Amish Friendship Yeast Starter
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
DAY ONE: In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix 2 cups flour, warm water and yeast together thoroughly. Leave on the kitchen counter uncovered; don’t refrigerate it. (You may have received 1 cup of the starter from a friend. If so, and you wish to keep the starter going, continue with the following directions.
DAYS 2, 3 and 4: Stir well with wooden spoon.
DAY FIVE: Stir and add 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. This is called “feeding the starter”.
DAYS 6, 7 and 8: Stir well with wooden spoon.
DAY NINE: Stir and add 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar; stir well.
DAYS 10 and 11: Stir well with wooden spoon.
DAY TWELVE: Ladle 1 cup starter into each of 4 containers and refrigerate. Use one cup to make one of the Friendship bread or cake recipes, keep one to use another time, and give two others to your friends. Don’t forget to include all the recipes (including this one) when giving the starter to friends.
You are ready to begin baking—at last! If you do not bake on this day, but want to have the starter handy, add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and refrigerate the mixture; the sugar will feed the yeast and keep it alive. Date the jars and every 10 days remove the starter from the refrigerator, transfer it to a bowl and feed it the usual combination of 1 cup each of milk, flour, and sugar.
Leave it outside the refrigerator uncovered for 2 days, then either bake it or divide it among friends, and always save some for yourself. (The starter can be discarded, or it can be divided and frozen; thaw before using.)
Note: if the starter turns pink, throw it out and start over. Also, use the same kind of flour and milk when adding the ingredients to the starter.