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Amish Friendship Bread

Posted by  ·  March 5, 2009  ·  Last Updated: March 5, 2009

Ten Days ago my friend gave me a ziploc bag filled with some batter along with an instruction sheet. She told me that I was to keep mashing the bag,  add some ingredients and then make bread. I told her if she was my true friend she would just make me the bread (just kidding)! My sweet friend told me it would be a great thing to blog about——–now I was on board. My husband and I cared for our batter everyday and yesterday was the BIG day,  I made the bread.  It was really delicious  and now I have my bags of batter ready to go to three very special friends!

So I began writing out the recipe and instructions and then realized this does all of you absolutely no good—-you don’t have a starter.  But lucky for all of you adventurous bakers a quick google search led me to many recipes for the starter. I have not tried this but they all looked the same.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

It is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this—no metal.


1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)


1. In a small bowl  dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.

2. In a  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.

3. Slowly stir in warm milk and the dissolved yeast mixture.  Cover the mixture loosely 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. I would put this mixture in a ziploc bag so I could continue on with the recipe.

For the next 10 days use the starter according to the instructions.

Allrecipes has another Amish Friendship Bread Starter recipe with tips about freezing the starter.

Here is the recipe and instructions on how to use the starter

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe and Instructions

There are many variations to make Pumpkin Bread, Strawberry Bread, Carrot………..

If you have a favorite or tips about making this bread please leave a comment!

