Not-so-Amish Friendship Bread Instructions

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My sister-in-law brought by an Amish friendship bread starter the other day. Reading over the instructions, I decided to tweak the instructions just a little. Enjoy!

Amish Friendship Bread

Don’t use metal spoons or bowls for mixing. Don’t refrigerate the starter unless you’re lazy or forgetful. Then you can refrigerate it. Just mush it when you remember it. It’s supposed to bubble and ferment, but be sure to let the air out of the bag; it might pop.

Day 1: Accept the starter. Say thank you. Put it on the counter. Glance at the instructions, pretending to be interested. Begin plotting who you’ll foist this on next week.

Day 2: Mush the bag.

Day 3: Squish the bag. Think about who would actually accept this.

Day 4: Let your toddler mush the bag.

Day 5: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Oh and guess what? Mush the bag.

Day 6: If you forgot to add that stuff yesterday, do it today. And mush the bag.

Day 7: Squeeze the bag repeatedly.

Day 8: Remember that you only have two days to figure out who to give the starters to. Panic. Beat the bag to vent your aggressions.

Day 9: Mash the bag. Make a list of all your friends within driving distance. Call two of them to ask if they’d like friendship bread. Sense their hesitation. Decide not to call anyone else and just drop in bearing ‘gifts.’ Go get gallon zipper bags if you’re running low and photocopy the instructions.

Day 10: Mix and divide the starter. Pour the contents of the bag into a bowl (remember non metal) adding 1.5 c flour, 1.5 c sugar and 1.5 c milk. Mix (though, if you’re on a roll, you could certainly try pouring all these into the bag and . . . you know, mushing it). Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into 4 gallon zipper bags. Write the date on the bags. Look at your list of friends again. Pick the three or four you can afford to lose if necessary. Give them the bags later. Heck, you could even ease their ‘burden’ by giving them the bags on day four. Or five. Or nine. Don’t forget to include the instructions.

With the remaining batter in the bowl, make bread. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Add
3 eggs
1 c oil (or 0.5 c oil and 0.5 c applesauce)
0.5 c milk
1 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
1.75 to 2 c flour
1 large box instant pudding mix (any flavor. Very Amish, yes?)

Grease 2 large loaf pans and divide mixture. Bake 55-60 minutes. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar over the top before or after baking.

If you keep a starter bag for yourself, you must be a glutton for punishment. Or you need the stress relief of four seconds of squishing a somewhat viscous liquid. Maybe you should get a bag of honey instead. But, hey, you could have fresh Amish bread every 10 days. And continue forcing the starters on your friends. Until you run out of friends.

Only the Amish know how to create a starter bag, but apparently they got on Allrecipes. If you give away all your starters, you’ll have to wait until someone gives you one back. But I’m sure your friends would be eager to return the favor if you’d like one.

Experiment with bananas, raisins, nuts and other mix-ins (I saw a comment on Allrecipes that said they added crushed pineapple and coconut) and other flavors of pudding mix.

After the stress of baking and probably losing your daily four seconds of stress relief, it’s probably time to sit down with your loaves of Amish bread and eat them both in a single sitting.

It can’t be fattening if it’s Amish, right?

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134 thoughts on “Not-so-Amish Friendship Bread Instructions

  1. No, not at all. It’s not hard. Can I mail you a starter? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I used half brown sugar (half white) and butterscotch pudding, with brown sugar on top. I haven’t decided what I think of it, but I’m trying to tell myself they’re caramel cake to see if that makes a difference.

  2. I loe AMish friendship bread. What I did was split it into the 4 baggies and put them in the freezer until I wanted a batch. It was breaking the rules, but it works just fine. When I was down to the last baggie, I then repeated the 10 day process and put the 4 baggies into the freezer at the end.

  3. @childlife—LOL. I’ll leave that to the expert ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Christy—I wanted to do that but I had all these visions of endlessly multiplying gallon bags ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Did you just not add all the ingredients to the starter on day 5 or 10 or did you start giving them away after that?

  4. That’s awesome! I’ve actually never received a starter from anyone, but your comments seem wonderfully accurate. :)

    It’s not bread, but I’m having a pie recipe contest for my step daughter. We have to make pies for FFA fundraiser in march and I’m looking for recipes. If you’ve got a good one please stop by and share it.


  5. I tried Amish friendship bread–and it made my husband and I sick. Twice. So we threw the whole thing out.

  6. Ryan and I ate one piece each. Out of two loaves. I have all the starter bags, which are ready to make new loaves, sitting on the counter still. One actually ‘popped’ the other day. A bit of a mess…

  7. Can you send a starter through the mail to someone? If so, how long/far do you think you could send it without pushing your luck? Thanks!

  8. Absolutely! Do you want one ๐Ÿ˜‰ ?

    It depends a lot on the weather, of course. If it’s really hot, I would guess three days would be the max. If it’s colder, probably as long as a week.

  9. Hi! I just received a bag from a friend yesterday and am so excited about it! I want to try your not-so-Amish friendship bread recipe soon!

    I am wondering if you have ever sent the starter to someone else through mail (like how do you package it and if you send it through regular mail,) since I want to share it with my mother who’s at another state. Please let me know, thanks :)

  10. I had someone give me this for Easter. I loved the bread and so did my husband! I’m not being a friend and I’m going to freeze my four bags and make it for a party (what a great idea!)

