Cooking and Food

FAQs and Recipe Additions for Amish Friendship Bread

No one has time to browse the 273 comments at my original Amish Friendship Bread post to find answers to their questions, so in an effort to put all my […]

No one has time to browse the 273 comments at my original Amish Friendship Bread post to find answers to their questions, so in an effort to put all my Amish Friendship info into one place, I spent some time yesterday copying and pasting all the best of it into this post. Read on for tantalizingly great recipe additions and helpful feedback, all from the best AFB bakers out there: my readers!

First, answers to the most commonly asked questions. Yes, you can most certainly…

  • use non-fat milk or powdered milk
  • use raw milk, just scald it slightly beforehand to inactivate some of the enzymes (thanks, Sharon!)
  • use water instead of milk (thanks, Sharon!)
  • substitute applesauce for the oil
  • use 2 or 3 eggs per batch, your bread will turn out fine, just a different consistency
  • use one large box of pudding OR two small boxes or no pudding at all, it doesn’t matter
  • use fast-rising yeast–it will not affect the outcome
  • use self-rising flour–it will not affect your outcome
  • use whole wheat flour (thanks, Sharon!)
  • no, you can’t use Splenda. Splenda is not sugar. Yeast won’t recognize it as food. Use sugar for the starter, it’s okay. Like Kombucha, the yeast eats the sugar. (thanks, Sharon!)
  • freeze your starter for up to a year (just note which day you were on when you left off, and pick it up at that same point once thawed)
  • thaw frozen starter at room temp for three hours before carrying on with recipe
  • skip a day of squishing with no problems
  • forget to add ingredients or bake EXACTLY on schedule, a day or two off won’t hurt this recipe
  • bake it in a 9×13″ pan for 35 minutes
  • bake it in a Bundt pan, not sure for this one on baking times so just watch it and use the toothpick test
  • bake it as muffins
  • bake ALL your starter by simply dividing it equally between 4 bowls then add your ingredients. Each bowl should make 1-2 loaves. Give away the baked bread and good-bye starter!

Reader’s favorite recipe additions/combos:

  • White chocolate sugar-free pudding (two small pkgs) with half a bag of white chocolate chips and a cup of dried cranberries
  • Sugar-free cheesecake pudding and butterscotch chips
  • Lemon pudding with poppyseeds, substituting lemon flavoring for vanilla (minus cinnamon-sugar topping)
  • Banana pudding, mashed banana and nuts
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries, 1 cup chopped apples, and 1 cup chopped walnuts (2 loaves worth)
  • Chocolate pudding and 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch pudding and 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • Pistachio with walnut (turns out a lovely green color!)
  • Pistachio with Marachino cherries
  • Cheesecake pudding with cranberry and walnut
  • Dried apricots, cherry craisins, and chopped almonds
  • Grated carrots, sunflower seeds, and additional spices
  • Lemon pudding with either raspberries or white chocolate chips (Lemon w/choc. chips tastes like Vanilla Wafers)
  • Blueberries with Cheesecake pudding
  • Pumpkin-spice–half a cup pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1/4-1/2 cup grated carrots or raisins
  • Savory Amish Friendship Bread – Omit cinnamon and sugar, add about 1 cup cheddar cheese and 3/4 pkg pepperoni, 1/2 flour and 1/2 cornmeal. 1 cup fresh corn. Serve with tomato sauce.
  • Make one with half the sugar and add lots of savory herbs, some ground beef and a taco seasoning mix instead of pudding. Great with spaghetti sauce.

Regular or Belgian Waffle recipe (from Erika)

  • 2 cups Starter
  • about 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. sugar (or less if you prefer less sweet)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Combine starter with enough flour for your preferred consistency. Add oil, eggs. sugar, salt and baking soda to the starter. Mix thoroughly with wooden or plastic spoon. Let the mixture rest for a little bit, maybe 10 minutes. Cook in your waffle iron. Serve with Syrup. Makes six fluffy Belgian waffles.

Website with recipes for cookies, biscuits, pancakes etc, all using Amish Friendship Bread starter

Mary’s original Amish Friendship Bread starter recipe (with all 273 comments)

Mary’s Easier Amish Friendship Bread recipe

Doesn’t it just make you want to get in on the fun? I’m on Day 6, and have BIG plans for my baking day! Please share your tips/recipe faves in comments!

118 replies on “FAQs and Recipe Additions for Amish Friendship Bread”

I’m SO glad you posted this Mary! Yesterday and today I have felt a bit better so I’m hoping that I am at the end of this morning sickness. Anyways I have felt well enough to cook dinner both nights (with meat…something that has not happened in a long time since the raw meat made me nauseous) and I can’t wait to try some of these ideas out! I will have to start a batch this week! Thank you!

Woo-hoo, I am SO glad to hear you are on the good side of morning sickness, it’s been a rough couple of months, huh!

