Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Amish Friendship Bread Starter & Recipe

This is SO much fun to do!  My youngest son, Tyler, absolutely loves this bread.  It's been far too long since I've made it, mainly because I didn't have any friends/family living locally to pass the starter to.  Now it's been on my mind lately and when some time frees up, I plan to start a batch & hopefully can keep it going.

This is going to be a long read, but I hope it brings back some sweet memories for you today as well!

Friendship Bread:  Starter Recipe (Make ONCE)

1 C milk (room temperature)
1 C sugar
1 C regular flour (room temperature)
Note:  Do NOT use self-rising flour!

Mix in a non-metallic bowl - glass or plastic is fine.
Note:  The metal interferes with the chemical reaction that needs to take place.
Use a plastic or wooden spoon to stir.  Don't be concerned if you can't get ALL the lumps out.  Try to mix until lumps are pea sized, but with none larger than a grape.

Pour into a gallon sized freezer bag.
Note:  the finished sponge will expand to over 2 to 3 times it's original volume.  Let starter sit in a place away from drafts or hot breezes.

General Starter Tips:

Some people put a sponge in the refrigerator.  Do NOT do this because the cold retards the action and the flavor is not as "full".
*Squeeze the bag to mix the starter daily*

The above is Day 1

Day 2
Squeeze the bag to mix

Day 3
Sqeeze the bag to mix

Day 4
Squeeze the bag to mix

Day 5
Add 1 C flour
1 C sugar
1 C milk
Squeeze the bag to mix

Note:  The sponge will get foamy and frothy.  Don't be alarmed.  This is natural.  The mixture is reacting together and expanding. 
Try to resist the temptation to "tinker" with it!

Day 6
Squeeze bag to mix

Day 7
Sqeeze bag to mix

Day 8
Sqeeze bag to  mix

Day 9
Squeeze bag to mix

Day 10
Add 1 C flour
1 C sugar
1 C milk
Squeeze the bag to mix

Bread Recipe (using completed starter)

To the balance, after separating ( a little over one cup) of the batter, add the following ingredients and mix well.

1 C oil
1/2 C milk
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

In a separate (large) bowl, combine the following dry ingredients and mix well:

2 C flour
1 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 (5.1 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C nuts

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Mix and pour into two well greased and floured bread pans (I don't flour, I dust w/sugar.  Mmmm)

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hr.

**Here's a link to a post on my blog where I list several variations to this original bread recipe.  Hope you'll try them out and then share your feedback with the rest of us!


  1. Shelly,
    Do you have any other recipes to make with the starter?
    I'd love to try some different things with it, but I'm not that adventurous.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Hey Karen! I may have some other recipes to make w/the starter...that's a really good question! In the past I've always just made the one bread, 'cause my son would just devour it ;-)
    Lemme look around for that, in my files...and get back at ya. Sick right now, and have to make 24 loaves of banana streusel bread today, then job interview on Tues!! Pray for me...I've been searching for (office) work for 4 yrs.
    Hugs and blessings!