On Sunday I got a "start" for some Amish friendship bread. I've heard of this; I even think my mother has made it, but I'm not sure about it. On my counter there is a concotion of fermenting flour, milk and sugar in a large Ziploc baggie that I am supposed to be mushing every day, as well as venting so the exhaling bacteria don't explode the bag. On day five (today) I added more flour, milk and sugar. I attempted to open the bag while my husband was sitting nearby eating chips and salsa. He threatened divorce if he was anywhere near when the bag was opened. I waited, unsure of the smell that would exude forth when new ingredients were added.
In five more days I actually get to make the bread. It is called bread, but the recipe seems a whole lot more like cake to me. The sugar content alone might be enough to send my family to the dentist on day 11.
So I have a few questions about the whole Amish friendship bread thing. Maybe somebody out there can answer: Why is it a gesture of friendship to give somebody a bag of rotten milk that sits for a week and a half on their counter? Did the Amish actually start this? The recipe tells me that it is unwise to give away all my starts (as you begin to make the recipe you divide up the stinky bag into four parts and make a gift of two of them), because if I do, I cannot make one from scratch. Apparently only the Amish can do that. So, here we are in Utah. If it was started by the Amish, are there particles in this bag and that are months, nay, years old? Is it called friendship bread because all ten of your friends like you better after you put on ten pounds because of eating several slices of 10,000 calorie bread every ten days? And lastly, will something happen to me if I don't pass it on? Is this like a chain letter (give to 2 people and six months you'll get 500 loaves of bread from all of the world)? Or a pyramid scheme (I sign up two women and somewhere some little Amish lady gets an electric oven)?
Please, anyone with experience with Amish bread giving and getting, let me know.