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If you’ve ever been given a bag full of **Amish Friendship Bread Starter** and weren’t sure what to do with it, you’re in the right place. I’m sharing all my secrets to baking this fun, quick, and easy sweet bread. I’m answering all your Amish Friendship Bread questions.

Learn how to make Amish Friendship Bread Starter as well as the basic sweet cinnamon bread. Then, you can try other recipes with this sourdough starter too!

Originally published 2013. Updated July 2020.

*Note: This post is an updated version of my original tutorial.*

**Q: ****Melissa…my family loves** the sweet sour dough bread, we use it for so many things. I used to have the Amish Starter but it died when we went out of town, can you tell me how to make a new starter?? My family loved that bread!!!

– Heather

**A: I love my Amish Friendship Bread Starter. It is extremely versatile.** However, most people who have heard of Amish Friendship Bread are only familiar with the Sweet Cinnamon Bread that is typically made with the starter. You can do so much more!

## How to Make Amish Friendship Bread & Starter

**I have been making this bread off and on for years.** I like to make small loves of the Cinnamon Bread to give to friends and church members. It is often requested by those who have received a loaf! A recent favorite is my Blueberry Muffin recipe. My daughter Laura *loves* these muffins! I make a number of different recipes with the starter and I will be sharing some of these recipes with you during the upcoming weeks – so stay tuned!

**I received my first batch of the starter several years ago from a lady in town who had been making the bread.** I had tasted it and requested the starter. Typically, if you receive the starter from a friend, you will get your starter in a gallon size baggie along with a piece of paper with the instructions for maintaining your starter by feeding it every 5 days and the recipe for making the bread every 10 days.

**Since that first batch I have experimented quite a bit with the recipe** and the starter and have learned a lot about Amish Friendship Bread that your friends will never tell you – because they don’t know!

**First of all, sourdough starters are very forgiving.** If you forget to feed your starter on day 5 (according to the instructions) don’t fret! Your starter is not doomed for failure. Just go ahead and feed the starter and keep going.

**Many times, as in Heather’s case, a starter dies out** because you go on vacation or you are simply tired of making the bread and want to take a break. *This does not need to happen!* Simply write on your baggie the date and the day you were on (i.e. Day 6) and put it in the freezer. Pick up where you left off when you thaw it out.

**I bake with my Amish Friendship Bread on Sundays** and Fridays because those are my baking days. You’ll notice that that is not exactly how the directions given in the instructions. It still works beautifully and I am able to bake bread on *my schedule*.

**In order to make each of the recipes I will be sharing over the next few weeks,** you will need to keep the following starter alive by feeding and nurturing it. Feeding the starter is a 10 day process and takes very little time each day.

Thank you for your real world tips on the starter! Your wise words were just what I needed to reclaim my confidence with this fun, old fashioned recipe. – Nichole

**Here are the instructions:**

## Amish Friendship Bread Sourdough Starter

For the Amish Friendship Bread Starter recipe, you’ll need:

- active dry yeast
- warm water
- sugar
- vinegar
- salt
- flour
- milk

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Place all ingredients into a large bowl and stir until mixture is creamy. This can be a covered bowl or a gallon size zipper bag. You can cover your bowl with plastic wrap or with a tea towel like I did.

**If you are using a zipper bag**you will mush the ingredients around instead of stirring. Also, if the bag gets air in it, please let the air out or it will eventually pop.

**Let the mixture stand in a warm place to ferment for 2 days.** It will bubble and have a pleasant sour odor. After the second day, you start your Friendship Bread. You should have 1 cup of starter.

**Do not refrigerate the starter;** you want to leave it out on the kitchen counter. Keeping it in the fridge will slow down the growth of yeast and you will not get the desired results from this starter. However, if you need to take a break from the starter (i.e. your going on vacation) you can freeze the starter. Thaw and start over where you left off.

**Remember, do not use a metal bowl or spoon at anytime during this process or on baking day.**

**Take your 1 cup of starter: Day 1, 2, 3, and 4 – stir each day.**

**Day 5, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir well.**

**Day 6,7,8, and 9 – stir each day.** On day 10 add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir and put 1 cup of mixture in another container. This will be your starter that you keep going. Tomorrow you will begin this process over. Put a lid on the container or use a gallon size zipper bag.

**If you have two friends to give some of the starter,**take 1 cup each and put into gallon size zipper bags to give away.**If you only take out 1 cup of starter to save for the next batch,**you will have enough starter left to make 4 loaves of the basic Sweet Cinnamon Bread.**If you take out your starter and the two starters for your friends,**you will only have enough left over to make 2 loaves of your quick sweet bread.

**Should you forget to feed the starter or miss a day or two** because you weren’t able to bake the bread on day 10, don’t fret! I have actually gone several days without baking the bread and it works fine. My hectic schedule does not always permit me to bake bread “on schedule.”

**If you do not have a friend to share the starter with,** bake a double batch of bread or other sourdough recipes or throw the starter out, or place it in the freezer to use at a later date.

