Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe & Printable (2024)

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Amish Friendship Bread recipe is perfect to share with friends. Now you can make your own with this Friendship bread starter recipe & free printable for giving as a gift!

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe & Printable (1)

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The other day I was looking through my past emails when I came across an email I had sent my stepmother with anAmish Friendship Bread recipe as well as a Friendship Bread starter recipe. I realized I hadn’t made any in years and years!

What is Amish friendship bread?

If you aren’t familiar, Amish Friendship Bread is a sweet bread that you make off a sourdough starter.

The starter is “fed” and kept for ten days, then divided into four portions, three of which you can gift to friends and one you use to bake the most heavenly cinnamon sugared bread! Then your friends can pass along the Amish Friendship Bread recipe to their friends and so on and so on indefinitely.

When I was newly married I would receive a starter a couple of times a year from friends and neighbors and always enjoyed it. Sometimes, though, you want to make this delicious bread and you need to create your own starter if no one you know has some on hand.

I decided to share the starter recipe with you all along with printable instructions and the Amish Friendship Bread recipe gifting sheet you can use to pass it along to friends and family.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe & Printable (2)

Starter ingredients

  • dry yeast
  • warm water
  • all-purposeflour
  • sugar
  • milk

Step by step starter

  1. Dissolve yeast int warm water and let it sit 10 minutes.
  2. Combine flour and sugar and mix well.
  3. Add milk, then yeast mixture and allow to sit until bubbly.
  4. Add starter to a plastic gallon bag.
  5. Follow the instructions on the printable. You can also use a permanent marker to write the instructions on the bag for easy reference. You will squeeze the bag daily days 2-4, feed it day 5, squeeze again days 6-9.
  6. On day 10 feed it, divide it, and make your delicious bread!

Tips for best results

  • Always use nonmetal bowls and utensils for the sourdough starter, it is acidic and can breakdown the metal
  • You can freeze Amish Friendship Bread by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and placing in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.

When I gifted this set of starter I rolled the plastic bags and put them in standard sized mason jars (with these cute red tops!) It’s important your starter doesn’t touch metal because of the chemical reaction it will cause so don’t gift in the jar without using the plastic bag!

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe & Printable (3)

Printable card for gifting

I print mine on 80lb cardstock for durability but you can easily print on standard paper as well. You could also laminate it too!


  • add chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried cranberries, butterscotch chips, raisins, etc
  • bake as muffins by reducing the baking time to 25-35 minutes
  • omit pudding mix for a slightly different flavor

Have you tried an Amish Friendship Bread recipe, there are actually quite a few variations out there. If yours is different than mine I’d love for youto share it in the comments so we can all try it!

You might also like these delicious bread recipes:

  • Apple Cinnamon Bread
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
  • Cream CheesePumpkin Bread


Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe & Printable (5)

Amish Friendship Bread and Starter Recipe

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Melissa
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
Print Recipe


Amish Friendship Bread is the perfect recipe to share with friends. Now you can make your own with this starter recipe along with a free printable for gifting starter to others!


Units Scale


  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk

For Feeding the Starter (2 feedings total)

  • 2.5 cups sugar, divided
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2.5 cups milk, divided

Friendship Bread

  • 1 cup starter
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 1.5teaspoons ground cinnamon for dusting the pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


For the Starter

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water and allow to sit ten minutes (mixture will turn frothy.)
  2. In another nonmetal bowl combine flour and sugar and mix well. Slowly stir in milk, then yeast mixture.
  3. Allow to sit until bubbly then add to a gallon plastic bag and follow the instructions on the printable, squeezing the bag once a day to stir days 2-4, feeding one cup each of sugar, flour, and milk.
  4. Squeeze again once per day days 6-9.
  5. On day 10 add 1.5 cups each sugar, flour, and milk and stir.
  6. Reserve one cup for your baking and divide the remaining starter into 3 gallon plastic bags: one to continue feeding and 2 for gifting.

For the Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease two large bread pans.
  3. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and dust greased pans with the mixture, tapping out excess into a bowl for later.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients in a large nonmetal bowl until smooth.
  5. Pour evenly in the two pans and top with remaining cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.


  • starter can be frozen to save for later, once thawed that is the new day 1
  • nutritional information is for final baked bread
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 408
  • Sugar: 32.3 g
  • Sodium: 511.6 mg
  • Fat: 16.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.2 g
  • Protein: 7.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 87.9 mg

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Melissa Riker

Melissa Riker is a recipe developer and online content creator who has been sharing kitchen-tested recipes since 2011. Her passion (other than wine and cheese!) is creating reliable, no-fail recipes for home cooks.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe & Printable (2024)


What is the difference between Amish Friendship Bread starter and sourdough starter? ›

A Herman starter or Amish Friendship Bread Starter is typically made with milk, flour, sugar and commercial yeast. A sourdough starter is generally made only of flour and water. A Herman starter will be sweeter and more mellow flavored than a sourdough starter.

