December 8, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

amish friendship bread starter recipe
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Many years ago, my grandmother gave me canister of gooey batter along with a recipe on how to make bread with it. The idea of something fermenting on my counter top didn’t sound very appealing, but luckily, she also gave me a loaf of bread she had made herself using the starter. It was delicious! I was sold.

If you like to give homemade goodies for the holidays, consider this tasty creation. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving! If you don’t have a glass jar with a lid on hand, this Anchor Hocking Jar would work perfectly!

If you’re going to give starter as a gift, tie a pretty bow around the jar, attach a bread recipe along with instructions on how to keep the starter going, whip up a loaf of bread, and you’re set! Without tasting a finished product, most people might be a little put off my receiving a jar of goopy dough.


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


In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.

On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 thru 9; stir only.

Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).

Once your starter is ready for baking (on day 10), try out one of these recipes. This one most resembles the recipe my grandmother gave me.

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  • Gratiela

    sounds interesting;I will try it !

  • Deborah Ragno

    Oh, I have to comment on this one.  Thirty years ago many people were passing this around — too many people.  It got to the point where when I saw ladies coming my direction I said to them, “If you plan to give me Amish Friendship Bread starter, that will be the end of our friendship.”  They would slowly slink away with their bubbly baggie in tow and go in search of another victim.  If someone wants to give me the finished product, that’s fine because I love it.  But if someone gives me the starter, if I can’t refuse it, then I just toss it.  Too much of a good thing!

    • LOL too funny, Deborah! I hear ya! I am going to have way too much of this stuff in no time!

  • Denise

    I have done this and love the bread!  It did become a bit overwhelming a while back, so I froze the last 3 starters – I need to take at least one out and start it up again!  And now, with the holidays – is the perfect time!  thanks for the reminder!!

  • My father used to make this, he calls it “Herman”!

  • I never ate it. I heard it is very good. I love bread.

    • I love bread, too, Gloria! I could live on bread…and cheese. Then of course I would also need to live at the gym. lol

  • kazul

    LOL I tried it years ago and only had it in a bowl with a towel over it. After 3 days I had a big bowl of fruit fly bait.  So, yeah,  cover it!

    • LOL I thought about that before I bought the canister. I imagined the towel falling into the batter and it being a big mess. That’s how it usually goes for me. 😉

  • Bettye

    Oh wow does that bring back memories!  We used to do this years ago and it was so much fun!!!!           

    • Carolyn

      I also have done this and as the other lady stated potato water, mine used instant potato flakes warm water and sugar. I made loaves of bread and also made donuts, which everyone raved about, said they were like Krispy Kreme. Very good to keep this on hand.

  • Missannmcd

    I remember hearing about a pancake recipe that worked the same way. It gets fermented and then you use a part of it (added to other ingreds) for batter. I can’t remember what it’s called but the B&B I once worked for used this recipe for the guests breakfast. I think each time you use a little you add something back into it and save for the next time and so on. Ever heard of this?

    • Were they sourdough pancakes?

      • Missannmcd

        I believe so.

  • Jenny Busch

    My Grandmother also gave me this recipe.  You should always take a starter out of your ready mixture, Add a couple tsp of sugar to it and put your starter in the ice box, until you get ready to use again in a couple of days.  When ready to use again, take starter out and add potatoe water to it. its ready to make your bread, pancakes, cinnaman rolls, etc.
    Jenny Busch

  • Missy

    I grew up eating this bread too from my grabdmother…everyone came to her for the starter and she made atleast 2 loaves a week and they last about 10

    • I imagine my kids will finish off the first loaf in minutes, too! 🙂

  • Ourblk73

    try with pistachio pudding, or chocolate pudding, yummmm

  • Donna

    Thank you!  I was just thinking the other day I’d love to make this yummy bread again, but I never had the recipe for the Starter!  Thanks so much!  Merry Christmas!  🙂

  • Sam Kidd

    T his takes too long for me to fool with.

  • Swan

    I’ve made this many times. And yeah you are right about what to do with all these starters. lol It is really good bread.Ourblk73 is right those pudding flavors are really good.!!!. Happy Holidays to you and everyone else. :).

    • I can’t wait to try the pudding variations! I think I will be gifting a lot of bread this Xmas! Happy holidays to you, too!

  • Timemepc1

    Thank u for this starter. It says try one of these recipes near the end. But I don’t see those recipes. Am I missing it

  • Tina

    My mom makes this bread all the time…in many different flavors, it is the bomb!!!!

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