Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe

I was recently given a bag of Amish Starter Bread, as a sign of friendship, that is used for many sweet breads, dinner rolls, muffins, and other baked goods. I was attending an event and came across a delightful tasty cinnamon bread that was absolutely delicious last week. I could not help myself to just one piece, I consumed at least three. A few days later, I was handed a baggie filled with this Amish Starter bread, so I could make my own. I was so grateful to have this in my possession, that I thought I would share with you, the reader as well, the recipe to make your own starter.

(*These Directions are for the starter only. Please read the directions thoroughly before starting.)

The instructions to bake the bread will be on another blog. Stay tuned!

Amish Bread Starter

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4 cups

Calories: 337 kcal


  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 package active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk (2% or higher fat)


  1. Pour the warm water into a small glass bowl
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let this stand for 5-8 minutes to allow it to dissolve.
  3. In a larger glass bowl or plastic, mix together the flour and sugar with a wooden or plastic spoon.
  4. Stir in the milk and then the yeast mixture.
  5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to stand until bubbly.
  6. Once the mixture is bubbly, pour it into a gallon-size zippered plastic bag and seal. Do not refrigerate. Allow the sourdough mixture to sit out at room temperature. This is Day 1.
  7. Day 2: Mash the bag.
  8. Day 3: Mash the bag.
  9. Day 4: Mash the bag.
  10. Day 5: Mash the bag.
  11. Day 6: Add 1 cup each of flour, sugar, and milk. Mash the bag until it is mixed well.
  12. Day 7: Mash the bag.
  13. Day 8: Mash the bag.
  14. Day 9: Mash the bag.
  15. Day 10: Pour the sourdough into a glass or other non metal bowl. Add 1/2 cup each of all-purpose flour, granulated sugar and milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  16. Divide out 1 cup portions of the starter, placing each one in a separate zippered plastic bag. You will get about 4-5 bags.
  17. Seal the bags, and give the starter away to friends along with the instructions, keeping 1 bag for yourself. The starter then goes back to Day 1.

Notes: *Instant yeast will work as well.

**Calorie count shown above is for the friendship bread starter only and measures the calories in an entire cup. you use 1 cup of starter per two loaves of bread.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Information:

  1. Have Ziploc plastic bags for easily storing the starter, glass bowls and wooden spoons on hand. For sourdough, you do not want to use a metal bowl or utensils. Sourdough is acidic and can dissolve some metals.
  2. Write the directions right on the Ziploc bags using a permanent marker so you never have to go hunting for directions.
  3. Make the Starter Recipe, then pour it into a Ziploc bag with the directions written on it. You can also store this in a loosely covered glass bowl if you’d like.
  4. While your working your way through the 10-day process, store the starter at Room Temperature. If the Ziploc bag gets air in it, simply let it out.
  5. How much sourdough you end up with at the end of the 10 day process depends on how active your sourdough is. You will end up with about 5-6 cups.
  6. On day 10 after you add the last bit of flour, sugar and milk, separate out 1 cup portions into the Ziploc bags.
  7. At this point, you can give some away so that your friends can indulge in their own friendship bread.
  8. Keep a starter for yourself to continue the sourdough process. (Day 10 is equal to Day 1 with the directions on the bag).
  9. If you can’t find anyone that wants a starter, simply throw those 1 cup bags into the freezer until another time when you’d like to start the sourdough process our bake the bread. When you pull the sourdough out of the freezer, treat it as Day 1, or go ahead and use that cup to bake loaves of friendship bread!

Amish Friendship Bread Directions on Bag: (This is what you write on each bag)

*Do not refrigerate starter. If air gets in bag simply let air out and reseal

Day 1. Do nothing

Day 2. Mash the bag

Day 3. