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Friendship Bread: A Lincoln School Tradition

Martha Douglas-Osmundson, English teacher and Shakespeare in the City director, shares the story below and the recipe for Friendship Bread in this guest blog post! 

Hi, all!

A few students have asked me for the recipe for Friendship Bread to make over this time of social distancing and quarantine, so I thought it would be nice to post it for everyone.

Friendship Bread has been a Grade 8 tradition for over 15 years! Each student prepares the starter at home and looks after it for 10 days–by which time the starter has grown to several times its original size–and gives a cup of the starter to several members of the community. Inspired by my former students who have reached out to me, I plan to start some and offer it to neighbors along with the recipe.

A lot of people are looking for 'no screen' activities during this period of isolation, and what is more comforting than the smell and taste of homemade bread?!

I hope everyone enjoys this!

Love,
Martha (Ms. D-O)

🍞 How to Make the Friendship Bread Starter 🍞

Day one: Put one package of yeast, one cup of flour, one cup of sugar, and one cup of water into a one-gallon zip lock bag.  Place this into another one-gallon ziplock bag, then put them both into a bowl on the kitchen counter. (Do not refrigerate.) Mush the bag. 

Day two: Let out the gas that has built up, and mush the bag.

Day three: Let out the gas that has built up, and mush the bag.

Day four: Let out the gas that has built up, and mush the bag.

Day five: Let out the gas that has built up, and mush the bag.

Day six: Add one cup each of milk, flour, and sugar.  Mush the bag. 

Day seven: Let out the gas that has built up, and mush the bag.

Day eight: Let out the gas that has built up, and mush the bag.

Day nine: Let out the gas that has built up, and mush the bag

Day ten: Add one cup each of milk, flour, and sugar.  Mush the bag. Divide the batter into four bags, putting about a cup (maybe more) of batter into each bag.  You now have three bags of starter to give away and one to keep. Tape a set of baking instructions (see below) to each bag of starter. 


🍞 Friendship Bread Baking Instructions 🍞

On the day you are ready to bake the bread, follow these directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Generously grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans or one large Bundt pan.  Coat the inside of the pan(s) with 3 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  (Save some for the top.)

To your one cup of batter, in a large bowl, add:

  • 2 cups flour, sifted with:
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3-to-4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat well.  Stir in:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, or chopped nuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake for one hour; or, if you use a Bundt pan, about 1 ¼ hours.  In either case, a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread should come out clean. Let the bread stand for 20 to 30 minutes before you take it out of the pan(s) and cool it on a rack.  It would be a shame if it broke in half at THIS point–10 days in the making!

Enjoy your Friendship Bread!

*Photo credit to Maria Angelone ’19, who shared a photo of her Friendship Bread (waiting to go into the oven after 10 days!) with Ms. D-O!