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Leave a Comment


  1. Julia
    Friday, January 3rd, 2014
    I have made this bread for years. I have also moved more times than one should and have had to start anew each time I moved. Just a few suggestions:
    If you do not make the bread on day 5 you can just keep stirring for another 5 days and the mixture does just fine. At that point follow the recipe just as if it were day 5 or 10. I find that the older the mixture gets (within reason) the better the bread. Also, try new variations: chocolate w/chocolate chips (instead of nuts and I also use chocolate pudding), banana and walnut, carrot and pecan, cranberry or raisin and nut, etc. I always use real fruit rather than just a flavored pudding, just my preference. I want to try pistachio!
  2. Monday, April 1st, 2013
    Amish Friendship Bread | Skip To My Lou
  3. Peggy
    Saturday, December 29th, 2012
    I froze my starter for several years - fogot about it really - and it baked up fine. I consider it ready to mix up and bake after thawing for a couple hours. I am now ready to make some new starter with my last bag. I read that I need to consider it day one so here goes . . . . I like to use banana pudding and add a cup of nuts. This time I used the vanilla pudding and added mashed ripe banana and the nuts. It's in the oven- can't wait to try it.
  4. Pam Kragt
    Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
    HELP! I froze the starter bag and know I forgot what I am suppose to do with it? Anyone????
  5. Jen
    Saturday, October 20th, 2012
    Ive been told that you can freeze starters instead of giving them away. How long could I freeze them for before using them. Im about to end up with about 12 starters and there is no way I can find someone to take them all, after a while it kinda becomes a pain
  6. tricia
    Thursday, March 15th, 2012
    Love this bread. My husband does not like it sitting out for ten days before baking it. I didnt know that you could freeze it. Iwill
    have to try it
  7. Lorraine Moore
    Saturday, February 18th, 2012
    I didnot make the bread on the 10th day because I realized I did not have the vanilla pudding. Will it be ok if I missed a day...has anyone ever did this..
  8. Sandi
    Thursday, December 15th, 2011
    Thank you thank you thank you! I searched for the starter recipe before but couldn't find it, so again, thank you! When I had this before, I experimented with different types of pudding, and that seemed to be all that was needed to make different flavors. The chocolate pudding variation was the best in my book! I froze mine and a few times just baked extra and froze it because I ran out of people to give it to, but now that I am on the Freecycle network I will have more people to share with :)
  9. Kathy
    Saturday, September 10th, 2011
    Do you use the entire recipe with pudding mix and all to make the pancakes or do you use the starter to make pancakes? Details please?
  10. Kellli
    Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
    Use for pancakes....pancakes is the best.
  11. Angie
    Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
    I LOVE THIS BREAD! My mom actually was able to carry a starter to me since I live overseas. What I learned from her was that you can still divide it into the little bags to have starters, and freeze it. You can defrost it on the counter and consider that Day 1 again....or bake it that day. Experiment with it yourself. We have...it still works out great.
  12. Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
    Great looking bread! And simple recipe. Thanks!
  13. Kelly
    Sunday, January 30th, 2011
    I had never heard of this. My husband was given a starter and a finished loaf to try. The smell of the starter was so nasty, I had smelled it sitting there before he had told me the story of what it was and how to do it. If our friend hadn't given us a sample loaf I don't know if I would have done the starter. You don't think it will be good, but it is AMAZING!!!!! Thanks for posting the starter. Now if I stop making it (which I am sure will happen) I can make a starter and start up again. I am thinking of making these for Christmas gifts.....Will take awhile to get the loaves baked. Only ? I have is The size of the pans is not specified...It just says 2 medium pans for when you bake them...I am worried I will use wrong size pans, and mess it up (over cook it or something.) Any suggestions welcome.
  14. Monday, September 27th, 2010
    That's a wonderful and unique idea, I usually just give whole loaves of tasty bread to various friends but this will make a nice change.
  15. Michelle H
    Monday, May 17th, 2010
    I myself ended up with way to much. I do love the Bread so much. I have found if you have the time to bake. Do that and give to friends then they do not have to babysit the bag. I think that is half the fun, Mash Baby Mash.
  16. Dee
    Thursday, May 6th, 2010
    we have run out of people that like to babysit gooey bags :) what i discovered was that the stuff that is left is equal to 2 cups, so instead of making 4 bags, we now make 2 (one for us, and one for someone else) and then 2 cups go in a bowl for preparation to make loaves, and what is left stays and is made into loaves. this recipe is so yummy we easily are able to take care of the 4 loaves, and when it does slow down, one of us takes a loaf to work to share with coworkers. hope this helps!
  17. Saturday, May 1st, 2010
    I would also be interested in the last comment, not sure how to translate it?
  18. Katie
    Saturday, April 3rd, 2010
    I rec'd a starter kit 20 days ago and already made my 2 loaves. I was only able to give away one of the 4 starter kits, so I have been keeping up with the remaining 3. I am supposed to bake today, but do not want to create 12 starter kits. Any suggestions on what to do? I don't want to waste 3 cups sugar. flour & milk just to bring me to the point where I am ready to add the other ingredients and begin baking. Do I just fore go the cup of sugar, flour and milk and begin adding the other ingredients?? Please help!
  19. bella
    Friday, March 26th, 2010
    Has anyone tried to make a recipe without the pudding mix? Is there a variation that is more "basic" in bread making?
  20. ~Angie~
    Saturday, March 13th, 2010
    I was wondering....the starter bag that I have, if I didn't divide it up and pass it along...I know not the point of Amish Friendship Bread....BUT could I bake up the whole bag? If so, what would be the ratio...how many batches would I get out of it?
  21. snarflemarfle
    Thursday, February 25th, 2010
    I just got a starter from a friend last night. I had to laugh about it being "Amish" bread...since I bet the Amish don't even use instant pudding mix. Anyway, it still looks like a tasty bread. My friend who gave it to me said her husband calls it "crack bread." I'm glad to know that I can freeze the starter and I'm glad to have the starter recipe just in case I have to start over for some reason. I'm really excited about making a loaf on Monday!!
  22. Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
    I was sad when I moved from Georgia to Idaho and had to throw out my starter that I was saving in the freezer.. I'm soooo excited to finally have the recipe to make my own when I want!! :) THANK YOU!!
  23. foolproof
    Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
    I have also done this many times, and found it to be almost fool proof. To bb, you can still use this batter at the stage your in, just add the 1 cup of milk, sugar and flour, and your on your way again. You just have to “feed” the batter to keep it going. Don’t freak if you can’t bake on day 10, it will be just fine.
    Has anyone out there found a really good carrot variation?
  24. bb
    Friday, February 5th, 2010
    So - I haven't had a chance to make the bread yet and on at least day 20 of the 'starter' - will it still be good to make the bread or should I just throw it out?
  25. PJ
    Thursday, February 4th, 2010
    In many of the variation recipes it says to replace the vanilla extract/flavoring with another kind. I don't see vanilla extract in the starter or the basic recipe. Am I missing something?
  26. Louise
    Monday, November 16th, 2009
    I haven't made amish friendship bread in years but froze some of the starter...it's been in my freezer for probably 3 years...is it still ok to use? I took it out, defrosted it and started the 10 day process....today I'm supposed to bake the bread.
    I also tried making my own starter but after a few days it got black dots all over it so I threw it away in case it was mold.
    I'm really hoping my "3 year old starter from the freezer" is still good because I've been craving this bread!
  27. Saturday, August 29th, 2009
    instead of passing on the starter bags to friends for the amish friendship bread can you freeze it? for how long? and when you take it out of freezer do you start on day 1?
  28. Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
    I've made so many batches of this that I've lost count. My neighbor gave me a starter several weeks ago. My favorite variation thus far is lemon poppy seed. The possibilities are endless once you split the batter. Good to know that the starter can be put in the freezer if you don't have time to "care" for it.
  29. Sunday, July 26th, 2009
    Becky, could your baking soda be old? I was having a rising issue with cookies and quickbreads recently and bought a new thingy of baking soda and it fixed the problem! :)
  30. Sunday, July 26th, 2009
    Your bread came out looking lovely! Nice blog post, thanks!! My sister-in-law just gave me a starter about 2 weeks ago; I made my first 2 loaves and then froze 3 little starters (I don't have any baking friends living nearby at the moment!).

