Moms and daughters, don your aprons for friendship month! What better way to celebrate friendship than to share an old fashioned loaf of Amish Friendship Bread.
I was fresh out of college when I was first gifted with the starter for Amish Friendship Bread, and I can still recall the sweet bread loaded with raisins and nuts and topped with cinnamon-sugar yum. (It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.) Amish Friendship Bread is an old-fashioned way to send a little package of happy to your friends, neighbors and shut-ins.
This recipe does come with a warning . . . after a couple of batches you will probably be friendship bread finished. It’s okay to call it quits. Someone else can start a new batch when they are ready to share the love. I remember when I finally threw out my bag of starter over 20 years ago, I was afraid that I had ended hundreds of years of Amish bread love. I hung my head in the “bakers’ hall of shame.” But, trust me, the tradition and friendship-love-fest will continue without your little bag of starter.
Go have some mother and daughter fun in the kitchen. Share some friendship bread, smiles and hugs with others. I promise you it will make someone’s day!
Amish Friendship Bread
· 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter (recipe below)
· 3 eggs
· 1 cup oil
· ½ cup milk
· 1 cup sugar
· ½ teaspoon vanilla
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 1½ teaspoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon baking soda
· 2 cups flour
· 1 large box of instant pudding (I love vanilla!)
· 1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
· 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, cherries, etc.) (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325° F
2. In a large mixing bowl, add ingredients as listed.
3. Grease two large loaf pans.
4. Dust the greased pans with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. (1/2 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon.)
5. Pour the batter evenly into loaf pans and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on the top.
6. Bake for one hour or until the bread loosens from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
7. It’s yummy! Enjoy!
Amish Friendship Bread Starter
This starter is a little like love. You give it away and still have more to give!
· 1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
· ¼ cup warm water (110° F)
· 1 cup all-purpose flour
· 1 cup white sugar
· 1 cup milk
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. In a 2-quart non-metallic bowl (use glass, ceramic or plastic) combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
3. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and the yeast mixture.
4. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until bubbly. Pour contents into a one-gallon plastic zip-bag. This is day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Follow the simple process below for the next 9 days.
Day 1: Do nothing.
Day 2: Mash the bag.
Day 3: Mash the bag.
Day 4: Mash the bag.
Day 5: Mash the bag.
Day 6: Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Mash the bag.
Day 7: Mash the bag.
Day 8: Mash the bag.
Day 9: Mash the bag.
Day 10: Complete the process and share the love.
- Pour the entire bag into a nonmetal bowl.
- Add 1½ cup flour, 1½ cup sugar, 1½ cup milk.
- Measure out equal portions of 1 cup each into 1-gallon plastic zip-bags. You should have 4-7 portions.
- Keep one bag for yourself (or go ahead and make your friendship bread), and give the other bags to friends along with the recipe.
- When you make the starter, always use non-metal bowls and utensils.
- The starter should be left at room temperature. Drape loosely with dish towel or plastic wrap. If using a plastic zip-bag, be sure to periodically let the air out of the bag.
- There are many recipes on the internet for using this starter in cakes, cookies, muffins, waffles and other baked sweets.
- You can freeze the starter after day 10.