Amish Friendship Bread Starter

I had been given some of this bread starter by my friend Stacey a while ago…and at the time, I doubted if it really had originated with the Amish. One word to the wise…if something says “Amish”…it usually “ain’t.” The Amish don’t advertise themselves…not for furniture, quilts, or food. Part of that humility thing!

But I did find this recipe in the Sugarcreek Budget. One thing for sure, it is a delicious dessert bread recipe and fun to share. For a while, anyway. 🙂 Pretty soon, your friends will start to duck when they see you coming with a ziploc bag of dough in your hands!

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

1 cup flour
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm water

Mix ingredients and pour into one gallon Ziploc bag. Put in warm place (85 degrees) overnight. Follow instructions for bread.

Amish Friendship Bread

*Do not use any type of metal bowl
*Do not refrigerate
*If air gets into bag, let it out
*It is not unusual for the bag to rise, bubble and ferment

Day 1 — Do nothing
Day 2, 3, 4, and 5 — Mush the bag
Day 6 – add 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, then mush the bag
Day 7 and 8 — Mush the bag
Day 9 – Mush the bag, then pour entire contents into a non-metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup milk and 1 1/2 cups sugar and stir well.
Measure out 4-1 cup starters into separate 1 gallon Ziploc bags. Keep a starter for yourself and give the other three away to friends along with a copy of the following recipe.

To the remaining batter left in the bowl add:

3 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 2 cups flour, 1 cup oil, 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt 1 – 3.4 ounce pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix.
Mix additional 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Dust two greased loaf pans with half of this mixture. Pour patter evenly into loaf pans and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake one hour at 325 degrees. Cool until the bread loosens from the pans evenly, about 10 minutes. Turn out on a serving dish. Best when eaten warm.

Source: Ina Hershberger, Greensburg, Kentucky, The Budget, 12/23/09

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Administrator says:

    This is very tasty bread. A friend of mine gave me a starter bag years ago. At the time i was a busy mom and just baked the bread…not realizing you are supposed to share it. there must be a good lesson in that 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Laura Wrede
    National Women's Ministry Writer

  2. Suzanne says:

    Laura…that is hilarious! I'm just picturing you with loaf after loaf after loaf, bags of dough all over the kitchen…running out of sugar and milk and flour! So funny! ~Suzanne

  3. Denise Miller Holmes says:

    Suzanne, I got the same picture you did, only for myself. What will I do with all that starter dough? I have busy friends, I don't think they'll want it. BUT I want the bread. I wonder if it is a sin to throw the starter dough away? Will I be forgiven if it is? 😀