When you are given your starter it always comes with feeding instructions. The one thing I would like to add EMPHASIS to is those instructions are F L E X I B L E and you will see what I mean later on in the article. Your basic instructions look like this.
Amish Friendship Bread Starter
Take your 1 cup of starter: Day 1, 2, 3, and 4 – stir each day.
Day 5, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir well.
Day 6,7,8, and 9 – stir each day.
On day 10 add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.
Stir and put 1 cup of mixture in another container. This will be YOUR starter that you keep going. Tomorrow you will begin this process over.
Put a lid on the container or use a gallon size zipper bag. * Important note - you do NOT put this in the refrigerator - leave it sitting out on your counter ALWAYS.
If you use a ziplock bag like I do, make sure you open it daily to let the air out of it, otherwise it will pop it open from the fermenting.
If you have two friends to give some of the starter to, take 1 cup each and put into gallon size zipper bags to give away. This will leave you enough to make 2 Loaves.
If you only take out 1 cup of starter to save for the next batch, you will have enough starter left to make 4 loaves of the basic Sweet Cinnamon Bread.
Tips and tricks aka - things I have learned
There have been many times when I had no one left to share my starter with and I hate the idea of throwing things away. I have made 4 - 8 loaves at a time, given them away OR placed them in the freezer and they were just as good when thawed :)
I have fed the batch at 1/2 the measurements listed above so I did not have to bake 4 loaves every 10 days. This will leave you with 3 cups of the starter, 2 for baking and 1 for reserve feedings.
If you do not like the idea of "baking on demand" or life just gets in the way of your plans "Don't" Worry! I have used the starter every where in between 5 days and 15 days, just make sure that you "feed it" and reserve another cup out for your new starter before you plan on baking with it!
If you get tired of baking, summer comes and gets to hot or you go on vacation YOU can freeze the starter! When you take it out of the freezer just pick up where you left off (if you were on day 1 start on day 1 instructions etc. - I have done this as well and all is GOOD. I do suggest, if you leave it in your freezer for a couple of months, start over on day 5 once it is thawed and at room temperature, and use 1 cup Warm milk with 1 tsp of yeast to help it get activated again, along with the flour and sugar.
When using this starter in other recipes, simply use it as a replacement for all or some of the water or milk called for in the recipe (up to 1 cup)
As awesome as the Cinnamon Amish friendship bread is, do not limit this starter to just that. It is a wonderful addition to use in Blueberry Muffins, Yeast Rolls, Hawaiian Sweet Bread, Pound Cakes, Crescent Rolls and English muffins to name a few. Be creative :)