I had a good friend and mom of 6 call this morning and ask to come have lunch and spend the day, so I went ahead and baked up all but two cups of my AFB starter for us to have as a mid-afternoon treat. It made the equivalent of 4 loaves, though I did two of them in a 9×13″ dish…turned out yummy! Two of the loaves we did the White Chocolate/Cherry (using dried cherries) and the other two we did in the dish using dried blueberries and the cheesecake pudding mix. They were both yummy! And I gave one cup of starter away to my friend and have one left for next week’s baking!

I just read your new post and sounds like you all had a wonderful day! Sounds gorgeous out there. The last few days here have been nice (the snow is melting and in the center of our yard we can actually see the grass!) so we have taken LO outside and he just LOVED it. But today was rainy and overcast.

I love the idea of using the start for waffles. Now on Sunday morning when I am craving waffles they are half done for me!

That sounds so yummy! I have always wanted to make friendship bread, but was too intimidated. But after reading this, I think I should attempt to make it!

Thanks for taking the time to compile all of this!

Julie’s last blog post..I would think so

I know, Geri, I’m craving waffles suddenly! Might have to try that on my next AFB baking day…

Yes, Julie, you should try it, it’s so simple! The only intimidating thing is trying to remember which day to bake, and even that isn’t that big of a deal, to bake a day or two early or late won’t hurt anything. πŸ™‚

I got a starter kit, I followed all the directions. When it came to the 10th day, I forgot to bake it. I am 3 days late, is it too late? Do i have to start a new kit. If not, when i bake it and add the other ingeridients and separate them, is that consider day one, or three? Help!!!

Hi Mia,
I’m sorry it took me so long to see your comment in moderation…all first time posters go in the queue, and my online time lately has been hectic and in a hurry!

I hope you went ahead and baked it, it wouldn’t have mattered…I think I covered that in the above post, I should have! Going three days over isn’t too big of a deal, especially if you continued the squishing of the bag. If it smells “off” or is a pink or orange color, then toss it. When you add the day 10 ingredients and separate and bake, those new starter kits are day 1.

Hths, and again, I apologize!


Hello Mary,

I was so happy to find your site. I teach American cooking to Japanese people living here in the States. many of my students return to Japan. I would like to give them a recipe for the Amish bread that does not use the instant pudding. Is there something else? preferably something more natural. Thank you so much!

Hi Krista,

Glad you found us here! What a fun job you have…and the answer to your Q is that the instant pudding can be omitted without affecting the outcome. I’ve never left it out, but have had others vouch that it works. Some of the puddings I’ve added haven’t seemed to add much flavor, so who knows, it might be highly overrated! πŸ˜‰

If you come up with a more natural alternative, let me know, I’ve wondered the same thing. Definitely add fruits (dried fruits or chopped fine–like apples–or mashed bananas) and substitute applesauce for the oil, things like that. You could probably use extracts for additional flavor, but that’s not natural I guess!

HTHs, have fun cooking!

Hi Mary,

Thank you for replying. I will try it without the pudding, but add extra vanilla. I’ll let you know how is works.



my daughter baked her bread about midnight and give me a starter i baked it the next night is that alright to do this???thank you

The Amish Friendship Bread is very forgiving. At first I followed directions exactly, but you can’t always be there so I tried leaving it. I have had it on the counter now for about 6 weeks, baking some from time to time, and it’s done fine. Also, I ran out of pudding and tried none and found it adds body and firmness to the bread so it crumbles less.

Sure, Pat! In fact, that’s a good way to use it all right up! I’ve often baked the whole batch up and given away the “done deal” rather than the bags of starter. One day early or late doesn’t affect this batter at all.

Thanks for chiming in Julie! I’m glad to know the perks of leaving out the pudding. It’s been a while since I’ve omitted it, admittedly, I just like playing around with the flavors too much, I guess! πŸ˜‰

Hello Mary,
I found this site from a google search for applesauce afb and just finished skimming all of the 200+ comments and am feeling a bit dazed! : { Was glad to read that the starter can be frozen for quite a while giving me a lot more freedom to have the bread and starter but not have to keep adding and giving away. I use lots of plastic bags for lunch, and hope to not have to wash more!
One thing I found about the metal utensils point by doing other net searches is that if a metal utensil is used to stir the starter but it is ‘stainless steel’, then nothing will happen to the starter. The ‘stainless’ part makes it react very little which is why is doesn’t rust or anything like that quickly, so using ss for a bowl or mixing won’t hurt anything. …unless you try to store your starter in a ss container, then something might happen! I just automatically reach for a whisk when I am mixing things up, and used one without thinking both times I’ve added to the starter. Can’t wait to try the variations including the pudding-free… since the pudding makes it stick together better, couldn’t an extra egg or two be used instead of the pudding?

Hi Charles!

Congratulations for making it through all those hundreds of comments! Lots of info there, huh! I’m always glad to hear how people find my site, so thanks for that tidbit as well!

