Martha kicks off the dessert show with a delicious recipe for Amish friendship bread.
To prepare starter: Place 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and knead mixture until well combined. Let stand at room temperature overnight.
For the next 4 days, continue kneading mixture once a day; keep at room temperature. On the sixth day add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk to bag. Seal and knead to combine; let stand at room temperature overnight.
For the next 3 days, knead mixture twice a day. On the 10th day, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk; mix until well combined. Measure 1 cup of the mixture into each of 3 resealable plastic bags. Seal plastic bags and give each bag of starter mixture to a friend to make their own friendship bread.
To make bread: Preheat oven to 330 degrees. Add oil to bowl with remaining starter mixture along with eggs, remaining 1/2 cup milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined; set aside.
In another large bowl, mix together remaining 2 cups flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt, baking soda, pudding, and nuts, if desired. Add dry ingredients to starter mixture and stir until well combined. Divide batter evenly between two 8-by-4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans.
In a small bowl, mix together remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over batter. Transfer to oven and bake for 1 hour. Let cool 15 minutes before removing from the pan.