This is my grandmother’s recipe for Amish Friendship Bread and it brings back great memories! Making it is simple and I even show you how to make the starter.
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. We made a lot of our own foods, including bread. I remember getting flour everywhere and kneading for what seemed like hours. Then one day my grandmother brought home a jar of goo. That goo was a starter for Amish Friendship Bread.
Making Amish Friendship Bread Starter
If you’re lucky enough and can get some starter from a friend, this will greatly speed up the process. Making your own starter is easy, but can take 10 days to get going. You will need:
- 3 cups flour
- 3 cups milk
- 0.25 ounces dry yeast (usually one packet)
- ¼ cup warm water, around 110°F
- 3 cups sugar
Dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit for 10 minutes. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast.
In a large bowl, mix one cup of sugar and one cup of flour. Mix thoroughly or you’ll end up with glue when adding the liquid.
Add one cup milk and the yeast mixture and stir well. The mixture will start to get bubbly. Cover loosely and push to the back of the counter. Leave alone until the next day.
Stir well and recover. Leave alone until the next day.
Add one cup flour, one cup milk, and one cup sugar. Stir well and leave alone until the next day.
Stir well, then leave alone until the next day.
Add the last cup of milk, sugar, and flour. Mix well. You should have a lot at this point!
Pull out one cup to make Amish friendship bread (see the following recipe) and give 2 cups to friends. Don’t forget to include the recipe! Any remaining starter can be used right away, stored in the refrigerator for a week or so, or used to start a new starter.
Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
Yield 2 loaves
Now it's time to make the bread! The recipe can be varied, but this is the one my grandmother used.
- 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
- 2/3 cup oil (you can use any oil, I like coconut)
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour (I use half white flour and half whole wheat)
- 1 cup sugar (find pure, organic cane sugar here)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon (find organic ground cinnamon here)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (find pure baking soda here)
- 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder (find aluminum-free baking powder here)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (make your own, or find organic vanilla here)
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Grease two loaf pans and pour mixture into the pans.
- Bake at 350°F for about 60 minutes.
- Check the center with a toothpick to see if it's done.
- Serve warm with butter.
This bread is softer and doesn't hold well in the toaster, but will toast in a toaster oven.
I've also added raisins and coconut for a delicious twist. You can add oatmeal for a heartier bread, but it will need more moisture, so increase the liquid to include 1/4 cup milk.
I've also seen recipes that call for peaches or plums. This time of the year I'm thinking apples would be perfect! The variations are endless. My grandmother only made the traditional bread, but I can imagine she would have loved any of these additions.
Notes on The Sugar
I know some people don’t want to add the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. In the starter, the bulk of the sugar is processed by the yeast. Once the starter is complete, it will make over 100 servings and each only has 5 grams of sugar. That’s less than most yogurt!
I haven’t tried this recipe with other sugar-type sweeteners like honey or molasses, but I think it would work. You may need to decrease the liquid some.
The starter recipe won’t work with sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. You need sugar to feed the yeast. But these sweeteners would work in the final recipe.
Have you made Amish Friendship Bread? Tell us about it!