You know with egg sizes being available in small, medium or large, or even in “beaters”…I’d bet you’re onto something. Even adding a small egg, or amount of “beaters” couldn’t hurt anything. It would be an interesting experiment. According to Julie, it makes a firmer bread to leave out the pudding, so maybe you wouldn’t need to do anything?

That’s great to know about the stainless steel! As you could see, that’s probably the most asked question, and I’ve never used metal utensils so my standard answer is basically what I’d searched out on the net.

So glad you took the time to comment, I appreciate it!

Happy Baking!

This bread is wonderful! But I have one problem, I can’t eat it or even sample it, because there’s so much sugar. Can it be substantially reduced or completely substituted with Splenda? My best friend loves it, too, but is concerned with the amount of sugar. She’s not diabetic either.

Hi Janean,

Yes, substituting with Splenda makes no difference in the outcome, though Splenda scares me more than sugar, honestly! I haven’t ever tried leaving the sugar out, but there is a natural sweetener that comes in powdered form called Stevia, you might try it. It wouldn’t take near as much though, so the consistency of the bread might be strange. The nice thing, is that with this recipe, you have a lot of starter to experiment with…if you do, please let us know how it turned out!

Wish I was more help,

Hello Janean,
I’ve made the recipe using only 1/4 cup of sugar added to the final baked ingredients along with unsweetened apple sauce instead of most of the oil, added two very ripe bananas and the result was still fairly sweet. Pudding has sugar of course… the bread was just fine, probably better than any banana bread I’ve had.
One other thing that you might want to look for and try is a sweetener called xylitol. It is a natural substance made from different plant fibers, can be used and tastes just like sucrose, and I believe it has 40% less calories. If you use a large amount you might have some digestive issues so you need to use a little at a time until your body is adjusted to it. Your dentist may actually have good info on it, or can do a google search. It can’t be used for rising with yeast since the bacteria can’t use it, but then what is good is that the bacteria found in the mouth also can’t use it to grow. I try to stay away from all artificial sweeteners, problem is many now are so strong that they are listed as ‘natural flavor’ in ingredients and you don’t know they are there.
I don’t want this to be an ad for xylitol, but you can use much less sugar in the bread and it has worked well for me.

Charles, thanks so much for sharing the above–and I’ve heard good things about xylitol, my aunt really recommends it, so it’s good to hear your testimony to it as well!

This was great info!

I posted this to the main thread earlier as a follow-up to Haley’s comment about making the bread less cake-like.

But it seems appropriate as a response to Janean’s comment about the sugar content.

I add no additional sugar to the baking ingredients—I just add the required sugar for feeding the starter. And I also don’t add any pudding mix. I do add an additional cup of flour (3 cups instead of 2) to help make up for the missing volume. Mine AFB comes out with a texture and taste that’s between a not-too-sweet coffee cake and bread. I also cut the oil down to 2/3 cup.


Have you ever tried the recipe with stawberry/banana applesauce and diced strawberries and bananas mixed in? I used vanilla pudding still too, my girls ate it with gusto! Also thank you so very much for the starter recipe, I have been looking for one for awhile! My husband sure misses AFB!!

That sounds delicious!! I’ve not tried that combo, but I’ve made strawberry bread before, and it’s wonderful…so the two together would be great!

Thanks, Shawna! I’m glad the site helped you too!

My family loves Friendship Bread but I ran out of people to give starter to and didn’t want to waste it. So I varied the recipe by only using 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and milk for each feeding (on the 5th and last days). On baking day, I scoop out 1 cup for a new starter. Then use all the remaining and double the recipe to make four loaves.

Hi Deb,
First, I’m so sorry I didn’t see this comment–normally new comments show up in the “Active Discussions” in the sidebar, and I don’t remember seeing yours! I’ve not used Splenda in the starter, but it’s supposed to be able to be used interchangeably for sugar, so give it a whirl! In the above comment, when I said that Splenda would make no difference in the outcome, I wasn’t thinking about using it in the initial starter…but in the actual quick bread–which contradicts itself if you’re staying completely away from sugar. If you do try it, please let us know how it turned out!


That’s great info! I cut the recipe in half for my Easier AFB, and suspected that I could go even smaller…it is easy to be overwhelmed with all that starter!


Another tasty variation to this is Chocolate pudding and Andies Mints…..I will enjoy trying some of the ideas listed. Yummy πŸ™‚

I just added my flour, sugar, and milk in the middle of the 10-day process, and when I opened the bag, it smelled like a strong vinegar? Is this OK???? Thanks, Lisa

Hi Lisa,
It does have a strong scent, I’ve always thought of it as a “yeasty” smell, but it does kind of resemble vinegar. Is the color okay, or is it tinted with pink or orange in the light? If it is, then toss it. But if it is still a creamy color, it’s probably fine. You could go ahead and add the ingredients and watch it. Don’t forget to burp the bag every so often. Maybe your fermenting process is just really good!