Does Amish Friendship Bread starter need to be refrigerated? ›

But did you know that you can also store your Amish Friendship Bread starter in your fridge? The counter and freezer options do well because you're either maintaining it daily (counter) or stashing it away and forgetting about it (freezer).

Can I freeze Amish Friendship Bread starter? ›

Active Amish friendship starter will keep for up to three months in the freezer. "You can also pop your starter in the fridge, but you can't forget about it like you can with freezing your starter," Gee says.

What's the recipe for friendship bread? ›

In a large bowl, combine the Amish bread starter with oil, eggs, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Is making your own sourdough starter better than buying one? ›

If you are new to sourdough baking or don't have the time or inclination to make your own starter, a bought starter may be a good option. However, if you enjoy the process of creating your own starter and want more control over the fermentation process, making your own starter may be the way to go.

What is the healthiest sourdough starter? ›

Compared to whole wheat flour, rye flour is said to be the most nutrient- and amylase-dense option for a sourdough starter.

Can I leave bread starter out overnight? ›

Can I leave my starter out overnight after feeding it? Yes, if you have just fed it. Since the night is rather long, feed it in a 1:4:4 ratio so that's not over fermented by the morning. If for example you use a 1:1:1 ratio, the starter would have peaked in the middle of the night, and collapse by the morning.

How do I know if my Amish Friendship Bread starter is bad? ›

Yes, AFB starter is hardy, but it needs to be fed. If your starter turns pink or has pink splotches, throw it out. After feeding it, nothing happens. Again, every starter (and kitchen) is different so you don't want to be impatient.

Can I put sourdough starter in a Ziploc bag? ›

Just smear some fresh sourdough starter in a thin layer over a piece of parchment paper and let dry. Once dry, the starter will easily separate from the paper and can be ground up into small pieces and placed in a plastic ziplock bag. Store your starter in the freezer for as long as you like.

Why is my Amish Friendship Bread dry? ›

If too much moisture escapes, the bread could dry out. Check expiration dates and use fresh ingredients. For Amish Friendship Bread in particular, you'll want to make sure your yeast (if starting a starter from scratch), baking soda, and baking powder are fresh.

How long is Amish Friendship Bread starter good for? ›

Indefinitely unless it gets contaminated, gets too cold (so goes dormant), or isn't properly fed. As long as you keep your starter healthy, you'll never run out! Once you get a healthy starter going, consider putting some aside in the freezer (1 cup in a Ziploc bag) as a backup.

How do you store Amish Friendship Bread after baking? ›

Most of our Amish Friendship Bread recipes behave like quick breads. The loaves freeze well when wrapped in freezer wrap, foil, or freezer bags. For coffee cakes, I recommend baking and freezing them in disposable pans that can be wrapped and can go right into the freezer.

Why does my Amish Friendship Bread sink in the middle? ›

First of all, one of the most common reasons quick breads (and layer cakes as well) sink is that the pan is overfilled. If the batter reaches the top of the pan and still needs to rise, it will collapse. This heavy batter simply needs structure (aka pan sides) so it can keep climbing.

How do you give homemade bread as a gift? ›

Tie bread with long piece of twine, like you'd do with a ribbon on a christmas gift. Put a candied orange and rosemary, or other florals into the middle of the twine where it is tied. Add accompaniments to basket, and use linens to nestle everything. Decorate with seasonal items like ornaments, flowers, and greens.

What kind of bread did the pioneers make? ›

For many pioneers, sourdough bread was a taste of home that they could carry with them on their journey. The smell of sourdough bread baking in a campfire was a welcome sight and smell for pioneers, and it helped to keep their spirits up during difficult times.

Does Panera use sourdough starter? ›

While our business has expanded well beyond St. Louis since then, that same sourdough starter is still used in our iconic sourdough bread and the craft of baking bread fresh each day remains at the heart of Panera Bread.

What's the difference between sourdough and starter? ›

The starter is a mixture of flour and water that captures wild yeast and bacteria over time, creating a leavening agent for bread. On the other hand, sourdough discard refers to the portion of the starter that is removed and discarded before feeding the remaining starter during regular maintenance.

Is all bread starter the same? ›

High hydration starters have more water, making them thin and bubbly, which is great for getting that artisanal, holey texture in your bread. Low hydration starters are thicker, more like dough, and result in slightly denser bread. The kind of flour you use also matters.

Are some sourdough starters better than others? ›

Each different sourdough starter type has different properties. Depending on what kind of bread you want to bake one starter might be better than the other.

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