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Amish Friendship Bread

One of the most delicious quick bread recipes you’ll ever make and even better, it’s made to pass along to your friends! Amish friendship bread is a little cinnamon sugary, a lot moist and fluffy, and it truly is my favorite thing ever.

YOU GUYS!! This is a big deal!!! Amish Friendship Bread is pretty much my childhood wrapped up in bread form. I’m so excited that I can’t hardly stand it!! 

One year when I was in elementary school my mom’s friend dropped off a nasty, gooey looking ziploc bag with a scratch of paper full of instructions. My mom was quick to put me in charge of following the steps each day which consisted of smooshing the bag around in my little hands and occasionally adding ingredients here and there. All week I’d follow the instructions day by day until it was finally time to turn the bag of goo into a loaf of bread. 

a photo of a loaf of baked amish friendship bread topped with cinnamon and sugar and half of the loaf cut into thick slices.

Share the Love

The best part was obviously in the eating of the bread but pretty darn close to that was that we got to separate some starter out to all of our friends and invite them to create bread of their own! The only chain I’ve ever participated in (why did we ever think we would die if we didn’t forward an email within 20 minutes?!) is this bread chain and I think it made me into the sharer of food that I am. 

Until we lost the recipe. 

And then life ended and I became Eeyore. I had to google how to spell that. 😉 For years I’d ask everyone if they had ever enjoyed friendship bread or had a recipe but no one did. A while back I got home from a meeting and discovered that my darling friend, Brooklyn had dropped off the infamous loaf and I immediately demanded, ahem, asked for the recipe. 

Brooklyn is the sweetest, loveliest friend ever and my goodness, I could not be more grateful for how happy she always is. But today I’m mostly grateful that she sent me the recipe and I’m so sorry but I already forgot which website it was found on, but my goodness, thank you!!!

This is the best loaf you’ll ever make. Mark my words.

What is Amish Friendship Bread?

It is a type of quick bread made from a sourdough starter that you share with neighbors and friends similar to the chain letters we used to do back in the day. You feed the starter for 10 days and then make a beautiful loaf of cinnamon sugar bread and then share the starter and bread with friends who then do the same thing and share it with friends and so on and so on. You get the picture!

Your neighbors will either love you or go running when they see you coming with another bag of starter! We will walk you through all the steps of feeding the starter, to baking the bread, to sharing it with friends.

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Amish Friendship Bread?

Okay, this ingredients list is going to be divided into two parts…the ingredients you’ll need to make and feed the starter and the ingredients you’ll need 10 days later to make the bread. This is what you will need:

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

  • Warm Water – 110°-115°F is the perfect temp for activating the yeast
  • Yeast – I prefer instant yeast.
  • Flour – just regular ol’ all purpose
  • Sugar
  • Milk – preferably 2% but you can use what you have

You will follow the directions below for feeding this start over a 10 day period before making the bread loaves.

Amish Friendship Bread

  • Amish Starter
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Cinnamon Sugar

The measurements for each ingredient for the starter and the bread can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a photo of a stack of three amish friendship bread slices sitting on a wire cooling rack.

How to Make Amish Friendship Bread

Ok, up front a bread that takes 10 days to make will probably will send most people running, but stick with me here! The best things take time and care, and this is the perfect project for teaching a child to take care of something for 10 days. Most days only require some mooshing and squishing the starter. All the steps and information can be found in our free Amish Friendship Bread Printable.

For the Bread Starter

Let’s start with the steps for the starter…

  1. Measure out the warm water in a glass measuring cup and sprinkle the yeast on top as well as a pinch of sugar. Allow the yeast to activate.
  2. Mix the flour and sugar in a large glass bowl. Stir in the milk and then the yeast mixture.
  3. When the mixture is bubbly, pour it into a gallon size ziplock and seal it.
  4. Leave it on the counter at room temperature and follow the 10 day schedule below (I like to write the schedule on the bag):
    • Day 1: Making the starter counts as day 1.
    • Day 2: Mash the bag.
    • Day 3: Mash the bag.
    • Day 4: Mash the bag.
    • Day 5: Mash the bag.
    • Day 6: Add 1 cup each of flour, sugar and milk. Mash the bag until it is mixed well.
    • Day 7: Mash the bag.
    • Day 8: Mash the bag.
    • Day 9: Mash the bag.
    • Day 10: Pour the starter into a glass bowl. Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup 2% milk. Mix it together well with a wooden spoon.
  5. From here, you will divide up the starter. Some of the starter will be used to make loaves of bread and the rest will be divided to share with friends.
    • Use 1 cup of the starter to make the bread.
    • With the rest of the start, measure out 1 cup portions and put them into ziplock bags. The rest of the starter should be enough for 2-3 bags of starter to share. These will go back to day 1 of the schedule. Print off the Amish Friendship Bread Printable to give to your friends with the starter.