Hope it works out for you,

Any idea how all wheat flour would affect the starter? On day 10 all wheat flour was added to the starters (and the bread which baked fine). I didn’t know if that would affect the fermenting process?

Oh Janet, I don’t know how I missed this question of yours…usually I get email notifications, but I didn’t in this case. It’s way too late to answer, but I’ve never tried substituting ww flour in this recipe. So I really don’t have an answer for you! Wish I did. Did you try it?

Taylor, thanks! I hope you do come back and update! Merry Christmas!

I’ve just found this awesome FAQ after a typical google for AFB. Want to answer the one lady about the Splenda. Splenda is not sugar. Yeast won’t recognize it as food. Use sugar for the starter, it’s ok. Like Kombucha, the yeast eats the sugar.

Wheat flour is ok to use for the starter as well.

I put my starter in half gallon jars. Well, after I put it in quart jars. That was funny. The starter grew up and spilled out over the jar. Glad I put the jar in a bowl. Now I have the starters in half gallon jars with sandwich baggies on the top.

Thanks for all the good ideas and suggestions. I didn’t want to use pudding mixes (try to eat a no chemical diet).

author of First They Came for the Cows – An Activist’s Story about the fight against the takeover of food by the government.
Click through to my blog for more information and a link to a preview

HennyPenny’s last blog post..Honest to God, who is in control in the government?

Sharon!!! You are an angel for sharing this info here…those questions have been asked so many times and I’ve not had a chance to experiment, nor have I wanted to with the Splenda, as we don’t think it’s the safest way to go in sugar substitutes! I’m going to add these tips to the main body of the post…it’s wonderful to know that using WW flour doesn’t affect the outcome! I just found your comment incredibly helpful. THANKS!

Am anticipating a visit to your henwhisperer blog! I LOVE my chickens! And your book title is right up my alley! I’ve been passing around a DVD called, “The Future of Food” which covers a lot of the crop ground side of that same argument…very sad how insurmountable the whole wall of “seed company patents” has become.

Thanks again for taking time to comment, I really appreciate it!

Ok, I am actually going to do something with this beast called AFB starter today. It is really funny stuff, isn’t it? I’ve got it in a 1/2 gallon jar and it still manages to find its way up and out of the jar. You could wallpaper with it, too!

I don’t want to put milk in it either. That is because I buy raw milk and it is hard to get at this time of year. I’m putting water in rather than milk because it will work, just like making sourdough starter, which is what this really is anyway. For anyone else who uses raw milk, be sure to scald it slightly before you use it to inactivate some of the enzymes.

Now I am going to make some biscuits, but I don’t want to use oil. And, I don’t want to make it “low fat”, so I’m not going to use applesauce. Anyone know the reason they call for oil rather than melted butter? I’m going to try it and I’ll let you know how it works.


HennyPenny’s last blog post..Honest to God, who is in control in the government?


The biscuit recipe turned out pretty well. Very, very sweet. That is the result of the amount of sugar in the starter. I did use melted butter instead of the oil. Worked out fine, just as I suspected it would. The biscuits are nice and moist.

Made new batches of the starter and used water, rather than milk (see my previous comment). This morning the starter is just a vigorous as it was before, still trying to get away out of its 1/2 gallon jar prison. πŸ™‚

Have fun!


HennyPenny’s last blog post..Honest to God, who is in control in the government?

I am on my third “cycle” of this bread and I love it! I had given my neighbor a starter and she had done this before. She commented that it didn’t swell up in the bag as others had done so she threw it out. I have to say, none of mine have really blown up in the bag as it says it should but the bread tastes wonderful! It’s dense and very tasty. Is there something wrong with the starter I recieved? It does have bubbles throughout the process but I never have to let much air out of the bag at all.

Wow, Sharon! I’m going to have to try biscuits as well. I need to get another batch of this stuff on the make! Laughed at your comment that it would be great for wallpaper paste! That’s the truth! I wish I could find a source for raw milk…maybe this is the year to really hunt down a local source. I’m experimenting with Kefir currently…and would really like to use raw milk. The best milk I’m coming up with is from Braum’s. Thank you for the update on the biscuits, and for the mini-education in each of your comments! I’m loving it!

(Btw, I tried to download your first chapter, and must not have Adobe Acrobat capabilities…it wouldn’t work. It could have been the server that day too, I need to go try again!)

Suzanne, I’ve had bags that didn’t swell much at all, but the starter turned into wonderful bread. I wouldn’t worry about it. I think the weather/temp in the house affects that somewhat as well. I bet Sharon could shed some light on the subject! πŸ˜‰ If you have bubbles, and are letting even a little bit of air out of the bag, then you’re in business, IMO. It’s when you leave it for three days, forgotten, that you might have an explosion!

Hi there. I am going to check it, since I saw a comment in another site regarding \”and Recipe Additions for Amish Friendship Bread at Home-Steeped Hope\”. Someone related to diabetic chocolate pie. Thanks anyway.