  11. I make 4 breads at a time and keep one bag of starter (saves electricity and time). Most of my friends want the bread but not the starter. I wrap three of the breads and put them in the freezer to eat later or give away. Every 10 days I bake. It works great.

  12. I’ve received baggies several times over the years and this is the first one I’ve followed through on. It’s baking as I type. I’m hoping for the best–my starter exploded in its bag around day 8. Fortunately, my brother had warned me about this, so I had the bag in another bag. I did lose a little in the process, so hope it doesn’t mess things up too bad.

    I must confess, I only saved two starters. Nice to hear I can take a chance on freezing it though! I may be able to dump…umm, generously share…one starter, but have already been asked not to share by several people!

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I got a bag of starter from a “friend” and then on day 9 lost the instructions she gave me. I found a bunch of versions on the web, but yours was a) the funniest and almost as important b) is closest to what I remember of my printed version.

    I haven’t tried the bread yet, so I don’t know if I like it, but if I do, I will probably use some of the suggestions from the commenters

  14. I received a starter bag at work from a coworker. I was thinking about this, and was wondering if this is really safe b/c it’s old milk being passed on from person to person?? Wouldn’t you think it would make more people sick? It is tasty though…

  15. I don’t have a copier but do have a printer so I was being lazy and searched online to see if someone else had done the work for me. I like your version MUCH better than the one my neighbor foisted… errr, generously shared with me. My bread is baking now… it smells good and I didn’t have any exploding bags so it’s all good. Thanks!

  16. I made Amish Friendship bread on the 16th of August. The bread was a big hit. But I have three starter bags left and lost track of the days. My question does it really matter if I do day 6 today? or are those three bags of starter spoiled?


  17. seriously…..has anyone ever died from this?….One of my employees gave me a starter today, just wondering if she is trying to kill me…?

  18. Hey, you make all this sound too hard! I make this bread for market every week and it’s our hotest item. No, it doesn’t matter if you do things exactly on the correct day. I do mine for 14 days, feeding it on day 7. That way my baking day comes on the same day each week. I keep two starters going, feeding one and baking one each week. I used all of it in baking except for enough for the next starter. Needless to say I double and sometimes triple the starter batch to make enough to meet the demand. And this thing of squishing a baggie and worrying about it exploding – forget the baggie. I mix mine in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover it with “Press ‘n’ Seal” (or could be plastic wrap). Then I stir it with a silicon whisk. This is much easier to mix and add ingredients. I also add salt and increase the cinnamon a bit.

  19. I’m trying to figure out how to stop multiplying my starters every 10 days. Are you saying that I can use HALF of the starter after adding the 1 cup each flour/sugar/milk to bake a regular sized loaf with the normal amount of ingredients and save the other half as a starter? will that work? Won’t it throw the amounts off?

  20. I received a starter a week ago. I want to know if I have to add the ingredients to start up 4 more starters. I don’t have anyone to give the starters to. I just want to make the bread. Can I cheat and skip that step? Has anyone ever done this?

  21. @Michelle—I think you can keep a starter going by adding two tablespoons each of milk, sugar and flour on day ten, then taking out a cup of starter before making your loaf.

    @Tisha—I think you can skip adding material to your starter just before you bake it if you just want to end it, or do the above to keep it going without multiplying it.

  22. Thank you!! I’ve been trying to cut down on my starters… You’re right, you run out of friends quickly as
    they pass the starters on.. I have 6 starters in my freezer so I just have to stop it all until I want
    to make the bread again. I have two starters fermenting as we speak so that means I can make 4 loaves and
    be done with it…for now… My daughter’s friends call it ‘crack’ and it really is habit forming…but a great
    gift for the holidays.

  23. To bake more loaves and keep only one bag going, dip out only one cup of glop instead of 4. The glop left is roughly the amount needed to bake a double batch of bread. (I figured this out by weighing the stuff after adding the milk, sugar and flour on baking day, and doing some math) This way you can give away lots of yummy bread and not lose friends. I bake mini loaves and the double recipe makes around 12 of them.

  24. OK I cheated. I took 4 starters up to day 5 – added the 5th day ingredients then FROZE them all!! I pulled one from the freezer on Sunday and called Monday Day 6. The starter is acting exactly as it is supposed to (fermenting and all) and I’ll be making bread on Friday (Day 10). The way to make the bread without making starters is to just add the bread ingredients (not the 1.5 cups of flour, sugar and milk first)…go directly to make the bread..I tried that last time and my daughter said it was the best ever!! Have Fun :)

  25. the longer it ferments the better. Try filling the loaf pans the night before and leave out on the counter. Bake next morning real EARLY. I get up at 5:30 am for work. Won’t have any trouble waking up the rest of the house, if the wonderful sweet cinammony smell doesn’t roust them up first. Of course, Breakfast is READY!!!

    Hey, one thing , whats with all this I don’t wanna share stuff??? Its FRIENDSHIP BREAD !!! PEOPLE. give it up! for the good of the cause!
    The aroma is intoxicating.

