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Friendship Bread

I never "got" yeast bread. I guess it all happens too fast for me . . . and I am lazy.
I have made this recipe many, many times . . . always with success.
To make this into rolls (they are great!!!) or bread, you do need to think ahead.
If you want rolls tomorrow night, you must start the day before.
For instance, you take out the starter in the morning and feed it.
Mix up the bread after dinner and set it to rise until the next morning.
Punch it down and shape into rolls (or bread) and let rise again all day.
This sometimes will happen faster but you will get the feel for it.
I sometimes don't get to punch it down and shape it
until late morning and it still rises in time for dinner.
It really depends on the temperature in your kitchen.
The pilot light in a stove with the door open a few
inches is just about the right temperature for rising.
Just remember to cover it as directed in the recipe.
(plastic wrap or lightly damp lint-free towel)

Friendship Bread Starter

cup sugar
6 tablespoons instant potato flakes
2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
(You can use much less, I had a friend tell me she used a sprinkle and it worked too.)

Mix all ingredients well and leave at room temperature for 8 hours uncovered.
This will not rise, it will only bubble.
If you want to make bread now, take out one cup and put the rest in the
refrigerator or give it to a friend with a copy of the directions.
The starter must then be fed every 3 to 5 days.
I have let it go longer--so if you forget to feed,
don't fret and just feed it again as soon as you can.
When it is time to feed it, take out and feed the following,
using the above instructions:

cup sugar
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes
1 cup water

To Make Bread or Rolls

cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups bread flour
1 cup starter
1 cups warm water
cup oil (for rising bowl)

Mix all ingredients (except oil) in a large bowl to make a stiff dough.
Grease another bowl, put dough in bowl, and turn so oil is on sides and top.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a draft free spot overnight.
Next morning, punch down dough. Knead a little.
Divide into parts and knead each part on a floured board a few times.
Then put into greased loaf pans and brush with oil.
Let rise 4 to 5 hours. All day is fine too because dough will rise slowly.
Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a lightly damp, lint free kitchen towel.
Bake at 350 in middle rack of oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
Brush top with butter if you like. Cool well.
Wrap and store in refrigerator. If it lasts that long!!!

Special Tips

1. Don't cover starter tightly. I use a big glass jar and cover with a triple layer of cheese cloth and a rubber band.

2. You must use bread flour.

3. Don't knead the dough a lot.

4. You can freeze this starter. Just thaw at room temperature and feed.

5. Exercise at least one hour per day to compensate for all the calories this stuff has!!! Enjoy!!!

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1998