Chocolate Diabetic pie… don’t know how to make that from AFB, but perhaps, as I did for a man I cooked for as his private chef, a ground nut crust, filled with diabetic chocolate pudding. Then no-sugar cool whip on the top. It’s an idea, anyway.

Back to AFB… the amount it bubbles and rises up is totally dependent on your local environment like humidity, altitude, etc. As long as it is bubbling and smelling good, it is just right.

Go ahead and move your starter into a glass jar, a half gallon Ball jar works well. I’ve covered the top of mine with a sandwich bag. When it starts to rise up, just give it a shake.

I have been turning mine in a sourdough and away from the over-sweet AFB. I’ve been adding rye blend from King Arthur’s flour, just one coffee spoonful of sugar every other time, and water, not milk. Made sourdough pancakes yesterday morning, with a nice addition of blueberries we grew here. The starter isn’t sour enough, so I’m going to keep working it.

What a fun way to while away the winter!

Check out my book. It got published on Amazon! Very exciting.

HennyPenny’s last blog post..First They Came for the Cows is available on

Congrats on your book!!! That is very exciting! I’ll pass that along to some friends I know would also be interested in your topic. So much I’m learning about Monsanto and our foods…scary stuff!

Where do you pick up half gallon jars? Lol. I’d love to have a few. Surely there are ways other than buying pickles in bulk? πŸ˜‰

Your sourdough with rye sounds SO good! I need to come hang out with you for a day, I’d learn a ton, I’m sure. Wow. Thanks for sharing here and for the diabetic pie recipe, hopefully Gonzalo subscribed to comments. If you want to send a book review my way, I’d be glad to post it on the blog to spread awareness. Really. Just shoot me an email with the body and book cover picture… Mary[@] (without the brackets)

Hi Mary! I am going to give you a blog award just as soon as I finish my blog post. It is for excellence in blogcasting. You have to pass it on. Congratulations! Go to my blog to collect it.



This page has been so helpful! Any idea how much starter there would be on day nine? My ziploc bag broke during “squishing” last night and I’d still like to try baking… Just not sure how much flour and sugar and milk to add before dividing the batter. I might just eyeball it and cross my fingers!

Hi Suzanne,
The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s very forgiving. If you didn’t lose too much when the bag broke (less than 1/2 cup?) then don’t worry about changing up your additions…it will still work just fine. Off the top of my head I can’t think of how much starter there would have been in your bag. If you were given a cup’s worth of starter and added to it on day five…just add all that up. Normally one cup is what people give away in their friendship baggies.


Hi! Great info on this webpage! Thanks for all the great ideas!
My question is, can you bake the bread in a bread machine? Just curious!


Hi Nikki,
I’m not an expert on bread machines…the one I own is practically an antique, so I don’t know the capabilities of newer machines. If your bread machine bakes quick breads (as opposed to yeast breads only) then yes, it would probably work. Again, I’ve not ever heard of a bread machine that cooks quick breads, as the whole point of owning a bread machine *used to be* to eliminate the kneading/rising/baking steps for the cook. I think it would be just as easy to pour the AFB batter in a loaf pan and stick it in the oven, personally, or make a cake out of it by using a 9×9 square dish.

Good luck with it!

Hi, I was wondering when people substitute chocolate pudding if they still leave in the cinnamon and still do the cinnamon toppping?? Thanks for this website!!!


Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for the thanks! πŸ™‚ I’d leave the cinnamon out if I were using chocolate pudding. You can sprinkle some mini-choc chips in the batter or across the top if you’d like, or nuts, or other things that you/your family like with chocolate. How about chopped maraschino cherries mixed in the batter?

But yes, the sugared topping is still delicious w/o the cinnamon!


I just made my first batch and it turned out VERY dense and heavy, fell in the center and crumbled when I took it out of the loaf pans. Any suggestions for my next batch to correct this? I am excited to try the variations, and the kids still loved the flavor, ate both “loaves” by day 3 of the new starters, but I’d love it to be more of a loaf than a pile! πŸ˜‰

Thanks in advance…

Thanks Mary! I have one more question. What is the best way to freeze the bread once it has been baked?

Hi! One of my colleagues told me that as she and her husband were gaining weight from all the baking, she cut down on feeding the yeast to slow the baking cycle. She started with about a cup, and on the appropriate days only added 1/4 cup each of milk/sugar/flour to the starter rather than the full cup. That way, she only had about a cup of starter to use at the end of 10 days cycle and another 1/2 cup or so to feed for the next 10 days. I’m keen to try it as I’ve been freezing mine in individual bags and then taking it out to use it. Thanks for the tips about the pudding, yeast, splenda and milk! I haven’t ever added the pudding, but the appleasauce substitution makes the consistency slightly spongier. Have you or anyone used the ginger bread recipe variation off the original sheet and actually been able to taste the ginger? I can’t seem to get that flavor to come out with this bread recipe, although using the equivalent amount in molasses cookies is fine??