  26. Diane- thanks so much! i have been looking everywhere for recipes that could omit the ingredients to make more starters…i baked my first batch yesterday and have four starters, and no one to give them to!

    i plan on getting them all to day five, freezing three and keeping one to make more. this way once i get down to my last frozen one, i can make it as the original recipe states and do it all over again. my family loves it and i can’t wait to make all kinds of variations. :)

  27. ok, I have already added the 1.5 cups of milk, flour and sugar…but before I baked (was going to do that tonight) today my bag exploded and leaked everywhere…so I have no idea what the baggy minus 4 cups for friends leaves you… so that you use ‘the rest of the bag’ with all the other ingredients to make your 2 loaves…HOW MUCH do I use to make the loaves and what do I do NOW!!!!?????

    please someone email me…

  28. Can I take the “give away” starters an just add days 5 and 10 indgredients to it and bake it the same day or is it better to wait a day?

  29. Why are some of you guys bags expolding? Didn’t you read the part about if air gets in to the bag, let it out?

  30. this is basically a sourdough starter, so if you handle it correctly (don’t let it get too hot or in direct sun)and you shouldn’t get sick. people have been doing this for hundreds of years before refigeration, don’t you think they would have stopped if it made them sick?

    the yeast in the bag is creating the gas in the bag, just burp it a little bit from time to time. why deal with an explosion if you dont need to?

    as for the splenda in the starter, I would avoid it since you are feeding the yeast in the starter and I don’t know if they can process spenda the same way hey process sugar. but I do use splenda when i bake my own bread.

    have fun and enjoy creating and sharring your own friendship bread!

  31. Thanks, Heather! I didn’t think Splenda would be appropriate for anything other than just baking, but I did want to check to see if anyone else was using it – –

    Another question – I have not found the pudding in the 5.1 oz in anything other than vanilla and chocolate. When using other flavors is the smaller box (usually 3+ oz) sufficient or do you use approximately 1 1/2 boxes?

  32. this is day 4 of my starter. do I have to add the flour, etc tomorrow or can I skip it and wait til day 10 to bake?

  33. oops! Help! I accepted a starter and mashed it on days 2 and 3 and then promptly forgot about it until today, which is day 9. :-( I added the day 5 ingredients today and am just wondering if my starter will be ok. I truly hope so, because I am very interested in making the bread.

  34. We made the bread and have passed the starter to multiple people and even just had some passed back to us, however… my real question is, what’s with the instant pudding? What could you substitute instead?

  35. I was given starter and was trying to be real good. on day 6 I added the ingredients,
    then forgot about everything. today is day 15. what do I do? do I just make the bread
    and create starters? do I throw it away and start over – make my own starter or wait
    for my friend to take pity on me and give me more starter? any ideas?

  36. as far as the splenda thing goes, it will not ferment, therefore it will not feed the yeast. I make my own beer and cider and i’ve used splenda to sweeten things without carbonating it (adding CO2 to the liquid) Hope that answers any questions about that.

  37. This is a great Amish Friendship Bread resource — thank you to Jordan and all!

    I was given my starter with some baked friendship bread (it was very tasty!) and a package of vanilla instant pudding mix to use when I bake my own (my donor friend is very thoughtful!), so the first loaves I bake will include the pudding mix. However, going forward, I just don’t see myself having instant pudding mix on hand when I want to bake, or wanting to bake with instant pudding mix when I have it on hand.

    Call me unorganized cook, or call me a baking snob, and you may be right on both counts, but none-the-less, I would really like to omit instant pudding mix from the process. Any thoughts?

    Regards, Sara

  38. OHMIGOSH, you are SO funny. Thank you for this. I received a starter from my friend 10 days ago. I had planned on baking the bread today, but I got called into work. Also, I went to TWO stores and COULD NOT find the large box of instant vanilla pudding. It IS an obligation. Maybe those Amish women had more time at home to nurture this goop. Ha ha. You made my day! Thanks!

  39. Thank you so much for this resource and especially for the humor. I couldn’t stop laughing at some of these postings and definitely loved your Not-so-Amish Friendship Bread Instructions, however, Day 1 doesn’t show on the screen nor when I print. Is it possible to email directly to me or maybe check to see if something is wrong with your posting? I was so glad to hear your comment about continuing the process even if you are past the 10th day. I was willing to try it myself, but was afraid to give to others possibly making them sick and throwing off the whole process for whomever might receive starters from the friends I give them to, and on and on.

    I just realized though that your recipe says to add the 1 c each of flour, sugar, and milk on day 5; my recipe says to add on day 6. The 1st time I made it, I forgot to add on day 6 so added on day 7 then continued on from there to day 10. I also saw one post that said she adds ingredients on day 7 and bakes on day 14; that really sounds ideal to be baking on the same day each time. I guess it doesn’t really matter since everyone loved the bread. I took 1 loaf to work as a sample and everyone wanted more; hope no one got sick!

    I was also happy to hear it can be frozen after the 1st ingredients are added, resume counting the day after taken out of freezer, and thus control what day you want to bake. That relieves so much of the pressure of HAVING to bake on days that might not work for you!!! I think friends would be more willing to accept the starter if they knew they could “control” the actual baking day—I”ll be sure to give my friends this tip!!

  40. @Darlene—Oh dear. I just looked at the print preview on this post. I added a new print feature (woohoo)—try the new print link and let me know if that doesn’t work.

    The schedule really isn’t that strict. As long as you don’t for get about them and let the bags explode, it’s all good. The yeast fermentation is the way bread has been made for centuries (and, incidentally, is the same kind of process that makes alcohol), so it’s usually pretty safe.

  41. Thanks, Jordan…the new print feature worked perfectly. I plan to use your version of the instructions when giving away my next starters…it is so humorous!!

