Friendship Bread

Have you heard of Friendship Bread, or Amish Friendship Bread?

I had heard about it a few years ago, but didn’t really know what it was.
Recently a friend of mine gave me a gallon sized bag with a mixture in it.
It was the magic ingredients to make Amish Friendship Bread.
Every time I think of this bread it really does warm my heart, to have such great friends.
Since I can’t stop by all you homes and give you a bag to start, I will tell you how you can do it. Even without a friend giving you a the starter bag.
Start with
1package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
Mix yeast and warm water and let sit ten minutes. Then add it to a gallon size bag with the flour, sugar, and milk. Mix thoroughly. That is you starter. The instructions are as follows. (this is a sourdough sweet bread starter) This is the only time you will need to use active dry yeast, unless you give all your starters away.
Day 1 is the day you make your starter or the day you split you starter and begin again.
Day 2 squish and mix the bag
Day 3 squish and mix the bag
Day 4 squish and mix the bag
Day 5 squish and mix the bag
Day 6 Add to the bag 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, seal. Mix and squish the bag.
Day 7 squish and mix the bag
Day 8 squish and mix the bag
Day 9 squish and mix the bag
Day 10 BAKING DAY. Mix and divide the starter and prepare to bake.
*note,  open the bags periodically to release the build up of air.Pour the bags contents into a large bowl. Add 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups milk, 1 ½ cups  sugar. Measure out 4 separate batches of the starter. each in a Gallon ziploc bag.  Each receiving one cup. One bag is for you to keep so that you may begin again. Give the other three to friends with a copy of these instructions.
The remaining mix in the bowl is what you will be baking with add to it
3 eggs
½ cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups flour
Grease two loaf pans. * Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour. After baking allow bread to cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack. It’s so hard to wait until it’s cooled. That delicious cinnamon sugar smell has been filling the kitchen for an hour, so go ahead and have it warm!
By keeping a starter for yourself you will be baking every 10 days. You can wrap and freeze the loaves. The starter is also freezable, I prefer to freeze it on day 10 as then when thawed, iit’s ready to be added to, then split and baked.
You can give the starter with a loaf of bread if you can bare to part with one.
*For the Cinnamon Sugar Bread add:
2 teaspoons cinnamon to batter. Mix 3 tablespoons cinnamon with 3 tablespoons sugar and spread into greased loaf pans, After putting batter in pans, dust top with cinnamon sugar.
I changed the recipe from what was given to me seeing as it called for instant vanilla pudding mix and I figured if this was really from the Amish, they would not be using such an item. I baked it both ways and really did prefer it without it. Besides who want to prepare something for 10 days from scratch and add packaged ingredient that doesn’t need to be there.

I made other flavor combinations of this recipe and will be sharing them with you as well. I left the recipe above for a basic sweet bread.

Printable Amish Friendship Bread Instructions

I did want to mention, I did freeze some starter bags on day 10 instead of baking them, to see  how it would bake up, and the results were great. I wouldn’t freeze it on an earlier day, the yeast will not have grown enough and I tried it and it didn’t rise as nicely. Should I even let you in on how many bags I have in my freezer now…hmmm why don’t you guess. I figured anytime I want some delicious sweet bread, I’ll just take a bag out of the freezer. Thaw it and have some in no time at all.

I baked a batch from the frozen bag of starter with very good luck. The starters I created from that, I froze a couple and baked one. I am looking forward to seeing how it will be after the starter is frozen again. Looks like it time to get more out and bake.

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  1. 1


    Diane, I love that you have the recipe, how to start it, and the whole thing. I had a funny experience with trying to do this with my Mom one time. Your bread looks extra toasty and delish!

  2. 4

    Paula says

    The friendship bread looks great Diane and I must say, you do have patience. I don’t know if I could wait 10 days from start to finish to bake this.

  3. 6

    Angie--Bigbearswife says

    I LOVE Amish Friendship Bread! I got a starter recipe from a lady at the military base we use to live at, and we make it all the time! it is soooo good!

