Amish Friendship Bread and Starter

By

Amish Friendship Bread and Starter

Amish Friendship Bread has been described as an “edible chain letter”.  The origins of it are uncertain.  One thing is certain, though: it’s delicious.

Amish Friendship Bread begins with a sourdough starter that is passed from friend to friend.  It includes the starter and complete directions for how to care for it and a recipe to make the bread.

Once you receive a start you must care for it for 10 days before you can make bread.  When day 10 comes, you make some bread for yourself and divide the starter between 2 or 3 friends.  You must take care of your starter.  Otherwise it may turn bad.  Store it in a glass or plastic container and use ONLY a wooden spoon to stir it.  You may also store it in a plastic gallon-sized zip-top bag and squish it instead of stir it.

Friendship bread gets its distinct flavor from the acids produced in the starter.  It’s a cinnamon quick bread with a crust of sugar and cinnamon on top.  The flavor is kind of hard to describe.  It’s sweet and cinnamon-y, but slightly tangy.

If you’re not fortunate enough to receive a from a friend, don’t despair.  You can make your own start.  We have a recipe and directions below.

For your convenience we have a printable version of the recipe to pass along to your friends.  You can download it here.

Amish Friendship Bread and Starter

 
 
6053904
Ingredients

For the Starter

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour (whole wheat or white)
  • 1 cup milk

For the Bread

  • 1 cup Amish friendship bread starter
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling on top
 
Instructions

For the Starter

 
Day 1: Combine all the ingredients in a zip-top bag. Close the bag and squish all the ingredients together. Consider this day 1.
 
Day 2: Squish-squash-mush the bag
 
Day 3: Squish-squash-mush the bag
 
Day 4: Squish-squash-mush the bag
 
Day 5: Squish-squash-mush the bag
 
Day 6: Add to the bag 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Squish-squash-mush the bag
 
Day 7: Squish-squash-mush the
 
Day 8: Squish-squash-mush the bag
 
Day 9: Squish-squash-mush the bag
 
Day 10: BAKING DAY! Mix and divide the starter as follows:
 
Pour entire contents of bag into a large, non-metal bowl and add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Measure out 4 separate batches of the starter, 1 cup each, into 4 separate one-gallon sized zip-top bags.
 
Keep one for yourself and give the other 3 to friends along with a copy of this recipe/instructions.

For the Bread

 
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans following this method: grease the pans with a thin layer of shortening. Add some sugar to the pan and tip it so that the sugar covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Dump out excess sugar.
 
In a large bowl, combine the Amish bread starter with oil, eggs, cups flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pans.
 
Generously sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of the batter.
 
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Take out of oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
 

Save