Hi Rebecca,
Depending on how long you want to keep it in the freezer, you could get by for 2 weeks-1 month with it in a Ziplock freezer bag, or double bag it for longer storage. I recommend getting all the air out of the bag that you can…sometimes I put a straw in at the edge of the zipper closure and close the bag all the way over to the straw and then suck all the air out of the bag. It sounds kind of gross, but you’re not breathing into the bag and your mouth never touches the bag. HTHs!

Hi Jessica! Your friend has found a good way to cut this back into a more manageable amount. I’ve outlined how I do that in “Easier Amish Friendship Bread”…very similar method, but fewer ingredients. For the gingerbread, try doubling the ginger and see what you think. I can’t say as we’ve noticed a lack, but I’ve not made the gingerbread in a long time.

Good luck!

I received a starter and I used Splenda during the 10 days. I had read somewhere else that I could. I ended up with only 4 cups total of starter. I divided it in half and added the rest of the ingredients as were except I added only 1/2 cup of oil and added flour to the point of thick pancake batter. It turned out really well!!!! My kids love it and continue to ask for more. I used the whole thing b/c I didn’t want to give it away and it not work for someone else. Next time I’ll do the same thing but use one cup as the starter using regular sugar to see what happens!


Debbie, no disrespect intended, but Splenda is not sugar, as I am sure you know, and the yeast in the starter can’t use it as food. That is why you only ended up with 4 cups of starter, there was nothing for the yeast to eat. Use real sugar (but make sure that it is from cane and not beets because all sugar beets grown in this country for sugar are genetically modified), and you will have much better results.

I guess my whole thing was that I thought it wasn’t going to work at all using Splenda. I thought I would just end up with some gook or bad gook at that. I was pleasantly surprised that it ended up working. Like someone said, it is very forgiving.

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Thank you so much for the wonderful variations for Amish Friendship Bread. I found your blog by googling about the bread and YOU. I am going to try the Strawberry Bread today for my husband as a welcome home surprise. I will be checking your blog for more interesting topics in the future.

Mommy of Two, we LOVE the Strawberry Bread! It’s wonderful! So glad you enjoyed reading this Amish Friendship Bread thread. I’ve gotten so many new family faves from all the tips/variations shared here! Hope you come back often and keep commenting! ;O)

I have two starters, day 10 and ready to bake. But I do not want to be left with any starters but maybe one. Can I add all of the remaining ingredients and bake more bread rather than taking out for starters? And if I can, do I have to use more amounts of the ingredients? One final question, if I feed on day 10 but dont want to bake can I freeze it and then when I do use it add the remaining ingredients and bake when i thaw it out? Basically picking up where I left off?

Sorry if this has been addressed somewhere, I could not find it discussed. And thank you!!!

Oh Michelle, I’m sorry that my answer is coming way too late to help you out! We were out of state for vacation, and came home to a hugely busy week of helping at Vacation Bible School. This is my first time at the website in a long time. Trying to get caught up today. I hope you figured out something that worked for your starters…I’ll go ahead and answer your questions.

First, yes, you could bake all your starter into breads and be done, not keeping any starter out. You do need to add more ingredients accordingly, after you’ve measured the total amount of starter you begin with. Yes to your second Q as well, feed on day 10, freeze (make a note on your freezer bag as to the fact that you’d added day 10’s ingredients) and then whenever you want to thaw it, begin as if you were ready for baking, saving out the next round of starter. People do this all the time!

Good luck!

I just wanted to make plain white bread can you do that with this bread I made the starter and it never said that is was a sweet bread til I recieved the recipe 10 days later when it was ready to bake thanks


I have a starter and its day 8. I forgot to add the things on day 6. From what I read above I can go ahead and add today and it wont hurt it. BUT does it chnage the day? Since day 6 is add but its REALLY day 8 !! Help.. Thanks, Ange

Hi Ange, I’m sorry I got so far behind here at keeping up with comments. Hopefully my tardiness won’t affect the outcome of what you decided to do for your bread! Adding ingredients on day 8 instead of day 6 is fine. You can keep to the same ten day plan, or go 12 days if you want. It will still turn out great. Very flexible stuff, this AFB! Enjoy!

What a wonderful list you ahve provided for us here – thank you for all the hard work and for giving us so many ideas! One quick question which could have an obvious answer – you said that you can freeze the starter – is that on day one?
Thank you

Hi Shena,
Thanks! The good news, is you can successfully freeze the starter on pretty much any day of the process. Just make a “note to self” on the ziplock as to which day you were on in the process and pick up where you left off once it’s thawed.


Thanks for the great batch of information here.
This year I used dried apples that I diced in a food proccessor instead of using nuts. So far it has gone over great. And, I too modify the recipe by keeping only 1 starter and cooking the rest. I get four loaves per batch.
My question is: How long can the bread be stored after it is baked?

