is made easy
DEAR MELBA: November is National Bread Month. Besides, some folks love to give homemade bread for Christmas gifts or make it for Christmas dinner.
However, we who bake know the recipe and instructions for Amish Bread can be overwhelming. Over the years I have discovered, it isn't necessary for it to be so difficult. So, here are my simplified instructions and recipe.
When someone gives you a starter, you can stir it every day and feed it when it needs it. You notice this when the starter is working and slows down. Feed it with 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Mix the flour and sugar together before adding the milk so it doesn't lump. Mine rises in a square plastic container with a lid. You can see it rise when it's working. You also can feed the starter double the amount or several days in a row if you want to bake more bread than usual. You can feed it half the amount if you don't want to bake this much. You can actually bake the same day you feed it. I have done this 2 or 3 times during the week. If you will be gone a few days or a week, just put the starter in the refrigerator and take it out when you get home and stir and feed it.
If not baking as much, it's a good idea to take 1 cup of starter and put it in a quart freezer bag, date it and put in the freezer. When ready to use, take it out, leave in the refrigerator overnight, transfer to container with a lid and feed it 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Stir well with a wooden spoon. You'll now need a gallon freezer bag, although it is not as good as a lidded plastic container. Freezer bags develop tiny holes, possibly due to the graininess of the sugar when kneading the mixture.
I also bake bread in metal pans and they turn out just fine. I get the dry ingredients ready the night before and grease my pans.