    Krista, who commented on Mar 5, I'm SO glad you said that about the freezing issue - I noticed my 3 little baggies of starter are still very squishy in the freezer, it's been several days! Crazy! :)

    I changed the recipe a little for the loaves -

    instead of 3 eggs I used 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg
    instead of 1 cup oil I used 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    then I also added 1 large box of instant choc pudding

    The only problem is that I added WAY too much cinnamon (a lot more than called for!!) and the bread makes my tongue and gums hurt haha!!! So... next time only the recommended amt of cinnamon for me :)
  31. Monday, July 13th, 2009
    My sister gave me a starter and I made the bread on Sunday. I omitted the cinnamon and added a package of instant lemon pudding instead of the vanilla. Turned out pretty good, but I would suggest either a lemon icing or a teaspoon of lemon extract before baking.
  32. andrea eder
    Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
    is there a starter that does not require yeast we would like to make our own starter w/out yeast
  33. Catherine
    Sunday, May 3rd, 2009
    Metal will only hurt the ph of the starter if it is reactive, like old time utensils tended to be. Cast iron, aluminum, etc are reactive metals. Today's typical non-reactive stainless steel will do no harm, so chill and enjoy.

    As for the yeast of this starter versus the baking powder/baking soda called for: yes, the Amish friendship "bread" is a quick bread. No, the starter doesn't really help leaven the bread. It is mostly flavor but adds a bit to the leavening, just not enough to rise the bread on its own. The yeast starters used to bake yeast breads without added commercial yeast are a symbiotic marriage of yeast but also bacteria, a marriage most likely absent from Amish starter. The milk gives it some lactobacilli but there is so much else going on with the sugar and such, it really is a completely different picture chemically. It is delicious in its own right but chemically, it is more of a flavor component. Remember too that the flavor variations on a quick bread are inexhaustible. I also have used the starter to make cookies and the absolutely BEST pancakes.
  34. Marianne
    Thursday, April 30th, 2009
    Nevermind - I skipped over to the allrecipes link and read that metal can mess up the yeast and change the pH balance. I'll just keep my bags and continue on and see how they come out before I give them away...
  35. Marianne
    Thursday, April 30th, 2009
    Ladies - Help - I totally messed up! I am on my second round of bread and stupidly beat the lumps out of my batter with my mixer (metal blades) before separating the four starters. What happens with metal??? Should I just toss them??
  36. April
    Sunday, April 26th, 2009
    My sister in law gave me some starter today along with instructions for passing it along. Okay, here's what I wonder: the recipe to make up the bread calls for baking powder and baking soda and pudding.... sounds just like a quick bread. If this is a yeast starter, why are those required? Or is the starter just for the flavor? Does anyone know?
  37. Kelly
    Monday, April 20th, 2009
    I've done several 'rounds' of this. Also, if you only make 2 bags, what is left in the bowl is a 'double' recipe, so you can make 4 breads, give them away or freeze them. Then you've only got one bag to give and one bag to keep.
  38. Thursday, April 16th, 2009
    I have 4 starters going right now. No one wants them but they always want me to make them. I send them with my husband to work and with my kids to school (for teachers lounge). They all love it. And I don't mind making it. It is a fun activity to do with my kids.
    • cindylouh
      Thursday, April 16th, 2009
      You can freeze the starter and just begin where you left off on the day you stopped.
  39. Lew Stein
    Thursday, April 9th, 2009
    Try 1 cup dried berries. I also lay out flat on a large cookie sheet- comes out like biuscotti. Freezes great- I often eat right out of the freezer.
  40. gy
    Friday, March 20th, 2009
  41. Becky
    Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
    I've made this years ago and have recently gotten started again. It is good bread and have found lots of variations online. However, I never get mine to raise very well. It is usually only a couple inches high and flat on top. What's wrong?
  42. Monday, March 9th, 2009
    Wow, I can remember how good Amish Friendship Bread tastes, just by seeing the picture! I remember how fun it was to receive this when I was younger. Now I want to make some! Thanks for the recipe and the great post!
  43. Jessica
    Friday, March 6th, 2009
    It's been many moons since I've had this delicious bread. Thanks for this post, I'm definitely going to start a batch! And freeze some for later!
  44. Friday, March 6th, 2009
    I'm visiting my mom and she has some she's going to make into bread tomorrow and I'm going to take a batch of started home with in my luggage - in a couple of ziplock bags :)
  45. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    typed my site wrong!! oh well!!
  46. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I love this!! We made all through the holidays!! Instead of making a loaf I made muffins which turned out great. Just don't bake for as long. They were eaiser for the kids to take to school or just grab and munch!!!
  47. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    And she is still your friend? The bread is delicious, but the smell of that batter is enough to knock you over!
  48. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I add fresh raspberries just before baking. Yumm!!!
  49. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I used to do this and got so fat off of it because it was so good. I also ran out of friends that wanted it. So, when I divided it up I would put each bag in the freezer for later. I am sure you are not supposed to do that but it worked just fine.
  50. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    My wife and I usually get this several time throughout the year. Usually from coworkers. It always is delish! Yum Yum!
  51. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I have given you an award!!!
  52. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Oh this takes me back. I did this almost 10 years ago from a starter that was given to me by a friend. I made mine lemony... it was SO good. I'm definitely going to have to start another round of this! Thanks for a good memory.
  53. gemgirl
    Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Strange that you would write about this today. I was given a starter 9 days ago and wondered if I would like it or not. Now I can hardly wait for tomorrow to get here. thanks so much for the variations, all I had was changing from vanilla pudding to chocolate. I am sure it smells wonderful baking.
  54. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    We've done this before!!! YUMMY!
  55. Krista
    Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    You'll love this ~
    You can freeze your starter.
    Yep ~ Toss the bag in the freezer and when your ready to start another round of making and sharing this tastey treat just pull it out and your at DAY 1.
    Funny little fact ~ it doesn't freeze solid, you can still squish the stuff.
    Also~ Play with the flavor a bit as in the above link. We've added Choc. pudding (I hate that one but kids and DH loved it) my fav is the traditional way with a bit more cinn. added in everywhere and diced apples mixed in last just before baking ~