Thanks Again,

The dried apples sound delicious, David! I’d store the bread in the refrigerator if keeping it longer were an issue. Probably up to a week? Otherwise, freeze it and pull it out when needed. Tastes so fresh that way!

I received my starter kit on jan 12–it’s beginning date is jan 11–
been doing the steps but did not bake it on day 10 but squished it/kneaded it that day and then I was gone for a couple of days…Kneading it before i left…
i cked it today and it smells fine…and the color is still a creamy color (kneaded it some yesterday and this morning)…should i go ahead and bake it today…jan 24 or should i just start over –with a new starter sometime? WONDERING–thanks
Kathy Reynolds

Hi Kathy,

You’d be fine to go ahead and bake it up. Waiting three or so days, or on the flip side, baking 2 or 3 days early, doesn’t seem to affect the outcome much! It’s such a versatile bread!


Hi I resently recieved an AFB starter. Ive been to alot of sites and have found yours definately the most informative thank you. I woke up today (which is day 6) and really wanted to make some waffles for my kids. I think i get that I can just take a cup out and use it but only being on day six im not sure how much i have I still want to bake on day 10 and have friends who are waitin for some….. So i am wondering if I can add like 2 or three cups of flour sugar milk/water to increase my volume? can u add small amounts when u don plan on baking and then add large when you need more? And then how long ater i add more flour,sugar,milk do i have to wait to use it? if i add more on day 6 to add more volume will that mess up
“Day one” for my friends???

Hi Misty,
Thanks! I don’t have an expert, tried and true answer for you! I wish I did. I’d love to know if this works for you…it sure seems like it would, but since I haven’t tried it (taking some out to bake with and just adding more in later to make up the diff) I can’t promise success. Please let me know if it works for you, should you go ahead and give it a whirl.

I was reading your blog and love amish friendship bread. Gonna have to try the new recipe though with the diffren ingredients. I wanted to know if anyone has tried to substitue the flour for gluten free flour. I have a friend who uses glutten free flour due to an alergy. Can you use it or do you have to have flour?


I haven’t personally tried it, but I quickly googled the topic, hoping to find you some help. I figure someone, somewhere has done it, surely! Yay–looks like you can definitely substitute gluten free flour in this and have it turn out beautifully…check it out here:

By the way, could you share what gluten-free flours you might use for this? I’m wondering b/c we have friends who use Teff, Tapioca and Amaranth for a lot of their baking as they have had to go grain free to get their young diabetic son off of insulin. (It’s worked, btw!) I think they’d love to be able to have this recipe work! I know they miss their breads! (Thanks!)

Good luck with it!

Ok, I’ve read the blogs, but here’s my situation:
I made the bread and no one took any starters, so I continued the cycle and now have 4 bags on my counter that are at day 10. I DO NOT want 16 more starter bags, so how do I just bake it all?
I’ve read to omit the 1.5 c of flour, sugar, and milk on day 10, keep 1 cup for a starter, and just double the recipe. Is this correct? That would give me 16 loaves of bread, which is fine, but I want to be correct in this.

I just made a loaf of “Elvis Friendship Bread.” Mix in 2-3 mashed bananas and 15 roughly chopped mini peanut butter cups (about 1 Cup). Mix 1/4 Cup sugar with 1 tsp cocoa powder, grease the pans, then sprinkle generously with the sugar mixture before filling with batter.
This bread is super moist and doesn’t need any pudding mix. I also used applesauce instead of oil, so I don’t feel as guilty about the peanut butter cups. πŸ™‚


I am on day six of my starter for AFB and put in my “feed”. While I was squishing my bag some of the starter glopped out on the counter top. I scrapped it in to a new bag and added the old bag in and squished away. Has this happened to any one else before? Will my bread turn out alright? I saw the comments about the smell and color change so I will chuck it if this happens. Just wanting to know if I have ruined my starter and shouldn’t even waste the time backing in 4 days.


Hi all, I am loving all the great info on this site! I have made AFB in the past the then starter took over and ran us out of the house. πŸ™‚ This time I am hoping to control it a little better.

I noticed that some people had success with adding less sugar at feedings… any ideas on how much less we can add and still ‘feed’ Herman (AFB)?

Also I know people have said the sugar is ‘eaten’ during the fermentation process but people have commented on the sweetness of the final bread. I like a sweet bread as much as the next person but would like the option of making a savory bread to go with my winter stews and soups as well. Will the starter be sweet if the bread recipe doesn’t add any sugar?

Thanks for your help!

The Amish definitely use pudding mix and ziploc bags. Many people are confused with what they are allowed to do, because they think that their rules don’t make sense. I lived in Amish country, and the rules don’t make sense. I know where an Amish phone booth is. It looks like a school bus stop (little house for the kids to wait in), but I’ve seen Amish buggies parked by it, and one day an Amish lady stuck her head out while attached to a phone cord. The rules state that they can’t have a phone in their house, but they have plenty of community phones. They avoid convenience things, but this doesn’t always apply to food choices. It isn’t about healthy habits either, because I have seen Amish men smoking.