  42. @Anne—Most likely, nothing. I did, and it didn’t affect it. Some people say that they mixed theirs with a metal spoon with no effect, some say that their bread wouldn’t rise because the metal reacts with the yeast. (Biologically speaking, however, that’s just not how yeast works. I think the original injunction was “Don’t keep this in a metal bowl,” because the bread is acidic and a metal bowl might give it an off flavor. But the original directive has devolved in to “Metal must never touch mine holy bread!”)

  43. Thanks for the info. I like that you add humor to the directions, I’m going to use this as my directons to send to my fiends instead of the one I have. Yours is just more fun.

  44. Wow, these instructions are wonderful. I am in college and all my friends are super wary of getting one of these. I am totally going to start freezing it!

  45. Am loving all the comments and options. I have also found that you can put the starter in the fridge for 2 or 3 days until you can bake. I’m so glad to find out what to do with the 4 extra bags of the growing glob–I had actually been experimenting with halving the feeding process to cut down on the batter. Now, I don’t have to worry!

    I have also had good luck with substituting 1/2 of the oil with applesauce, and also baking in an oblong cake pan instead of 2 loaf pans. I tried baking in a bundt pan, and it was good, except that if I do that again, I won’t put nearly as much of the sugar/cinnamon mixture on the bottom because it kind of burns. I will probably put a coating of the sugar/cinnamon around the greased pan, then half the batter; layer some of the sugar/cinnamon mixture with some nuts; then add the rest of the batter and the remainder of the sugar cinnamon on top as before. I’m going to try this next. Also, I have made muffins out of the batter, also, and they are such a hit!


  46. So many comments… i have enjoyed reading them. I have been doing the “Amish Friendship Bread” for awhile now, I have frozen the goo and I have omitted step 10 (adding the 1.5 c of sugar, flour, and milk) that way I don’t end up with a bunch of “starters” and no friends to give them to. When I get down to my last starter bag I add step 10 back in and get 4 new starters. Works for me.

  47. I make mine without pudding–and while I feed it with white flour, I add all whole wheat flour in the recipe. I like the texture better (less gummy), and the flavor is nuttier. Works perfectly!

  48. I just took two Friendship bread loaves out of the oven and they are perfect! What’s the big whoop you ask? I used starter that I put in the freezer last November 27th! I experimented and last year when I had my new 4 starters, I took them up to Day 5, added the additional ingredients to all 4 bags, then froze them! Over the past year I’ve made bread from the frozen batches but did not make more starters (yup, you CAN do that!). I just pulled the last of the 4 bags from the freezer on Tuesday 11/17 night. I counted Wednesday 11/18 as Day 6 and mushed the bag as necessary for the next 4 days. I now have two perfect Friendship loaves and starters for 4 more fermenting on my kitchen counter. I may share them…or maybe not ๐Ÿ˜‰

  49. Hi, I’ve baked a few batches of the bread now, and then just realized that I’m not sure if I’m dating the new starters correctly. Is Day 1 for the new starter batches the same day as I am baking (Day 10) or is it the next day? and, does it matter? And, I’m so thankful for the freezing tip! I am running out of people to keep passing to. So, is it better to freeze before I feed the starter or after, or again, it doesn’t matter? Thank you much!

  50. I generally mark the bags as Day 1 on the day that I make the new starters. When I freeze the starters, I add the Day 5 ingredients before I freeze them. Depending on the time of day that I take the starter from the freezer, I will then count the next day as Day 6. Really tho, the starters are very forgiving! As long as you mush them, they are happy. A day either way doesn’t seem to matter. I’ve added the Day 5 ingredients on Day 6 and Day 10 sometimes turns into Day 12. In her September 3,08 blog, Carol said that she has tweaked her recipe to feed/bake every 7/14 days and it has worked well for her…so remember this is a Friendship Bread … have fun with it!

  51. I froze 3 of the 4 starter bags this week (so hope it works later on when I want to use one.) I am like alot of other people: I only have so many friends and most of them do NOT like to bake. I have one bag that I have been mushing every day and Yesterday, Friday, was my day to add the cup of flour, sugar, and milk. I chose not to due to the fact that it is a waste when there’s no one left to give them to. Can I go ahead and add all the ingredients and bake it today, on Saturday vs. Tuesday which is actually day 10? Or will it just “fall flat” since it didn’t have all 10 days to ferment? Anybody????

  52. ugh..I wouldn’t bake it today..I’ve always thought the bread needed to cure at least 10 days before baking which then includes the Day 5 additional ingredients. I’m thinking if you do the final day baking ingredients on Day 5, you will be short the 3 cups of the Day 5 ingredients that needed to ferment before day 10. You can make the bread on Day 10 without adding the additional 4.5 cups of ingredients and end up with 2 loaves and no new starters. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has experimented with a Day 5 baking day.

  53. Thanks, Diane. I will go ahead and wait until day 10 (Tuesday), but to avoid having 4 extra starter bags I’m confused when you say to omit the 4.5 cups of additional ingredients. Are you saying that the flour, sugar, and milk that would’ve been added on day 6 is what I can omit? Then day 10 add the eggs, oil, pudding, etc to make 2 loaves ONLY? That is what I’m hoping for.

