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Amish Friendship Bread

Ode to thee, Amish Friendship Bread!  O whisper your sweet nothings to me, you darling lump of sourdough goodness.  Thou art a lot of trouble disguised in an innocent Ziploc bag with delicate bubbles.  Nay!  I shall not fall for thee this year, evil tempter!  O but how is one to resist such charm?

See?  You are now aching for a slice, nay the whole loaf — to bathe in butter and sink your teeth into.  Who was I kidding?  I could not begin to let the holidays pass without my beloved friendship bread.

Keeping the spirit of friendship bread is especially important in today’s world.  We are an instant gratification society and we need a subtle reminder that the best things in life must be waited for, worked toward, and carefully tended to — just like the sweetest of friendships.

The Sweet Sourdough Starter

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package active dry yeast (if you buy it in bulk: 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
  1. Measure the water in a glass measuring cup and add the yeast.  Stir.  Wait until it foams (about 8-10 minutes)
  2. In a glass mixing bowl, stir the flour and sugar together.  Slowly blend in the yeast water and the warm milk.
  3. Cover loosely with a towel and leave it at room temperature until it begins bubbling like crazy.  Then pour it into a Ziploc bag and stick it in the fridge for the night.
  4. After a full 24 hours, squeeze the bag a few times to stir the contents and then put it back in the fridge.  Do that each day for three days.
  5. After the three days have passed, remove 2 cups of starter to make some Amish Friendship Bread after you replenish the starter by stirring in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.  Let it sit at room temperature while you make the bread and then stick it back in the fridge.
  6. Follow Steps 4-5 and repeat as often as you would like.

NOTE: The starter may be frozen for later use — just thaw at room temperature and enjoy.

Now for the Amish Friendship Bread… the pound cake and coffee cake hybrid that will send you into sensory overload.  Yes, and while were talking about overload — don’t worry about sending starter to everyone you know.  This is not meant to be an edible chain letter but simply an inexpensive way to let your friends and family know that they are loved.

  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup starter (very full cup — possibly a little more than a cup)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4   teaspoon salt
  • 1/2   teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup rasins, craisins, or chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional…. could use mashed banana, pumpkin, or something else)

Mix dry ingredients and then add eggs, starter, and oil.  Mix well, stir in add-ins, and pour into two well greased loaf pans and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

Send a link to this post to ten of your friends in the next hour and your every wish will come true.  Sorry,  I just had to say it.  I couldn’t resist.

Want some great gift ideas and tutorials?  Check out our Handmade Holiday.  Lonely without goats or curious about how our adoption is going?  It’s all at your fingertips!

  • CC - I tried making this last year, but it didn’t work out so well. I wonder what I did wrong 🙁

    Great pics though!ReplyCancel

  • Simple Livin' gal - I’ve never had a problem with the original recipe (above) though I once tried a version that uses instant pudding which spelled disaster. Try to original and see how you fare.


  • Rosa - Oh, that’s a lovely cake! So fluffy… I like the “packaging”!



  • Lynnie - I’ve been thinking of adding a starter to the Christmas baskets we are putting together for our family this year. I’ll try this! I’ve never actually done a pass-it-on bread before. Quite a few years ago I was given a starter and thought it looked goopy and weird and threw it away! Silly me! I had no idea it would have made a very delicious bread!ReplyCancel

  • Jana - OH YUM!! I always have loved Amish Friendship Bread when I have gotten a starter from a friend, however, I never knew how to start a new one! Lacy, you are such a blessing, in more ways than one!ReplyCancel

  • kerry - i remember years ago (like 20!) my boyfriend’s mother gave us some friendship bread and some starter. i remember thinking how good it was and we made it probably half a dozen times before we just stopped making it for some reason. i think it’s time to start it up again. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Julie at Elisharose - I’ve never made this bread. It looks yummy. I’ve also never started my own starter. That might be fun to try. I’ve only gotten it from friends. I don’t currently have any. It might be time.ReplyCancel

  • CrossView - I’ve never made it. But I’ve eaten it. And I’m good at it, too! YUM!ReplyCancel

  • mojavi at Simple Things - can this just make sour dough bread too?
    can you do a recipie for just bread?ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - Ooooh, now there you go again, Lacy! Tempting my diet…it’s all your sweet fault I can’t lose any weight! That looks good! I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks for the recipe!


  • Dawn - You are so funny with the ‘send to 10 friends…’ line. It looks like a wonderful recipe. I hope one day I can eat yeast products without a bunch of side effects. I need to use my skills and education to come up with a yeast free starter; but it always comes down to time. Keep reminding me; I will be more likely to do it.ReplyCancel

  • Paul Camilli - Hi Lacy n Josh,

    Well after almost a year of visiting your blog I’ve finally seen the youtube clips and all of your pics thanks to our new satellite broadband connection. Shall be visiting more often and taking notes.

    Love from us all, Paul and familyReplyCancel

  • Barb - Hey my Dear Lacy! Sorry it’s been a bit since I’ve been to see you! You know..Life happens.
    I didn’t realize anyone still made this??? I’ve had it for years, used to make it all the time. I love it! So does the family!
    Hope you’ve had a great weekend, so now I need to go to your other posts for the past few days and see what my Dearest Lacy has been doing! You haven’t posted another chapter in that book for me to miss, have you?
    Many Many Hugs!
    Momma BarbReplyCancel

  • HeatherJ - Okay, your tempting friend here… try this recipe with a half a bag of cinnamon chips found in the chocolate chip aisle. Oh… and those cinnamon chips become creamy morsels of wicked delight when slathered with melty warm butter on top.
    Amish friendship bread wasn’t so friendly to my butt.

  • tipper - I’ve had it before-delicious!!ReplyCancel

  • shelli - My goodness you have a lot of readers! Must be the great writing huh?