For the Bread

If you choose to keep some of the starter for yourself (which I highly recommend! So yum!), you’ll need to add a few ingredients and an hour of baking. Here are the basic steps for the bread:

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well and folding it so you don’t toughen the bread.
  3. Spray your bread loaf pans with cooking spray and dust the pans with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  4. Pour half the batter into each pan and sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Bake.
  6. Let the bread cool and then serve.

All of these instructions for both the starter and the bread can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post and in the Amish Friendship Bread Printable.

a photo of a stack of slices of amish friendship bread with someone's hand grabbing the top slice from the stack.

Can You Freeze Amish Friendship Bread?

You can freeze both the starter and the baked the bread. If you freeze the starter, it will last for years in the freezer. Stick it in the freezer and write the date on the bag. When you are ready to use it, pull it out the freezer and set it on the counter to come to room temperature. This will count as day 1.

If you want to freeze the baked bread, let it cool completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

If you’re craving a moist cinnamon sugary quick bread that is full of love, then Amish friendship bread is what you need! It’s all about community and connection which I think we all could use a little more of these days. Take a bag of starter to a friend with a loaf of delicious bread and printed instructions. It will start a wave of giving in your neighborhood!

More Delicious Quick Bread Recipes:

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a photo of a loaf of baked amish friendship bread topped with cinnamon and sugar and half of the loaf cut into thick slices.

Amish Friendship Bread

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Prepping Starter: 10 days
Total Time: 10 days 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 2 loaves

Ingredients

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

  • 1/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons Yeast
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup 2% Milk

Amish Friendship Bread

  • 1 Cup Amish Starter
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup 2% Milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Instant Vanilla Pudding 3.4 ounce boxes
  • 1/2 Cup Cinnamon Sugar

Instructions

For the Starter

  • Pour the warm water into a small glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the water along with a pinch of sugar. Let this stand for 5-8 minutes to allow it to dissolve.
  • In a larger glass bowl (or plastic bowl), mix together the flour and sugar. Stir in the milk and then the yeast mixture.
  • Once the mixture is bubbly, pour it into a gallon-size ziploc plastic bag and seal. Set aside on the counter. Do not refrigerate. Allow the sourdough mixture to sit out at room temperature.
  • Write the schedule in marker on the bag.
    This counts as Day 1.
  • Day 2: Mash the bag.
  • Day 3: Mash the bag.
  • Day 4: Mash the bag.
  • Day 5: Mash the bag.
  • Day 6: Add 1 cup of flour, sugar and milk. Mash the bag until it is mixed well.
  • Day 7: Mash the bag.
  • Day 8: Mash the bag.
  • Day 9: Mash the bag.
  • Day 10: Pour the sourdough into a glass (or other nonmetal) bowl. Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup 2% milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Divide out 1 cup portions of the starter, placing each one-cup portion in separate ziploc plastic bags.
  • You’ll get about 3-4 bags. Seal the bags, and give the starter away to friends along with the instructions, keeping one for yourself if desired. The starter then goes back to Day 1.

For the Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well, folding so as to not toughen the bread.
  • Spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray. Dust the greased pans with half of this cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the batter.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until the a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Cool and serve!
Nutrition Facts
Amish Friendship Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 loaf)
Calories 2954 Calories from Fat 1098
% Daily Value*
Fat 122g188%
Saturated Fat 94g588%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 260mg87%
Sodium 1065mg46%
Potassium 1024mg29%
Carbohydrates 438g146%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 262g291%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 543IU11%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 458mg46%
Iron 11mg61%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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a photo of a stack of slices of amish friendship bread with someone's hand grabbing the top slice from the stack.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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6 comments

  • Hi! So I started this recipe yesterday, day 1. This morning the ziplock bag was enormous, about to explode! When I opened it to release the air/gas it kinda did! Is this normal? I’m worrie I’ll find my kitchen completely covered in this mix. 😲

    • Reply
    • Hi Marina! This is very normal, gasses are produced in the starter. Just burp the bag and it should be fine.

      • Reply
  • I have a question ;). I started this friendship bread yesterday ( day 1). This morning, the zip lock bag was about to explode, and kinda did when I released the buildup of air/ gas… is this normal? I’m concerned I’m gonna wake and find this batter all over the kitchen 😳

    • Reply
  • Can this starter be used to make other breads or muffins? I want to make the starter! I had a starter years back that was used in friendship muffins but lost the recipe. I need more ideas for the use of this starter. Thanks 😊

    • Reply

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