Friendship cake

“Herman the German”

My neighbour a few houses down knocked on my door 10 days ago armed with three tubs of bubbling goo and a persuasive smile. I had heard of Herman before but have never had the pleasure of his acquaintance. I was handed one of the tubs, which did not look or smell like anything resembling a cake;

Smelly goo! – day 10.

along with a printout of daily instructions.

  1. stir clockwise
  2. stir anti-clockwise
  3. tickle with a feather duster
  4. take him out to dinner

These continue until day 9 when you feed him for a second time (adding milk, sugar, flour) and then divide and distribute whilst making a cake for yourself.

Ready for the oven

Essentially this is a method for maintaining and circulating a mother yeast batch that is divided up and circulated amongst friends. (I nailed 3 work colleagues yesterday).

It has been suggested that this practice originates from the Amish culture where sourdough yeast cultures and/or breads were handed out to the needy to help in hard times. Fast forward to the not so needy neighbourhood and what you end up with is a chain letter that lingers for 10 days filling your kitchen/pantry with a beery aroma. And a very tasty treat.

Sweet aroma.

Very tasty indeed.

Here is a link if you wish to start your own Herman; or you could just wait and see if you have any friends. :0)