  54. Kayleen, I’m saying go ahead and add the flour, sugar and milk on Day 5 then proceed to Day 11 but don’t add the additional 1.5cups flour – 1.5cups sugar and 1.5cups milk (= 4.5 cups) on Day 11 that you would need to make additional starters. Just go directly to the bread baking instructions that you would have followed after removing the starter batter. Well, that was complicated…but I hope it makes sense..let me know if it is too confusing and I’ll try again…good luck!

  55. Hi, ok I messed up on adding the ingredients on day 6, I added them on day 8. Does this ruin the whole thing or do I just wait 2 extra days to bake and give to friends.

  56. It’s definitely not ruined, but I might wait the two extra days for the new additions to develop. But any of the Amish bread experts around here are welcome to correct me if I’m wrong!

  57. If I follow the entire process and have 4 bags at the end (3 to give away and 1 to keep), then how much should be left in the bowl to bake the two loaves that day?

  58. So… I just got a great tip from a excellent friend about the bread if you don’t have anyone to give a starter to. On step 10, don’t add the 4.5 cups of flour,sugar, and milk. remove one starter for yourself, and double the recipe for the bread. you can now make 4 loaves to give away or keep and only have 1 starter!!!! Yay!!!

  59. I’m glad the info is getting around that you can end the starter cycle by just going to the baking instructions on Day 11 and not adding the additional 1.5 cups of additional flour, sugar and milk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    btw – Used chocolate pudding last time .. this is now our family’s new favorite.

  60. I’ve read all the comments and I just want to make sure I’m understanding this correctly:
    I can make this into a 14 day cycle to make a consistant baking day. On day 7 – I do the normal feeding of 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk. On day 14 – I donโ€™t add the 4.5 cups of flour, sugar and milk. I remove one cup of starter for myself and double the recipe for the bread I’m going to bake(giving me 4 loaves of baked bread) and end up with only 1 starter to repeat the process with 2 weeks from now.

    I sure hope that’s correct, it would make this process soooo much more pleasent!

    Not to be difficult, but I have one more question/variation. Can I somehow lessen the amount of flour, sugar and milk that I add on day 7 so that on day 14 I can still take out 1 cup of starter for myself and yet only bake the normal 2 loaves of bread (instead of doubling it to make 4)?

    Thanks for helping!!

  61. ugh..I didn’t read Melissa’s comment close enough to notice that she’s taking a cup of starter out on day 11 without adding the 1.5 cups of flour, sugar and milk. I have never done that since I thought it would leave me short for the baking process. Usually if the additional 4.5 cups of ingredients are not added, then the starter batter that is left is the amount needed to make the two loaves of bread (plus the baking ingredients of course). By not adding the 4.5 cups of flour/sugar/milk on day 11, I believed you were choosing to not continue the starter cycle and just end it with the two loaves of bread.

    As to your last question about reducing the Day 7 ingredients (since it sounds like you are using the 7/14 day cycle), even with the regularly added mid-cycle ingredients, when I end the cycle on Day 11, I still only make two loaves using the the batter in the bag. How are you making 4 loaves? Maybe pan size variations could account for the discrepancy. I have made one regular sized loaf and 4 small loaves with the ending batter. but not 4 large loaves.

    I don’t believe you can cut down on the mid-cycle ingredients, but maybe someone else has been successful trying it – that’s what is so great about this forum .. we can all learn something new, regardless of how long we’ve been makint the Friendship Bread. :)

  62. I am new to the Amish Bread and someone gave me a recipe without clear instructions so I need some advice. I baked the bread last week and it turned out great, however,I mixed all of my ingredients on day 10 and created starters from that. I just re-read the instructions & think my “starters” are probably ruined. Please advise because I am concerned about the eggs sitting at room temperature. This may sound like an incredibly stupid question, but please confirm that this is ruined.

  63. The starter is very forgiving. I forgot to feed my first batch before measuring out my recipe amount on Day 10, so I just fed what was left (reducing the amounts accordingly, giving me only enough to keep one and pass one along). It’s fermenting just fine and I’ll be baking tonight.

    I didn’t care for the pudding recipe, either, so I did a search, found one on, then modified it to make a cranberry orange pecan loaf — oh, yum! (Used AFB III with dried cranberries instead of apples, pecans instead of walnuts and 1-1/4 tsp orange extract instead of vanilla.)

  64. I just laughed and laughed. Too funny! More if you’ve experienced several “rounds” of friends and family!

  65. Thank you all for the delightful time I had reading all of the comments. I learned a lot and am SOOOO excited that I do not have to add the mid-cycle ing. to cut on the starters! YEAH! 3 of those puppies are going in the freezer now, to save for later, keeping my last to be a starter refresher for more future bread baking adventures. Thanks for all of the ideas and good laughs!
    God Bless you all!

  66. I LOVE that the comments on this post go two years strong…people are always googling for the instructions on feeding and care of their starter, I guess. Just wanted to share…tomorrow I am making pancakes from my starter. I made the recipe last week for my toddler and I to try out and oh my Lord, were they good!
    The first time I got a starter I told my mom about it and she replied, “Oh, Herman!” I had no idea what she was talking about, but she explained to me about when she used to have Herman…you had to feed him and burp him. I looked it up “Herman” is a very similar sweet sourdough starter. There are quite a few recipes online that use a cup of Herman starter, so that is an easy way to not get overwhelmed with needing to pawn off starters on friends!

