Escaping the Amish Friendship Bread Trap

Posted by idawrites on September 15, 2008 in Family, Food, Recipes |

A couple of weeks ago, I found this recipe for Amish Friendship Bread. I really really wanted to try it, but was a little apprehensive about finding homes for all of those starters! Well, I did it anyway. Against my better judgment, I gathered the ingredients for starting my own starter, and went to work.

It amuses me that everyone in my family is incapable of walking past the starter without “mushing the bag”. Trust me, it got plenty of mush! I admit, though, that I probably took, more like 11 or 12 days to make it and not 10. It doesn’t appear to make a difference, so no worries if you add the 2nd set of flour/sugar/milk on day 7 instead of day 6 … or mush the bag an extra day.

Seriously, I did not want to have to find 3 friends to give this starter to on Tuesday, so my diabolical mind went to work… and folks… I have defeated the ever expanding circle of starter baggies! Are you ready? Let me show you what I did….

Ingredients/What you’ll need to make the first starter: (DID THIS)

1 pk. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. warm milk
wooden spoon
non-metal bowl

To make the original starter: Soften the active dry yeast with 1/4 c. of warm water for about 10 minutes.  Stir with a wooden spoon, not metal.  In a non-metal bowl, combine 1 c. flour with 1 c. sugar.  Slowly stir in the 1c. of warm milk and the dissolved yeast.  Cover loosely and let stand.  Mixture will become bubbly.  This would be considered Day 1.
Day 2, pour into a gallon ziplock bag.  Mush the bag.
Day 3 – Mush the bag.
Day 4 – Mush the bag.
Day 5 – Mush the bag. (starting to see a pattern here?)
Day 6 – Add 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, and 1 c. milk.  Mush the bag. (OOPS… DID THIS ON DAY SEVEN)
Day 7 – Mush the bag.
Day 8 – Mush the bag.
Day 9 – Mush the bag.
Day 10 – Pour the mixture into a non-metal bowl.  Mix with a wooden or plastic spoon.  Add 1 1/2 c. flour, 1 1/2 c. sugar, and 1 1/2 c. milk.  (THIS WAS PROBABLY DAY 12)

Measure out 4 “starters” of 1 cup each into the gallon ziplocks.  (DID NOT DO THIS… instead, I did this….)

Measure out 1 cup of starter into 1 gallon zipper sealed bag. Divide the rest of the batter into 2 batches… amazingly enough, both batches are 3 cups exactly! Those other 3 starters are exactly enough to double the batch! So, I weighed the options… 4 starters on my counter… or 4 loaves of yummy bread.

Date the bags.  Keep one for yourself and give three away with a copy of the recipe.  For the copy you give to friends, just make Days 1 and 2 and mush the bag, and use these directions for the rest. Now my friends don’t want to choke me! After this, you use the mixture left to bake bread.

Add to the remaining mixture the following: (Double this recipe and ENJOY!)

3 eggs
1 c. oil
1/2 c. milk
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
1 large box instant vanilla pudding mix (didn’t have any, so I added a 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of corn starch to each batch)

Grease two large loaf pans, and in a separate bowl mix 1/2 c. sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  Use this mixture to dust the greased pans and pour in the batter evenly between the two pans.  Sprinkle the remainder of the mixture on top of the bread.  Pop in the oven and bake at 325 for 1 hour.  Cool about ten minutes until the bread loosens from the pan, and pop out.

I’ll be making these loaves to freeze for Christmas gifts. Every 10 days, I’ll make a double batch. Give 1 loaf to the family (so they don’t disown me… and so they’ll keep mushing the bag!!!) and freeze the rest. This will make a nice addition to my other baking and candy making for the holidays.


  • Jules says:

    I did the Amish Friendship bread for several months with great success. After awhile it did get tiresome keeping up with the starter. A bread starter is, after all, another pet in the house. It just needs a little less care and feeding than the dog.
    It is YUMMY bread though.

  • Sandy says:

    I have also made this into muffins. It is easier to put into lunches for work. My sister gave me a starter but didn’t want
    to use it at the time. So I put it into the freezer and it doesn’t freeze solid. She told me this works instead of having to find
    others who want the starter.

  • Barb Pople says:

    So glad I found your site. My daughter wanted a starter of her own, so I have 2 bags going and no more takers. This way I can make extra loaves for the freezer and upcoming events where 2 loaves isn’t enough.
    Also, unbleached flour and organic milk or buttermilk helps keep the starter working more actively, for me, after several rounds.
    I’ve tried adding apples and raisins and more spices to mine and will pass on recipe when I get it to my satisfaction.

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