    Oh yum ~ I'm grabbing a bag out of the freezer tonight.
  56. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    i had a starter last week and dropped it and it exploded on the floor the day i was supposed to make it. lucky for me, my sister in law gave me a starter from hers and in two days i will make it! i was on the friendship bread kick last year and it is SO good.
  57. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Oh I had this passed to me once. I loved it. I made it so much that I got sick of it and then I never got the starter again. I had hoped someone would pass it to me again some day.

    I'm thrilled you gave us the starter info. I'm going to make some up. Thanks!

    Ooops, forgot have added good post! Waiting for your next post!
  58. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Oh I had this passed to me once. I loved it. I made it so much that I got sick of it and then I never got the starter again. I had hoped someone would pass it to me again some day.

    I'm thrilled you gave us the starter info. I'm going to make some up. Thanks!

  59. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I know what I'm gonna be doing tonight!!!
  60. Shelly
    Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I have done this a couple different times in my life. It is so delicious! Nice to know I can start my own starter when I get a craving for them. Thanks for sharing!
  61. Laurie
    Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I LOVE this! My family and I passed around the Amish Friendship Bread years ago. It's so much fun. It's so good with chocolate chips or cinnamon and sugar! It makes me want to whip up some starter! Thanks! :)
  62. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    what a nice thing to do!
  63. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Ok, so how strange is it that I was just talking about this bread with my husband last night and how I could really go for some? I'm going to make my starter today! Thanks!
  64. Amanda
    Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    I was passed a starter about 2 years ago and I made several loaves. Eventually I ran out of friends and room for loaves of bread in my freezer. I am excited to know I can make my own starter! Thanks!
  65. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    We had various Amish Friendship Bread starters throughout my childhood. I remember the fun of feeding it, and the smell of it baking. And then I remember my mom getting more and more tired with doing it over and over again... And then we didn't have any anymore. ;)
  66. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Oh fun! About this time last year I passed around and got back the starters for about 3 months straight. Now I'm wanting some back...not necessarily enough to begin from scratch, though :)
  67. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Ha! This is so funny you wrote about this this morning! We too had a friend give us the batter, and my husband has been caring for it, and baked it last night. It's sitting here on my desk (my breakfast) as I type...

    Funny thing is, I remember doing this as a child...it takes me back.
  68. Thursday, March 5th, 2009
    Mmmmmm...we were passed along the friendship bread as well. It's amazingly delicious!