  67. hi. i received my 1st starter 3yrs ago from my daughters 3rd grade teacher and my family just devoured this bread. its more of a treat than a bread. i kept that original starter going for 6 to 7 months. i had to have a decompression neurosurgery procedure so on my last 10th day i fed it took the starter out and baked. i froze the starters. as i said they were frozen 2 yrs ago. unfortunately i had complications from the surgery and 1 procedure turned in to 3. i could not bring myself to throw the frozen starters away. i am finally recovering and would love to start this process again. my kids ask all the time when im gonna defrost and bake. i looked around online for info and while i read about people freezing them i have not been able to find out how long you can freeze them for and saftely bake and eat. do you know/think it would be ok to use it and if so will i be starting at day 1 or 5? i hope to hear back from you. i love your site, i have learned alot from it. thank you, bobbie

  68. Sadly, I’m the wrong person to ask. I think you can freeze anything indefinitely ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

    I’d start at day 1. I’d assume they’re not unsafe to eat, but they may not actually work (you may have killed the risers). If they don’t rise, you can make your own starter (check out the Allrecipes link above).

  69. I wasn’t paying attention and instead of addiing 1 cup of flour, sugar and milk, I added a cup and a half. Think I messed it up?

  70. I received a starter just in time to feed it a couple times and make some bread. It turned out so delicious that I decided to refrigerate the starter. Refrigeration slows it down about 50% so I only have to feed it every 10 days or when I want to use it. You can use it as often as you like as long as you keep feeding it. I take out a cup of just fed starter and let it sit out overnight to work itself up. I seem to get a yeastier finish in my quick breads that way.

    I experimented with other quick breads using the starter in conjunction with baking powder or soda based recipes. WOW! My favorite so far is a quick bread cinnamon roll. They were the best cinnamon rolls I have ever made. Still quick bread but with a slight yeasty taste and takes less than an hour from start to table. I also have experimented with scones and biscuits with amazing results.

    I will have a suitcase full of recipes to pass on to my friends once I decide to let go of a few cups. So far I am having too much fun experimenting and have been using it up (I am part of the “me” generation).

    PS The instant pudding is not absolutely necessary since it is essentially vanilla powder, dried milk, sugar and corn starch. When I want to be true to the recipe I use “Byrds Custard” which I like better because it’s from England, has a kitschy label and hysterical directions.

    PSS I too had angst in the beginning about who I was going to pass-off the starter to once I ran out of friends. I had images of neighbors shuttering their houses when I walked up with another burbling bag of goo for the umpteenth time LOL.

  71. Cynthia, if you are willing to share, I would love to have the cinnamon roll recipe, also any other recipes that use friendship bread sourdough starter. I would like to see what else I can make with it, having successfully made great buttermilk bicuits substituting sour dough starter for half the buttermilk in the recipe. (I omitted the sugar in the recipe as the friendship bread starter is sweet.)

    In return, let me share a link that has a recipe for microwave chocolate cake using sourdough starter — it is much like a chocolate souffle, but no eggs required. Although it seems too good to be true, it really is as quick and delicious as advertised — fabulously rich and chocolaty. Multiply the recipe as required, fill ramikins half full, and you can whip them up to server to dinner guests.

    Best regards to all,

  72. ok how do you finish this and not keep going and going !! Can I dble it or what do i need to do so i dont have to pull 4 cups out I can just end it ?

  73. You can either freeze it to stop the process until needed or do as I do. I store it in the refrigerator. You only have to feed it every 10 days. I use it once or twice a week. I simply feed it the required food (1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk, water also works just fine). Take out a cup or two, cover with plastic and put the rest in right back in the fridge. I let the batch I took out set over night to “work”.

    My starter batch has matured to a very nice sweet/sour dough starter. I am now using it for all kinds of yeasted sweet breads. I just made some very wonderful fully proofed cinnamon rolls. OMG Never have I made anything so delicious (and I bake almost everyday).

    The “sour” came from accidentally letting the whole starter batch sit-out a few days with out feeding (I got a bit busy and forgot). The wild yeast started fermenting away like crazy. I thought I had ruined the batch but I started feeding it on the regular schedule and it seem to be just fine. It developed a sour, fermented smell and tasted very yeasty. Now I have an even more amazing sweet dough starter!

  74. No one answered Debra who addes 1 1/2 cup of everything on day 6. I did the same thing. Is it OK?

  75. This starter is very forgiving. I’ve made every mistake you can make short of using it all up. You just don’t want to forget to feed it. I’ve added several cups of the “food” when I knew I was going to make a double batch of something. I usually refrigerate my starter but on those days I let the whole batch set out overnight. That helps to break down the extra flour better. I take out what I need the next morning and feed the original batch again before putting it back in the fridge. I always have some “working” that way.


  77. There have been two actually. My first cinnamon rolls were quick bread recipes using the starter as the liquid, with a little more milk added to it for consistency. These were baked right away, like any quick bread recipe. Delicious!

    Since my starter has matured I have been using it like a real dough starter. It has to rise, twice. Once after initial mixing, kneading. Then again after the rolls are made. Then bake. It’s easy to convert any cinnamon roll recipe with starter, just replace the liquid. You do have to use a bit more liquid (like milk or cream) because the starter is thick. Even more delicious!

    I would elaborate more but I just had a little eye surgery and it’s killing me to write this. I used the recipes that are found in “America’s Test Kitchen, Family Baking Book” (That;s my bible for all things baking). They have both type cinnamon rolls in the “Breakfast/Brunch” section.

