Baking connects people. That’s part of its magic.

Recipes passed through generations. The memories of baking cookies with mom or grandma. Gifts of baked goods at housewarmings, weddings, and more… Baking brings people together, and the world can always use more of that! So we were happy to see Friendship Bread in the news at NPR.

Friendship bread is the chain letter of baking: A simple starter that you divvy up, keeping some for yourself and sharing the rest with others. It’s an old tradition that connect neighbors through the act of sharing food.

Amish friendship bread is made from a starter comprised of flour, sugar, milk, water and yeast. The mixture is allowed to mature at room temperature for ten days, and is then divided. You use a portion for baking, a portion for your own future starter, and give the rest away to friends.

See? Friendship bread.

“In communities where the starter is actively passed around, touching different households and very different lives, it reflects the commonality among us… We are doing this together, we are in this together. This starter exists because we are all playing a part in this process.”

The starter, which can be grown in a zip-top bag, needs very little care. Once each day, you mash the bag to mix things around. Oh, and about halfway through the process, your starter will get hungry. Feed it, mash the bag again, and wait.

The complete Friendship Bread Recipe and instructions are here, via NPR. For a far more in-depth look at Friendship Bread, including recipes, tips, and more check out from Darien Gee. Gee says of the recipes on her site:

“You can make any of these recipes without the starter but it wouldn’t be the same, because you wouldn’t have this element of sharing and passing it on. It keeps you connected to the community and other people, an approach to cooking and asking that we don’t have a lot of these days.”

We’re thinking of starting a starter of our own. How about you? Let us know how it turns out in the comments… or bring us a slice of Friendship Bread!