Carolynscousin, that is so interesting…I’ve gleaned a bit of that from the few “Amish” based books I’ve read. Hiring drivers, etc. The life sounds so romantic, but in reality it’s a lot of hard work, huh. I’m glad they get to use ziplock baggies! ;O)

Colleen, AFB is a little on the heavy side, but it shouldn’t be doughy. I’m not sure what to tell you. I hope you check back and see this, in future, if you click the box beneath your comment box, it says something like “notify me of future comments”, you’ll know when I reply b/c it will send a notice to your email inbox. Eventually you will want to come back and unclick/unsubscribe b/c this post gets a LOT of comments, even years old as it is! I’m sorry I don’t have any better answers for you on the heaviness and doughy issues.

What can I do so that the Amish Friendship Bread is not so heavy? I even baked the bread longer, as it seemed doughy.

I would appreciate a response to my email address, please.

I have just started my starter and I used a metal fork to mix the yeast and warm water. Will that affect the process? I used a wooden spoon after that to mix the flour, sugar and milk/yeast mixture. Help!

Hi Virginia,
I’m sorry I missed your comments here, 2 days later. I hope you just went ahead with your AFB batter. I think the metal issues come from non-stainless steel utensils…so your fork, most likely being SS, is probably okay. I think. :O) I would go ahead with it, but from now on using wooden or plastic utensils.
Hope all is well with your bread!

I just discovered a bag of starter that’s a couple of months old – I know I had taken it through the day 6 additions/feeding, but it got neglected & wound up sitting in a corner of my kitchen! Fortunately, a fairly cool corner, but still! It hasn’t turned any colors, and it still smells fine . . . do you think it’s safe to use?

Interesting that it smells fine and hasn’t changed color. I’d be scared to try it, even so! This might be your call, but I’d call it a loss and scrap it. ((Sorry!!))

Hi Lisa,
Your choice! It probably won’t matter, but I’d bake on day 11. Just to give it the right number of days to ferment…

Hope this helps!

I have four starters that are done and not in the mood to bake bread. Already have a lot of it frozen. Can I just combine all four starters together in one big container and not use it until later. If I can do this must I add anything to the combined four starters since on the day you bake your suppose to add stuff to the mix? If I can do this on day 6 would I still add just one cup of everything or have to double the amounts since it is a combined starter? Thanks so much just learning about this bread.

I have had great sucess with a variation of the AFB, White Chocolate-Cherry. Yum! Omitting cinnamon from original recipe and using 3/4t almond extract instead of vanilla. I also add 2 boxes of French Vanilla instant pudding, a 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips, a good handful of dried cherries and a can of well drained tart cherries. Last time I made muffins I decided to add 1/2C more flour since the batter was so moist. Thay came out delicious.
I do have a question about using a metal whisk. I have read that there is an acidic recation with the yeast and metal. What actually happens? Will it change the taste of my bread? I used metal to stir and all seemed fine?? Please explain, thanks!!

Mmm, Lori, that combo is one of my favorites too! Winter is the perfect time to keep the AFB on hand, isn’t it? If your metal whisk is stainless steel, then I am pretty sure it is okay to use with AFB. Other metals do have a reaction of some kind, so they are best to avoid. Hope that helps!

Have a question about freezing the bread. How long can you freeze it for? Also, when freezing a starter bag how long can it be in the freezer?

My rule of thumb for freezing the bread is 3-6 months. I’ve had folks tell me that they’ve successfully frozen the starter for up to 1 year–can you imagine? I’ve never done that, but you should be fine up to one year!

I didn’t read the first line and have refrigerated the dough for all 10 days. Today is baking day and I have put it out to get to room temp. Is it ruined or can I leave it out a couple more days and recover ingredience? Please advise ASAP

Boy, I don’t know, Debbie. I think leaving it on the counter is essential for the fermenting time period. Personally, I’d try to get another starter and try again. So sorry to have to tell you that. The ingredients are probably not ruined tho, you could sure experiment and leave them out on the counter and begin again for the next 10 days?


Yes…at least all the recipes I’ve used, or seen used, for AFB, feed the starter before baking. But I’m all for experimenting…if you decided to try it w/o feeding first, let us know how it works.


I am curious about freezing starter for an extended period of time. How would someone verify it is “OK”? I will find out within the next 2 weeks and post…

How long is an extended period of time, Ken? We have one commenter here who leaves it in for one year at a time, gets it out and bakes it up for holiday gifts…she says it works great! I’ve never left it longer than 3-5 months…

I got my bag yesterday from my sister but my husband placed it on the refrigerator over night. Can I still continue? Does the process vary in any way?

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