    Let me know if you like more info. I should be back to normal with-in a week or so.


  78. I left my starter out for an extra 2-3 days before baking and my husband says the consistency of the bread is ” too spongey”. Could this be because it fermented a little too long?
    I substituted 1C applesauce for oil, skipped the milk/pudding, but followed the rest of the recipe as usual. Any thoughts? this is only my second attempt.

  79. You may have left it out too long and it was becoming real dough starter. Then you have a whole new animal. Not sure why it was spongy but suspect the yeast in the starter wanted to rise but got cut off in the baking process(just a thought).

  80. Has anyone realized that there really isn’t anything significant left in the bowl after you make the starters????? I figured that out the 2nd try at this then I finally just forgot the starters and just make the bread with more cinnamon. my boys LOVE it. and no more starter frustration! LOL

  81. I got this starter and misunderstood the start date written on the bag and added the feeding 2 days early…did I mess the whole thing up?? UGH

  82. For those interested in baking and not passing on, day 10 I added
    The ingredients as instructed. Then I took out one cup of starter to keep, yes I am a sucker for punishment!
    I then went on and just doubled the recipe that came with my starter. Then went on to make a 9×15 pan and a 7×10 pan. This is how you can not waste it, not burden your friends and share with your friends and family. Everyone is happy:)

  83. I just received my bag today and it is day 2. I remember my mom doing this when I was little but I donโ€™t ever remember eating any. What does that mean? I was excited till I got home and read the directions. My baking powder expired last month. I only have 1 large loaf pan and itโ€™s metal. Iโ€™m not working so I really donโ€™t have the funds to buy non-metal pans. So Iโ€™m going to use my 9×13 pan. Instant pudding ICKY!!! First time around Iโ€™m skipping it then I may try adding cream cheese. I wish I had more than 2 sister-in-laws!!! Oh, I must give some to my step-mother-in-law :-)

  84. Beth, This starter is soooo forgiving. Don’t worry about exactitude. Expired baking powder? Just use more. I have used nothing BUT metal pans. Didn’t seem to hurt anything. I am not really sure why it calls for instant pudding but all that’s in it is milk powder, flavoring and corn starch. The cream cheese should do the trick. FYI I started freezing my left over starter after I ran out of friends and family to give it to. You will be surprised how many people will want more after they accidently use their own batch up. The stuff is incredibly versatile. I have used it to make scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls. No end to the possibilities.Good luck and have fun.

  85. I goofed and added 1.5 cups of sugar, flour and milk on day 6 (instead of just 1 cup). Will this mess up the final recipe? I did it to all 3 of the starter bags I had… uggh!! I really like the bread and am just going to give it a try… but I’m kind of scared to pass on the starters in case it does mess up the taste of the recipe.

  86. I once had a starter many years ago an it was destroyed for what ever reason.I have wwannted to restart one for along time and found this wonderful site. I don’t remember putting intant pudding in mine. I added shoclate chips and coconut to mine and made a used a tube pan or bread pans for my breads. These tasted so good I cant wait to restart one again. I have a grandson who will loveto squish the bag for me and he won’t let me forget to add ingredients either.

  87. So my mom asked to make this for her… since her workmate gave it to her but she didnt have enough time to make it… Last time I made it I used actual pudding (the one that is eaten for snack) then I realized it said mix… does that mean I did it wrong and it was supposed to be a poweder one? It turned good… just quite softer and more moist than bread should be…should I use the powder kind next time?

    oh and we still have the 4 starters (yep my mom didnt give it out :S ) I still added stuff to it on the 6th day…. can I still freeze three of it…and use one of the starters to make the bread ( I dont want anymore starters from this one) HELP?!?

  88. Jill, you can freeze your starters. No problem. I only add 1/2 c of flour/sugar/milk. That way, I get enough to bake with and only enough starter for me to carry on. I don’t give any away. Sometimes, I bake on day 5 and it works fine. Here in the UK, we don’t have instant pudding, so I make it without. I have to add my own flavours (like real lemon juice and zest) Works fine. I add apples and use applesauce instead of oil. It’s very flexible and fun!

  89. Instant pudding is only powdered milk, flavoring, sugar and cornstarch. In the UK you have Byrds custard it’s the same. But I agree, it’s not necessary. This is a wonderful starter and I am still having fun with even after more than a few years of living with it. I freeze it too. Otherwise it starts to take over and I don’t have that many friends…you need about a thousand or more after time. LOL PS use it in scones as well. It adds an interesting texture. <3 Cynthia

  90. We live in a 110 year old house without air-conditioning. Does anybody have a recipe for baking Amish Friendship Bread in the microwave? Muffins, loaves, mini-loaves–anything? Thanks.

  91. I have given lots of starters away but now everyone wants the bread or the muffings so I have reduced the amounts of the ingredients so I only have 1 cup to keep and add to on the 6th day and bake on the the 10th day. I bake a double batch of cinnamon muffins or blueberry muffings-maked 40. I freeze them and they are ready when i need them.
    on the 6th day I add to the starter 1/2 cup of Milk, 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup sugar.
    on the 10th day before I divide the starter I add 3/4 cup of Milk, 3/4 cup of flour and 3/4 cup of sugar.
    I keep keep 1 cup for starter and bake with what is left, usually 2 cups,maybe some less.

