Kitchen Tip Tuesday recipes

Friendship Bread

April 7, 2008

I like to think of this as Facebook for the Amish.  But it takes 10 days before you can add more friends.

Friendship Bread is made from a starter, and by the time you make the bread 10 days later, you have 3 bread starters to pass along to friends. I was given a starter a few weeks ago, and we had fun making and eating the bread. Be warned, though, it’s very sweet!

Supposedly, only the Amish know the recipe for the starter. However, one of them must have posted it here, because this is the starter recipe that goes along with the exact bread recipe that I have. I’m also wondering if they really use instant pudding mix. 🙂

Here’s the bread recipe, after you have the starter:

DO NOT use any type of metal spoons or bowl for mixing and DO NOT refrigerate the batter. It is normal for batter to rise, bubble, and ferment. If air gets in the bag, just let it out.

  • Days 1-5: Mush the bag
  • Day 6: Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk; mush the bag to mix
  • Days 7-9 Mush the bag
  • Day 10: Make the bread:

Pour contents into bowl and add:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup milk

Mix well, then measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into gallon plastic storage bags. (Keep one bag for yourself and give to 3 friends along with a copy of this recipe.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To the remaining batter in the bowl add:

  • 1 cup oil (or substitute with applesauce)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

Grease 2 large loaf pans or pans for 2 dozen muffins. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour for loaves and 30 minutes for muffins.

Options: add 1 cup nuts or raisins; for sugar topping, mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with half this mixture, then sprinkle evenly over batter.

This is a fun bread to make with kids, as kids of any age can “mush” the batter. Even infants. 🙂 This is from waaay back when Hana Kate was only 7 weeks old. Yeah, 2 weeks ago.

They’ll also probably enjoy the “anticipation,” though 10 days might become a bit long for them!.

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  • Sonshine April 8, 2008 at 11:22 am

    We love friendship bread here! I have that recipe too! Did you know that you can freeze the batter?? I didn’t have enough friends the last time I made some so I divided it up into 1 cup portions and put in the freezer. It has worked like a charm being able to pull out some for making into bread or starting another big batch! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • excessivemastication April 8, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Oh wow, my good friend’s family is PA Dutch so I’m wondering if he might also have a recipe for this, and whether it matches. Have you ever heard of “PA Noodles”? It’s something similar to Beef Stroganoff, but with ground beef. It’s yummy despite being gray…incredibly gray, haha.

  • Jones April 8, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I just tasted some and IT’S WONDERFUL.

  • Nicole April 8, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I have never had this but have an odd fascination with the Amish so I may have to try it. I wonder if I could adjust it to use glutten free flour and rice milk though to fit my daughter’s diet.

  • candace April 8, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks, I always wanted to have the starter recipe!

  • Texastanya April 9, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Ha! I was just thinking last night, how I’d like to start a Friendship Cake/Bread to share with family and friends. Thanks so much. And you have great timing! 🙂

  • Cindy April 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Hi–thanks for the link to the starter recipe! I was thinking of looking it up for myself, but haven’t yet. 🙂 Oh, I was hoping that someone might know if you can FREEZE the starter? I have a ton–not enough friends, I guess. 🙂

    I make my “bread” in a bundt pan and add some chocolate chips and chopped nuts–yummy!


  • Athena April 10, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. It’s been a long time since anyone shared their friendship batter with me. 🙂

    Love your blog.


  • James April 10, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I got a starter kit 2 weeks ago from my pastor’s wife and I faithfully and successfully took good care of it – until day 10. If for some reason, any of you out there forget to feed and divide the starter on day 10 – there is still hope! If you forget to feed it and just start throwing in all the baking ingredients, here’s what to do: add an extra cup of flour. If you don’t have pudding, try a cup of powdered milk. And of course, don’t forget the big handfuls of whatever you have in the cupboard (in my case, shredded coconut and chocolate chips). One last reminder, don’t cook on Preheat; cook on Bake.

    I learned a very important lesson – don’t bake when you’re busy doing other things late at night!

  • keren April 10, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Ha! James–I didn’t realize that this was you at first! You have excellent kitchen tips. 🙂 Thanks for the “hope”–actually mine took a little longer. Daniel kept wondering when the bags of smelly, mushy stuff were going to turn into bread!

  • april April 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for posting the link to a starter, mine “died” when we went to Florida and I have been saving the last loaf in the freezer. Now I can make more! I love this bread, you can add different extras to get a different tasting bread. The baked loaves freeze well so they are great to save for special occasions and give as gifts(also thank to Sonshine on the tip you can freeze the batter!)

  • Leisel April 25, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    I had this a few months ago, but nobody I knew wanted any… they hated how the starter multiplied. One of these days, I’m going to sit down and figure out how to make it so that I can end up with 1 starter or 2 starters when all is said and done, so that the recipient can decide if they just want to keep it going for themselves, or if it’s a good time to pass it along to friends. I think options are all that my friends would need to make this something they enjoyed instead of something that scared them.

  • tomHess May 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I too received the AFB recipe and starter from a friend (oddly enough), but after looking at the recipe and noting how much sugar it called for, I started wondering what would happen if I went totally off the reservation and treated the starter as if it were a traditional sourdough… so I went about making an everyday-sandwich bread, using Alton Brown’s “I’m Just Here For More Food” as a guide to the basic principles.

    I knew that it had already been fed quite a bit of sugar, and so I kept feeding it as per the instructions, but began weaning it off the sugar (3/4 C. instead of a full cup) at the halfway point.

    My first loaves (50% AP/50% bread flour) were tasty and only slightly sweet in contrast to the sour component. Light yellow color, fair crumb if a bit dense (which probably has nothing to do with the starter). Quite edible sandwich loaves…

    I kept on feeding the remainder starter less sugar (1/2 C.), and got a more balanced flavor, so I may hold it there, but it’s still getting milk instead of water (I use 2%). I’m still working on getting a better rise w/o collapse, but that’s another story. The point is, it is possible to use the Amish starter for something other than AFB. Experimentation!