    I like this bread, though I don’t like sourdough bread, weird I know. Kaitlin brought us back a loaf of sourdough from San Francisco, and it was tasty, well for sourdough.

    I really want to learn how to make artisan breads, but haven’t really attempted to learn. I want a wood fired bread oven to bake the loaves in first. I will have to see what I can do in my icky old regular oven or I may never learn!

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving.ReplyCancel

  • Kath - Its been awhile since I had any of starter around. We would make pound cakes, pancakes, muffins, etc. out of it. What else do you all do with your starter?

    I dont know where I have all those recipes anymore. Havent seen them in years. If I find them I will be sure to send them your way!ReplyCancel

  • gingela5 - That looks absolutely delicious! I have never ever tried to make homemade bread. I should probably suck it up and give it a shot.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I LOVE that Bread. Once my Irish Setter ate the bag while it was on the counter.. BRAT

    Happy Tuesday!ReplyCancel

  • Fishing Guy - Lacy: I love fresh bread, maybe a little to much. My dad use to have to have bread with every meal. Bread is the staff of life.ReplyCancel

  • Lynnie - Lacy, I gave you an award on my blog a few days ago and never got around to letting you know! We have been sooooooo busy here, like everyone else! I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog. I also found some great new blogs to read from your blogroll post a couple weeks ago! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Leah - That does look yummy! I’ve never really cared for sourdough breads though. I’m a strange one, I know. lol

    I’ve posted a very interesting look on the makeup blog today I think you might like to take a peek at. =)

    I hope you are having a good Thanksgiving week my friend! *hugs*ReplyCancel

  • YDavis - Happy Thanksgiving to you and Josh!ReplyCancel

  • Michele - Lacy, Lacy, Lacy!
    I really am sorry but I can’t make this kind of commitment to bread, The boys eat it so fast that there is no satisfaction to me. Plus, I’d rather be painting pictures that you post on your site.

    BTW, I started another one. Yes, it is good but I’ve decided to change it a bit. I hope you don’t mind. It will be more impressionistic than any thing I’ve ever done. It is usurping the turkey this year, JR & the boys will probably rebel. I’m a vegetarian what do I care and the boys will eat anything.

    I hope you and Josh have a wonderful Holiday season.

    I’m going to be on the Southern East coast in 2009. I’d love to meet with you. I might even have a painting for you (blatant bribery).


  • Jennifer - Happy Thanksgiving !

    May you and your Family have a Super Supper!!

    God Bless!!!!


    P.S. Thank you for the lovely E-Card
    You ROCKReplyCancel

  • CrossView - Happy Birthday! I’m guessing it’s soon? Or did I miss it? =/

    I was wondering where you were. Glad you’re back!

    I got the book Tuesday evening (we’re at the tail end of the postal route) and I haven’t had a chance to start it. But I already have a line formed waiting to read it after me. LOL!

    Many, many, thanks! =DReplyCancel

  • Ang - Gobble, Gobble & a Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    The e-card was really sweet! Thank you for thinking of me.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - It’s your b-day here in Oz, so Happy 25th, kid!ReplyCancel

  • Christina - Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • Laura-Jane - Whimfield - Yummy!!! I love bread and baked goods.. Lacy, you inspire me to cook!ReplyCancel

  • Applie - I use to make Amish Bread a lot. Haven’t done so in years. It is really good. I like the crust the best. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Robin - Happy birthday to you!

    Happy birthday to you!

    Happy birthday dear Lacy!!!

    Happy birthday to you!

    I hope that you have had the most wonderful birthday EVER!!


  • Shelli - Thank you for the card Lacy. It was very thoughtful. I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

    Oh and I see I missed your birthday. Happy Belated Birthday!ReplyCancel

  • Farmchick - I had forgotten about the bread. Thanks for reminding me…I love it!!! Stop in and visit me soon!ReplyCancel

  • farm mom - I have a love hate relationship with this stuff. I’ve run out of people to pawn it on!! My freezer’s full, and it just keeps multiplying!!! So I’m in the process of drying it (will post soon) and I’ll be sending it out in the world!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ann - I can practically SMELL it over here! Oh how I love the smell of fresh, warm bread. So cozy.ReplyCancel

  • Libby Miller - Lacy, did anyone answer if you could make sourdough bread from the Amish bread starter?? I have several bags of starter in my freezer to use up. I dried apples with cinnamon and sugar on them and crushed them and added them with apple pie spice to the starter for bread. It was superb!!ReplyCancel

  • Elisa - I’ve made this before many years ago. One question — do you take out the 2 cups for your recipe before or after you replenish the starter? I seem to remember that you take the 2 C. before you replenish but your instructions seem to indicate that you replenish first.ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - I’ve been making the bread since October – every ten days. I just end up with 1 cup left of starter – I modified the measurements to do so. So I get 3 large loaves every ten days and only one starter. Then I don’t have to worry about finding others to take a start and I only have to worry about 1. However, mine is a little different. I also spray the pans with pan spray then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture, then the top. If you want my recipe which has been going around the State for years, send me an email.ReplyCancel

  • Angie - remove 2 cups of starter to make some Amish Friendship Bread after you replenish the starter

    Now the way this is worded i should get my 2 cups AFTER i add to the starter??? Do i add then take or do i take then add??? I REALLY want to make this cannot wait!! I LOVE(i wish i had bigger caps!) your blog!!ReplyCancel

  • Linda - I have received the starter before and loved having it. I never knew how to start one though, thanks for sharing. I was always told to leave it out of refrigerator, and let air out and sqeeze the bag every few days.
    Maybe after I finish canning green beans and freezing purple hull peas, and whatever else we get from the garden, I will start a new one.
    Thanks again.ReplyCancel

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