    Good luck

  92. My 4 year grandson calls and wants me to mail him his muffins when he is out. “Nana, Im out of muffins, send me some by mail” Who can resist a request like that.

  93. Does anyone know how long I can keep the bread once it’s baked?
    And what is the best way to store it?

  94. I added brown sugar on day 6 instead of white. Now it isn’t bubbling and expanding like usual. Is it still ok?

  95. If I would like to make this as mini loaves does anyone know if you need to decrease the baking time?

  96. Debbob,
    I was able to get five mini loaves out of a single batch. I put them all in at once, and the time came out about even or maybe just a few minutes shorter.

  97. Sorry to back track, but going back to your comment left 33mo 2w ago, I’m interested in trying that. I want to keep my starter going, but I do not want to keep giving it away or having to store the extra. After I add the 2 tbsp of flour, sugar, and milk on day ten and take out my cup of starter before baking….does that cup count as day one to keep my starter going or is that the cup of starter I will be using to add the ingredients to for making two loaves of bread?? Thanks

  98. I am a little confused. What you have left after the 10 days that are put in the baggies are called starters for the friends. They are to start the process with day one and then when they are done they give out starters to other friends..right. Please let me know asap. My husband is giving these out at the office. Thank you Debi

  99. would anyone like to help me out and send me a starter kit. I would love to try this but I am usually busy with school. if anyone has any extra starter that they wouldn’t mind sending through the mail, I would really appreciate it. :)

  100. Hello AFB blog. It’s been awhile since I posted here. Last year I was experimenting intensely with the starter and found that I had created a crazy-active, full-on dough starter that was taking over my kitchen, not to mention my life. I put it all in the freezer and tried to forget it for awhile.

    I resurrected a small amount this summer just for fun and found it to be twice as crazy as before. I can make fully proofed breads and sweet rolls with-out adding commercial yeast or baking soda/powder. It is so fast acting that I can feed it in the am and in a couple of hours it’s ready for more.

    I am wondering if it has picked-up wild yeasts from my environment and THAT is what is creating this amazing, living thing that lives in my downstairs kitchen.

    I live above a wetlands/wildlife refuge here in Portland Oregon. We are famous for your spongy, wet winter climate and our environment abounds with all kinds of molds, bacteria, pollens and probably wild yeasts.

    Does anyone have similar experiences with their starters morphing into something quite different than the one they originally began with?

  101. @Jesse—Check out the link to AllRecipes in the article: it’s a recipe to make your own starter (it’s easy).

    @Cynthia—that’s crazy! Nobody here has ever mentioned something like that. Weird.

  102. Hello. I have a question about my starter. It is bubbling and it smells good but my bag does not expand at all. Is this normal? Thanks in advance.

  103. I gave my friend a bag of starter and a year and a half later, she is still making loaves from that batch, its nuts! She refrigerates her bag and it ends up tasting yummy as if not refrigerated. :-) I think I’ll try again, it’s been well over a year.

  104. My son brought home the wonder bag of amish goo and said he was going to make the bread. well, it’s day 9 and i have been mushing and adding and mushing and now it is time to bake. i was wondering if there is a way to make the bread and not make the 4 starters?

  105. So happy I found this site! It’s hilarious and informative at the same time! It has given me a much funnier recipe to share, but most of all GOO BABY BIRTH CONTROL!! LOL! Let me explain: Recently a coworker brought in this wonderfully smelling sweetness to “share”, when really it was to get us addicted. Then giving way to the “What is that? Can I get a copy of the recipe?” ploy for you to adopt one of his goo babies. Which everyone now calls his guilt free way to give his little gremlin goo babies up for adoption. Kinda like putting puppies in a basket and sitting outside a supermarket with a sign “free to a good home” you cant pass it up if it is staring you in the face, or rather you’re stuffing your face with this sweet cinnamony little treat!
    Upon receiving my new little gremlin, I loved on it and gave it attention everyday, burping as needed and feeding on the 5th day then loving on it, giving attention and more burping for 5 more days. After dividing my goo into 4 1 cup starters on the 10th day then following through till I got my prize of 2 loaves of goodness! As an accountant I started doing the math…panic hit! OMG I have 4 new goo babies to give love and attention to for 10 days! Then those will make 4 new goo babies each and then those will have 4 goo babies! These are worse than gremlins! Luckily I suckered 2 people into adopting a goo baby, but they also being accountants ran the numbers! This is when the hunt began for a way to cut the recipe down to only 1 new goo baby with each batch instead of 4. CANT EXPRESS OUR APPRECIATION FOR YOUR SITE!! It has given us goo baby birth control! I can now have 1 goo baby, twins, triplets or quads depending on sanity level! We love the bread just not the endless goo babies to adopt out each time.
    From all the posts we decided to cut the mid and final feedings for each milk, sugar and flour and Wa-La…
    Goo Baby Birth Control:
    1 goo baby 1/2 cup and 3/4, twins 3/4 mid and 3/4 last, triplets 1 cup mid and 3/4 last, quads 1 cup mid and 1 cup last
    Works great! Using these formulas always have enough batter to bake 2 med loaves, and of course our expected goo baby births delivered!

  106. I have a question that I’m not sire has been answered. I want to bake some Friendship bread for our trip to Wisconsin. I have a frozen bag of the starter, do I add the 1c ofmilk,sugar and flour,mush, then all the other ingredients that it calls for?

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