’m wrong, but it did not seem right to me. I halved the sugar, cut back on the oil, used half white and half whole wheat flour, increased the vanilla extract and added 2 cups of fresh blueberries. You know what happened to my yeasty friend? It became a delicious, nutty and moist bread. I was glad I decreased the sugar because with the addition of fresh blueberries it was in my sweetness comfort zone. I sent a loaf to work with Marc and he said there was 1 slice left when he grabbed his lunch from the refrigerator. I think it was a hit. I hope so, anyway, because tomorrow he’s bringing little starter friends.

10 Notes Leave a Note

  1. I’ve wanted to get a starter going to make sourdough bread but just do not have time to care for it. A friend even offered me part of hers, but I knew that it would die and I would be left with sour flour water. I sort of wish I had taken her up on her offer though because this looks really wonderful. I completely support your decision to take out the vanilla pudding mix. Who adds vanilla pudding mix to bread let alone any recipe?

    • Naomi-I, too, one day hope to have a sourdough starter. King Arthur Flour sells a starter and I usually take a couple of looks at it before moving on. I appreciate your support on removing jello pudding from the ingredients 🙂

    • my spatula-Thanks for stopping by! Baking does bring people together, don’t you think? And this could go a long way in helping people get over their fear of yeast!

  2. Your notes on the bag of mush made me laugh! I’ve made it once with the original recipe, but was thinking along the lines of less sugar, no pudding, etc. I actually halved the ingredients and ended up with 3 bags, and only had to give away 2, much easier, and 1 loaf. You can also freeze your bag. Do you think blueberry muffins would work instead of bread?

    • Lisa – What a great idea to halve the ingredients! I’ve never tried making muffins with this dough, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. Sounds great. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

    • Hi Nancy, Go to step 7 of the starter directions. If starting from scratch, you’ll have 4 starters of 1 cup each. I’ll update the bread directions to make it more clear.

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