Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread that is used to build friendships, chain letter style! In other words, if you are making the bread, you should start by using one cup of starter to make the bread and give three more cups to friends so they can make the bread as well. The hope is that this will help solidify friendships… and fill everyone up!
And while we know why this is called Friendship bread, the Amish part is a bit questionable. The name of the bread is taken from the Amish people, but beyond that the relationship is unknown. According to members of the Old Order Amish, true Amish friendship bread is just sourdough bread passed around to the sick and needy.
What is Amish Friendship Bread?
Amish friendship bread is made from a sourdough starter that can be used to make many kinds of yeast baked breads. Sugar, vegetable oil, and a mild cinnamon flavor is used to produce a cake that is similar to pound or coffee cake.
Using the starter can make directions a bit confusing and the process for making the bread from start to complete is 10 days long. It starts with caring for and feeding your starter. To do this, simply empty the bag of starter, give it a good mash, and stir for the first four days.
On day five, you will add flour, sugar and milk.
The following days, more stirring will be necessary. On day 10, you will add more flour, milk, and eggs, and proceed with the actual making of the bread.
When you are finished making the bread, the cycle starts again with dividing starter into four cups, three for your friends and one that you can use to make another loaf.
Amish friendship bread is not just a delicious sweet bread, it’s also a way to bond with friends by sharing countless loaves of bread baked in different kitchens that all began from the same bowl of simple ingredients. Choose a few friends and start this wonderful tradition. They are sure to thank you for it later!
Try any one of these fantastic variations of the classic Amish friendship bread. They are all just as wonderful as the original.
Amish Friendship Bread Starter – Recipe and Ingredients Print
This is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe that you'll need to make the Amish Friendship Bread
- pkg. active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
- In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.
- Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.
- For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions below.
Day 1 – receive the starter (the recipe for the starter is below)
Day 2 – stir
Day 3 – stir
Day 4 – stir
Day 5 – Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk.
Day 6 – stir
Day 7 – stir
Day 8 – stir
Day 9 – stir
Day 10 – Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread.
After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:
- 2/3 cup oil
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Using a fork beat by hand until well blended. You can add 1 cup raisins and 1 cup nuts (optional).
Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (individual oven temperatures vary). Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.
- Prep Time: 10 Days
- Cook Time: 1 Hour
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: friendship bread, amish friendship bread starter
Other Great Breads to Make
Making Amish friendship bread is a lot of fun, but there are some other breads that deserve your attention, too! Take a look at these other great ideas for breads to make:
- Garlic bread. Who doesn't love garlic bread? Making garlic bread at home is far superior to buying it from the store. There are a lot of different recipes out there for garlic bread, so try them all and pick your favorite!
- Cheesy bread. Cheese and bread are two amazing foods, so why not combine them together? Cheesy bread is a cozy, comforting food that pretty much everyone is sure to love. Use whatever cheese you want, or stick with classic mozzarella!
- Cinnamon swirl bread. Looking for something on the sweeter side? Cinnamon swirl bread is exactly that, without being overly sweet. This bread makes for great toast, but it's also great to have as-is!
- White bread. This one might be a plain idea, but it's a good idea! There's no beating homemade white bread. It's great for snacking, toast, sandwiches, and more! It can even serve as a base for one of these other bread ideas, such as garlic bread or cheesy bread.
- Sourdough. Often the preferred bread for grilled cheese, homemade sourdough can't be beat. Once you've got homemade white bread down pat, try your hand at sourdough!
- Ciabatta. You've likely had a sandwich or two on ciabatta bread before! Ciabatta is an excellent type of bread to make at home, especially if you're someone who eats a lot of sandwiches. You'll definitely taste the difference.
- Breadsticks. It might not technically be bread, but it's basically the same thing! Breadsticks are a must-have with any pasta dish. Coat them in butter and garlic, and you've got yourself an excellent side for your next pasta night!
- Pumpernickel. Making your own pumpernickel bread is a fun way to change up your baking routine in the kitchen. This is an often underappreciated bread that works great with sandwiches.
- Beer bread. This bread won't get you drunk, but it will satisfy your appetite! This is a great bread to choose if the usual options have gotten stale (no pun intended). Try whipping this one up on a weekend and enjoy!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock.com.