  4. 7


    The bread looks wonderful. I should give it a try one day. It’s just that the 10 day waiting seems like such a long time for someone as impatient as I am :-)
    Thanks for sharing!
    p.s. Love your site, so many beautiful recipes.

    • 8

      Diane says

      I am very impatient and thought it wasn’t going to be worth it, but it really did become a fun project. Everyone I shared a starter with sincerely thanked me for our friendship and that was probably the best part and the yummy bread :)

  5. 11


    It looks perfect and I wish I had a slice right now! I haven’t made this in years since a friend gave it to me and need to make a starter now. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 15


    THANK YOU!!!

    I was given a starter for this a few years ago, and I would make the bread every 10 days or so, for a long time. We loved it. Then I got sick of it.

    Recently I was craving it. But I didn’t have a starter.

    I am making a bag asap!!

    I also love that you shared you can freeze it! SCORE! Thanks so so much!!

    • 16

      Diane says

      you are so welcome. A lot of people have said they used to make it and it’s sure is great to bring back the the oldies but goodies!

      I did just go back and add a bit more about the frozen starter, I some how left a part out.

  7. 20

    Pam says

    I’m kind of curious if I managed to screw this up. I made the starter, went through the steps for the 10 days and made the cinnamon bread (which everyone loved by the way!!!!!)

    I followed the directions and took out 4 cups before baking to pass out to friends or keep. My question is that the one that I kept for myself, should I have added a cup of sugar, flour and milk to it right away on what would have been considered day 1? There isn’t as much stuff in the bag as there was the first time. Figure the first time on day 1 (when I made the starter) the bag had 3 cups of stuff in it, 1 cup each of sugar, flour and milk. The second time on day 1 the bag only had 1 cup of stuff in it, the starter from before. So should I have added more flour sugar and milk right away?

    I hope what I am trying to ask is clear. Thanks for your help and all the great recipes!!!

    • 21

      Diane says

      No, there will be one cup of starter in each bag and you add to it on day 6. It gives the yeast time to grow, then on day 6 you are feeding it to grow more.
      Day 1 is the day you split it. (you have one cup)yes I know that when you start the process the first time, there is more. I did not try it with1/2 cup each for the starter, I’m sure it could be done, I just never had to begin again. I check my instructions to make sure it was there :) Day one says it the day you start making it, or slit it,I know it can be confusing.
      I did update it to say that if there isn’t much yeast growing to add a tablespoon on day 3. The bags should be puffing up and you can smell the yeast :)
      I hope that clarified it for you, you are doing it right :)

  8. 22

    Pam says

    I just thought I would share my results for the second time I made friendship bread. Instead of giving away the starter I just baked extra bread. I figured out that If I were to give away starter I am left with 1 1/2 cups of starter. So I baked three separate batches of bread using 1 1/2 cups of starter each time and that left me with one batch (1 cup) of starter to start again.

    I took it to work again and it was hard for everyone to pick their favorite. One batch was the cinnamon bread that Diane posted. The second batch was banana bread. I just added 1 1/2 ripe bananas and 1 tsp vanilla. The last batch was lemon. I omitted the vanilla and added 1 oz of lemon juice and 9 grams of grated lemon rind.

    I’m having fun coming up with different combinations. I know years ago when I made the friendship bread using the instant pudding I had made pistachio with pistachio nuts in it, lemon coconut and butterscotch.

    I’d love to hear about other combinations that have been created!!

  9. 23

    sophistimom says

    I COMPLETELY agree with you on the instant pudding thing. Every time someone gives me a friendship bread starter with the pudding in the recipe, I toss it.

    You’re right, why would I ever want to make something from scratch, only to add crap to my food?? I don’t eat instant pudding with all its preservatives and artificial flavorings, why on earth would I put it in something I’ve baked??

    So glad you made this recipe.


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