Easier Amish Friendship Bread

Exciting news for all the overwhelmed Amish Friendship Bread cooks out there! I’ve been experimenting…and you can make the initial starter recipe without as many ingredients…

In fact, all I did was eliminate two cups flour, two cups sugar and two cups milk from the original recipe. And, my two rules of thumb for maintaining your starter couldn’t be easier…read on.

Amish Friendship Bread–the manageable “family” version!

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk

Day 1~

  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Let stand ten minutes.
  2. In 2 quart glass, ceramic, or plastic container (remember: no metal!) combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will lump when milk is added.
  3. Slowly stir in milk and dissolved yeast mixture.
  4. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature till bubbly.

Days 2-4~

  1. Stir starter with a wooden spoon. (no metal!)

Day 5~

  1. Stir in one cup flour, one cup sugar and one cup milk.

Days 6-9~

  1. Stir starter with a wooden spoon. (no metal!)

Day 10~

  1. Stir into the starter: one cup flour, one cup sugar, and one cup milk. Now your starter is ready to bake into bread! *note: at this point you have 6 cups of starter total

Baking Instructions (notice I left out the instant pudding mix, you can put it back in if you want–one small box worth, plus any of your favorite variations, nuts, butterscotch chips, etc.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Then mix the following well:

  • 1 cup starter
  • 2/3 cup oil or applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In separate bowl combine:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine the wet and dry ingredients thoroughly. Grease two medium sized bread loaf pans well; or one large and two-three miniature pans. If desired, you could mix up some additional cinnamon and sugar and shake it into the greased pans to coat bottom and sides. Pour mix into pans. Again, if desired, shake a little cinnamon-sugar on top. Bake in the 325 degree F oven for 1 hour or till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, allow less time for the miniature pans. Cool completely before freezing.

Now, you wonder, what about the feeding schedule for my leftover starter? Simple, you can keep it all, or give a cup (or more) away making sure your friend has the recipe and that she/he knows the following info.

Maintaining what’s left: Stir each day (or squish and release the air if necessary if you’re storing it in a zip lock). Once every 8-10 days, feed your starter the requisite one cup each of flour, sugar and milk. At this same time, remove about a third of the starter and either bake bread or freeze it (thaw frozen starter at room temp and start the feed/divide process as though day one was just completed).

The goal is to keep your starter “alive” by feeding and dividing. No need to refrigerate, in fact, refrigeration might mess the process up. I’m not an expert on “refrigerating” my starter. I do know that once you have a healthy starter, you can bake the friendship bread at any point during the ten day process.

I, for one, am thrilled that I found a way to cut this recipe back and save on flour, sugar and milk! If anyone is interested, I doubled up when it was time to bake, using 2 cups of starter, etc and got 1 large loaf and 2 medium loaves of bread as a result.

Hey, anyone want any starter?

59 thoughts on “Easier Amish Friendship Bread”

  1. Thanks Ladies for all the insight. After reading all the posts, I saw this suggestion twice… cut back on the amount of “feed” but keep it within proportion. Has anyone had success wih this? I would like to keep my starter going, not have to overload my friends, and not overload my freezer. Hence… Does feeding it less really keep the starter alive at the same time as just producing less? Thanks!

  2. Dear Mary,
    I believe Landa is looking for me as I wrote about the “brothers” last year. If she still wanted to contact me, would You be so kind and give her my E-mail address!
    Thank You, Reka

  3. Can I bake Amish Friendship bread on Day 6 instead of Day 10? Should I do anything extra to the batter/starter at that point to make it come out right?

  4. It depends…are you starting your AFB from scratch this week as per the recipe above, or are you maintaining a batch from an already established starter? If you are starting from scratch, you better wait till day 10 to bake bread…but if you are feeding a starter someone passed along to you, then you are okay to speed up the process by a couple of days. I have never baked it earlier than Day 8 of the process, but you could try it. No need to add anything different, just follow the directions as if you were on Day 10. Hope this helps!

  5. Hi,
    I have a starter that I’ve made from scratch, I’m currently on day 2, but I was wondering on day 10 (since I won’t have starters to give away) if I could just take a cup for myself to bake with and freeze the left over starter until I’m ready to bake again?

  6. enjoyed reading and learning about starter. cook a lot but this is the first time I can remember doing the starter. I was concerned about the leftover bags and finding something to do with them each time. The first time I made the bread I did a triple batch and gave bread as gifts to 4-H judges but do not need this much each time. Made a batch of bread yesterday and now I am freezing and also reduced the amount of milk, flour and sugar I use to feed the starter so I will have less starter. will see how this works. Tried banana pudding and mashed banana and it was a hit with my son. Just wondering if anyone has tried using butterscotch chips and pudding?

  7. The starter I got do I really need to give it away or can I bake all the bread myself then give that away and can i bake it all the same day just have to triple the recipe

  8. Sorry I’m just now seeing this, Donna…of course you can bake all the bread up and give it away baked, yes just triple the recipe! Should work out great!

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