Mmm. Who hasn’t had a loaf of this cinnamon-sugared sweet bread? It’s one of those things that you receive with enthusiasm, and send on its way with equal enthusiasm! The constant “squishing” of baggies full of dough can feel relentless, but the look on my family’s face when they see what’s cooling on the counter…? Worth it every time!
I’ll share the from scratch starter recipe followed by the ten day instruction sheet and recipe for our favorite Amish Friendship Bread. Anything with two boxes of instant vanilla pudding has to be superb, right?(Maybe someone else can explain why it seems so “un-Amish”…I mean, honestly…ziploc baggies and instant pudding? Give me a break!)
Amish Friendship Bread Starter
Always use a wooden spoon for stirring the starter. Never use a metal spoon.
1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 cups warm milk (110 degrees F), divided
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes.
In a 2 quart glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until bubbly.
Days 2 through 4
Stir starter with a wooden spoon.
Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
Days 6 through 9
Stir starter with a spoon.
Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 or 2 cups to make your first bread, give three cups to friends along with the recipe. Store the remaining starter in a container in the refrigerator and begin the 10 day process over again.
You can also freeze this starter in 1 cup measures for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.
Yields 6 cups starter.
Amish Friendship Bread Recipe instructions
(to be given with 1 cup starter in Ziploc bag)
Once again, DO NOT use a metal spoon and DO NOT refrigerate! (Using a metal spoon or bowl or fork will have an acidic reaction with your starter)
Day 1—Do nothing day
Day 2—Squish bag
Day 3—Squish bag
Day 4—Squish bag
Day 5—Squish bag
Day 6—Squish bag
Day 7—Add to bag: 1 ½ cups each: flour, sugar, milk. Squish bag to mix.
Day 8—Squish bag and let air out.
Day 9—Squish bag and let air out.
NOTE: If you don’t let air out, the bag will explode!
Day 10—Empty contents of bag into a large mixing bowl. Add ½ cup each of flour, sugar and milk. Combine ingredients thoroughly. Pour 1 cup of this mixture into each of 3 sturdy Ziploc gallon size bags and give to friends along with a copy of this instruction sheet.
Add to the remaining mixture and mix well:
- 1 cup oil
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a separate bowl, mix the following dry ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)*.
*Optional: add 1 cup chopped nuts, or ½ cup: raisins, blueberries or chocolate chips.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly. Grease 2 large bread loaf pans well. Mix up some additional cinnamon and sugar and shake into greased loaf pans to coat bottom and sides (this is optional!). Pour mix into pans. Sprinkle extra cinnamon and sugar on top. Bake at 325 degrees F for one hour. If freezing, cool completely beforehand.
*****************EDITED TO ADD******************April 14, 2008******************
Due to the numerous comments this post has generated, I’ve compiled the best of the Q&As and reader suggested recipe variations into another blog post. FAQs and Recipe Additions for Amish Friendship Bread. So check it out, unless you feel like scrolling down hundreds of comments…then, by all means, be my guest! Happy Baking!