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Sep 18

Amish Friendship Bread {and starter}

This recipe for Amish Friendship Bread comes just in time for the holidays. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Your friends will love it. Trust me.

Amish Friendship Bread with a recipe for the starter! This makes the best "quick" bread ever!

What I should have said is… “Your friends will love it until they don’t anymore and then run away from you because they don’t want any more starter.”

Okay, so I’m not really selling this recipe so far, am I? Let’s start over.

Have you heard of Amish Friendship Bread? I thought everyone had and then I asked Facebook, the knower of all the things, and it said that many people have no clue.

REALLY? Where were you in the late 80s??? Certainly not in Burlingame, CA, where I was. EVERYONE had a bowl of starter on their counter back in ’89. It was the in thing to do: wear leg warmers, rat your hair high, and babysit yeasted starter on your counter for 10 days.

Amish Friendship Bread, in all essence, is an edible chain letter. And while I delete chain letters and “share if you agree” statuses on FB on principle, I’ll never, ever turn down bread. Especially this bread. It’s the best bread. Really. I remember eating it for weeks in middle school. Then one day it vanished…never to be seen again…until now.

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe with a recipe for how to make the starter! This makes the most wonderful bread!

So what is it, really? Basically it’s a “quick” bread made with a sourdough starter. You grow the starter on your counter for 10 days, stirring it and feeding it and loving on it, and then at the end of 10 days you make the most amazing bread with it.

Then, because it’s so friendly, you share 2 cups of the starter with two friends and keep a cup growing on your counter for next time.

Then, 10 days after that, you do the same thing. And again and again to infinity.

Or, you can give it all away after 10 days…or freeze it for next time a craving hits.

You see, that’s what happened to me. All of a sudden I wanted Amish Friendship Bread. I had not had a bite of it in 25 years and one day last month I neeeeeeded a slice. But what’s a girl to do when she wants the bread but doesn’t have the starter?

Make her own, of course.

Yeast starter for friendship bread.

You start with yeast and water. (I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast, like I do in all my recipes. I trust it and it always performs, and you can find it at the regular grocery store.) Let it proof, like you’re making cinnamon rolls. Then you mix the frothy yeast with flour, sugar, and milk. Stir, loosely cover, and let it sit.

A day later, and each day for 4 days you stir it. Then, on day 5, it’s hungry. You can’t hear it’s tummy growling, but you need to feed it anyway.

This chick is a girl after my own heart. She eats sugar, flour, and milk.

Then you stir her again until day 10. On day 10, she’s hungry again. Then she’s multiplied to 4 cups of starter.

Amish Friendship Bread: Day 10 yeast mixture

Pick two friends and give them each a cup of starter, with directions on how to take care of it – obviously.

Then put one cup aside to continue growing…or freeze it for when the urge hits next time.

That last cup? That’s what you make your bread with. At this point, making it is like quick bread. Just stir together all the ingredients and bake in loaf pans. No kneading or dough hooks or anything. The batter is pretty much like a banana bread batter.

A few notes about the recipe:

  • I used two 9×5″ loaf pans, so my loaves ended up a little flat. If you have 4×8″ pans, use those.
  • The plain bread can be made plain, or you can add chopped nuts or chocolate chips. It’s yummy both ways.
  • I like to sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top the loaf before baking. It gives a nice crunch.
  • Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

Hey, this bread might take some work, but it’s so worth it.

Amish Friendship Bread and starter recipe

Plus, any bread you can share with friends is the best bread. Until they run screaming from you begging for no more starter. 😉

Amish Friendship Bread + Starter

Yield: 2 loaves + 3 cups starter

Grow some Amish Friendship Bread Starter and then make the most delicious bread with it! The bread is yeasted but tastes like a quick bread! Then share a cup of starter with a friend, so they can enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

Starter

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used non-fat)

Feedings (2)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups milk, divided (non-fat okay)

For the Bread:

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup starter
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup + 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Optional: 1 cup of chocolate chips or chopped nuts

Directions:

Day 1:

  1. Make your starter: Stir yeast into warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk sugar and flour in a 2 Qt container (or I’ve heard you can use a ziploc bag, but we always used a bowl). Whisk in milk. Be sure to stir the corners – the flour will get clumpy and stuck if you’re not careful.
  3. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Cover loosely and store on the counter.

Days 2-4 :Stir the mixture once per day.

Day 5:

  1. Feed the mixture: Stir 1 cup each sugar, flour, and milk into the starter. Cover loosely and store on the counter.

Days 6-9: Stir the mixture once per day.

Day 10:

  1. Feed the mixture: Stir 1 cup each sugar, flour, and milk into the starter. Cover loosely and store on the counter.
  2. Remove 1 cup of starter to use in the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe (see directions below). Remove 2 cups of starter and give 1 cup each to two friends, with the recipe below attached.
  3. There will be 1 cup of remaining starter. You can give this to a third friend, or you can seal and freeze this 1 cup to use in the future. Or continue the cycle of friendship bread. Since you have your starter, cover loosely and store at room temperature. Start with “Day 2” directions above tomorrow (day 11) and keep it going.

Friendship Bread Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 4×8” or 9×5” loaf pans with butter or shortening. Sprinkle a bit of sugar in the pan and “sugar” it (like you would flour a pan). Alternately, spay with cooking spray, but do not sugar the pans if using cooking spray. (Note: you could make one large loaf with this but it will take longer to bake and you run the risk of a dark outside and a partially baked inside.)
  2. Whisk baking soda, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Stir starter, oil, and 1 cup sugar with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, then stir in vanilla. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips or nuts, if using.
  4. Divide batter between two loaf pans. Mix remaining 4 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of loaves.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan.

On day 10, bake with 1 cup of starter. Gift 2 cups to two different people and keep one to continue growing (or freeze). When gifting a cup of starter, attache these directions to the container.

Starter recipe from Allrecipes, bread recipe from my mom.

Other bread you might like:

Mom’s Banana Bread

Banana Bread (7 of 7)w

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Bread

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread (2 of 4)

Chocolate Swirl Zucchini Bread

Chocolate-Swirl-Zucchini-Bread (3 of 5)

Sweets from friends:
Amish Peanut Butter Pie by Nutmeg Nanny
Amish Breakfast Casserole by CenterCutCook
Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread by Something Swanky