Amish Friendship Bread Starter: Recipe & How-To

If you’ve stumbled upon this you’re likely in the mood for some friendship bread, but aren’t lucky enough to have a starter on hand. Good news? I can teach you how to make one! Bad news? You’ll still have to wait 10 days until the starter is ready to use.

So what is Amish Friendship Bread? Simply it’s a sweet sour-dough spice bread that you pass on to friends much like you pass on a chain letter. It comes from the Amish belief of sharing your surplus with those you love.

How is it made? A key ingredient in Amish Friendship bread is the starter. It’s a fermented blend of yeast, sugar, flour and milk. You’re given a bag with 1 cup of starter, and at the end of 10 days you have enough to make bread, continue a start and share the starter with 2-3 friends. But what happens if you don’t have a starter and don’t know anyone that you can get a starter from? Make your own!

Making the starter counts as Day 1. For full directions and the recipe for Amish Friendship Bread go here.

If you plan to continue utilizing the starter, think about giving it a nice home. I love this jar!

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Amish Friendship Bread Starter

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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  • 1 packet Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1 cup Warm Milk


  1. Activate the yeast according to package instructions. (Generally, 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F), 1/2 teaspoon sugar and the packet of yeast in a glass or plastic bowl. ) Let the yeast mixture stand for 10 to 15 minutes or until frothy and bubbly, this means the yeast is activated.
  2. Stir together the flour and sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl (again, glass or plastic only).
  3. Stir in the warm milk which needs to be 110 degrees F.
  4. Then stir in the yeast water mixture until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon sized plastic bag.
  6. Follow the Amish Friendship Bread directions and recipe.

**ONLY use glass, plastic or wood to store or stir the yeast mixture AND starter. The alkaline properties of metal can alter the acidic nature of the yeast causing the starter to spoil.**

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