**Don’t feel like you have the keep three starters going.**There is no way to keep up with that much starter and baking!

**Print the Amish Friendship Bread Start Recipe out, and then keep reading for more tips, tricks, secrets, plus the Basic Sweet Cinnamon Bread recipe!**

## Amish Friendship Bread Starter

### Ingredients

- 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 oz. warm water
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup milk

#### Each time you feed your starter, you'll need:

- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup milk

### Instructions

- Dissolve yeast in warm water. Place all ingredients into a large bowl and stir until mixture is creamy. This can be a covered bowl or a gallon size zipper bag. You can cover your bowl with plastic wrap or with a tea towel like I did.
- If you are using a zipper bag you will mush the ingredients around instead of stirring. Also, if the bag gets air in it, please let the air out or it will eventually pop.
- Let the mixture stand in a warm place to ferment for 2 days. It will bubble and have a pleasant sour odor. After the second day, you start your Friendship Bread. You should have 1 cup of starter.
- Do not refrigerate the starter; you want to leave it out on the kitchen counter. Keeping it in the fridge will slow down the growth of yeast and you will not get the desired results from this starter. However, if you need to take a break from the starter (i.e. your going on vacation) you can freeze the starter. Thaw and start over where you left off.
- Remember, do not use a metal bowl or spoon at anytime during this process or on baking day.
- Take your 1 cup of starter: Day 1, 2, 3, and 4 – stir each day.
- Day 5, add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir well.
- Day 6,7,8, and 9 – stir each day. On day 10 add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Stir and put 1 cup of mixture in another container. This will be your starter that you keep going. Tomorrow you will begin this process over. Put a lid on the container or use a gallon size zipper bag.
- It's baking day!

### Notes

- If you have two friends to give some of the starter, take 1 cup each and put into gallon size zipper bags to give away.
- If you only take out 1 cup of starter to save for the next batch, you will have enough starter left to make 4 loaves of the basic Sweet Cinnamon Bread.
- If you take out your starter and the two starters for your friends, you will only have enough left over to make 2 loaves of your quick sweet bread.
- Should you forget to feed the starter or miss a day or two because you weren’t able to bake the bread on day 10, don’t fret! I have actually gone several days without baking the bread and it works fine. My hectic schedule does not always permit me to bake bread “on schedule.”
- If you do not have a friend to share the starter with, bake a double batch of bread or other sourdough recipes or throw the starter out, or place it in the freezer to use at a later date.
- Don’t feel like you have the keep three starters going. There is no way to keep up with it!
- And, are you ready for my ONE BEST SECRET? You do NOT have to feed your started a full cup of each flour, sugar, and milk. Instead, you can feed your starter 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/3 cup sugar, leaving you with 2/3 less starter on baking day.

## Amish Friendship Bread Secret

**And, are you ready for my ONE BEST SECRET?**

- You do NOT have to feed your started a full cup of each flour, sugar, and milk. Instead, you can feed your starter 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/3 cup sugar, leaving you with 2/3 less starter on baking day.

**I know you love me now!** 😉

This means you don’t *have *to find a friend to gift the starter with – unless you want to. And when a friend asks you for some starter – and they will when you gift a loaf of the bread – you can feed your starter more so you have extra to share.

## Amish Friendship Bread: Basic Sweet Cinnamon Bread

*For this Amish Friendship Bread recipe, you will need*:

- oil
- milk
- vanilla
- eggs
- sugar
- baking soda
- baking powder
- salt
- flour
- cinnamon

You’ll preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients together well. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.

Bake for 20 minutes and sprinkle the tops of the bread with cinnamon sugar generously.

Continue baking for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown or until a cake tester comes out clean.

**Note**: If you have 4 cups of starter simply double the recipe.

## Sweet Cinnamon Bread

This is the basic and most popular Sweet Cinnamon Bread recipe using the Amish Friendship Bread starter.

### Ingredients

#### To the 2 cups of starter you will add the following:

- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup oil

#### Topping

- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar

### Instructions

- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Mix all ingredients together well.
- Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.
- Bake for 20 minutes and sprinkle the tops of the bread with cinnamon sugar generously.
- Continue baking for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- If you have 4 cups of starter simply double the recipe.

#### Nutrition Information:

#### Yield:

12#### Serving Size:

1*Amount Per Serving:*Calories: 365Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 4g

## Tips to Remember:

- Do not use a metal bowl or spoon.
- You can keep the starter in a gallon size baggie or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Many recipes you’ll find online for this bread call for instant pudding. You do not have to use pudding. I rarely use it. I don’t think it’s very healthy and it doesn’t seem very “Amish” to me.
- You can share the starter, or use the extra starter to make different recipes for your week’s bread supply.
- If you miss a day or two, it doesn’t really matter.
- You can bake the bread more often than every 10 days if you want. Just be sure to feed your starter before baking and leave enough starter {1 cup} in your bowl to feed for next time.
- You can feed your starter smaller amounts: 1/3 cup each of flour, sugar, and milk, resulting in 2/3 less batter on baking day.

## Other Recipes Using the Starter

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