Amish Friendship Bread

Lorna gave me a bag of Amish Friendship Bread starter back in October.  Since then, I had made three batches of this Amish Friendship Bread and shared them with 9 friends.


This Amish Friendship Bread is more cake like to me. It is moist and taste very good.  The only problem with the recipe is that you’ll end up with 4 bags of starter.  You’ll have to share 3 bags with your friends if you decide to keep one for yourself.  When I took the starter to the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors to share with the seniors, none of them want them.  For those who has so much life experiences, at one point of time, they had tried this Amish Friendship Bread and end up with excess starters that they cant give away as many of their friends already have them.  So, I’m going to change the recipe a bit so that I’ll end up with only one starter to keep the bread rolling.  I hope it works.


To be added to the starter on the 6th day:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk

To be added to the starter on the 10th day:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I’m going to cut this to 1/2 cup to create only 1 starter)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I’m going to cut this to 1/2 cup to create only 1 starter)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I’m going to cut this to 1/2 cup to create only 1 starter)

For the bread:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup oil plus 1/2 cup applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar (I reduced this to 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (I leave this for the chocolate marble loaf)
  • 1 large box of vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (I used vanilla)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • optional nuts, dates, dried cranberries, raisins, etc)
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (this is my own addition to create a chocolate marble loaf)

For topping (I left this out for my chocolate marble loaf):

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon



  • DO NOT use a metal spoon or bowl for mixing (anyone know why?)
  • DO NOT refrigerate
  • If air fills the bag, let it out
  • It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment

DAY 1: Do nothing – this is the date you receive the batter (or create the Ziploc bag); label the bag with the day 1 date

DAY 2: Mush the bag

DAY 3: Mush the bag

DAY 4: Mush the bag

DAY 5: Mush the bag

DAY 6: Add to the bag – 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup milk, then mush the bag well to combine

DAY 7: Mush the bag

DAY 8: Mush the bag

DAY 9: Mush the bag

DAY 10: Follow the instructions below:

Amish-Friendship-Bread-2-300x200This is the batter on the 10th day.  I find that I have to release the air more often after the addition of more ingredients on day 6.
Amish-Friendship-Bread-4-300x200Pour the entire contents of the bag into a NON-METALIC bowl.

Add 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 1/2 cup cups granulated sugar and 1 1/2 cups milk.

Amish-Friendship-Bread-5-300x200Mix well until no lumps.  You can see that the batter is quite runny.
Amish-Friendship-Bread-6-300x200Measure out 4 separate batter of 1 cup each into 4 large ziploc bags.  Label the bag with the date of the day 1.* If you follow my formula to create only one starter, then measure out 1 cup of batter and place in a ziploc bag and label with the date of day 1 as a new starter.

You may keep a starter for yourself and give the other 3 to friends along with a copy of the recipe.  Should this not be presented to them on the first day, be certain to tell them that the date on the bag is day 1.

Amish-Friendship-Bread-7-300x200Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine the dry ingredients (vanilla instant pudding, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all-purpose flour) in a large bowl and blend well.

Amish-Friendship-Bread-8-300x200Add oil and sugar to the remaining batter in the NON-METALIC bowl.

Add eggs and vanilla extract.

Amish-Friendship-Bread-11-300x200Add flour mixture to the batter.  Mix well.Line two loaf pans with parchment paper or grease them.  Divide the batter equally into the loaf pans.  For my chocolate marble cake, I left a little batter for mixing with some soften chocolate chips.

If you are adding the topping, mix the brown sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the batter.

Amish-Friendship-Bread-12-300x200I soften the chocolate chips in a microwave and mix them with a bit of the left over batter in the NON-METALIC bowl.
Amish-Friendship-Bread-13-300x200Dollop the chocolaty batter onto the batter and swirl with a chopstick or plastic fork to create the marble effect.
Amish-Friendship-Bread-14-300x200Bake the loaves in the 325 preheated oven for 1 hour or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool until the bread loosens from the pan.  Turn onto a serving dish.  Serve warm or cold.

If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking this Amish Friendship Bread every 10 days.  The bread is very good and makes a great gift.  Only the Amish know how to create the starter, so if you give them all away, you will have to wait until someone gives you one back.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Pam

    Seems to me that the Amish Friendship bread that I have seen had fruit in the starter, It has been ages since I have seen one so I might be wrong lol I will look thru my recipe box and get back with you.

  2. Susan

    One of my ex-co-workers gave me a batch starter dough. I am an experienced baker and have often wondered about Amish Friendship bread. What is the purpose of the starter? It doesn’t contain ingredients that would require fermenting which would contribute to the taste as other starter dough require ie. sour dough bread. In my opinion, the bread would taste the same without the starter batch. I also find it surprising vanilla instant pudding is an ingredient for the final product. Alot of work for a simple quick bread!

    BTW, Thanks for the great blog. I am a loyal quiet fan 🙂

  3. Monkeysmile

    Happy New Year, you guys. Suanne, what do you mean by starter?

    1. Ben

      Hi Monkeysmile:
      I do not know what makes up the starter, but it’s a quite liquidy batter with fermented aroma. The original recipe yields 4 bags of 1 cup starter and 2 loaves of bread. However, the following is what I found on Wikipedia:

      “A pre-ferment (pâte fermentée), also called a sponge, a starter, or the mother dough is a fermentation starter used in bread baking. It usually consists of a simple mixture of flour, water, and a leavening agent (typically yeast), and is added to bread dough before the kneading and baking process as a substitute for yeast.”

  4. Marike

    I have some starter that I co-worker gave me. I read online that you can easily make your own starter like you would for making sourdough bread. I think I read that starters are used to improve flavour and texture of the final product. But yeah, alot of work for a simple quick bread.

    I freeze the other portions and thaw them one by one when I want to make the recipe.

  5. Maven Koesler

    I just did the math to make a big batch of bread and leave only 1 bag of starter. You can freeze excess starter as well with no damage to it.

  6. Maven Koesler

    Here’s the recipe for the starter itself.

    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    3 cups white sugar, divided
    3 cups milk

    1. Suanne

      Hi Maven, thank you so much for sharing the starter recipe. I’m sure it will benefit many.

  7. Joseph

    You comment that you will change the recipe to yield only one starter. How did that turn out?

    1. Suanne

      Hi Joseph, the formula to yield one starter worked perfectly.

  8. Joseph

    What is the formula to yield one starter? The instructions above still say to remove four cups.

    1. Suanne

      Hi Joseph, I had made the clarification in the post. Thanks for pointing it out.

  9. Dana

    I’m glad I ran upon this site. I love this bread and don’t have a starter kit. I’m thankful that now I do. However I used a metal spoon before with this and it didn’t seem to harm it in any way. Mine also said not to use a metal spoon but I did anyways and to my luck it turned out the same.

  10. Madeleine

    I’ve been enjoying looking at recipes on this site! It’s interesting for me to see this as “Amish Friendship Bread”. I’m from Germany, and here we just call it “Friendship Bread” or “Friendship Dough”. It’s interesting how names change. 🙂 The Amish are basically expat Germans though, so it makes sense. ^.^

    It’s very difficult over here to find people to share your starters with, too. 😉

  11. mo

    friendship bread = edible chain letter 😀

  12. Reggie

    I received my starter late and added flour, sugar and milk a day late. Will this ruin my bread? Should I make a new starter?

    1. Suanne

      Hi Reggie, I posted your question on the Friendship Bread Kitchen facebook page and got one reply from Jan that its ok as the starter is very forgiving.

  13. Harvey

    The first time I made the bread it turned out great. Since that time it collapses in the middle. It raises around the edge and tastes great, but one more try and if it falls, I may quit unless I hear from someone who can cure this flop.


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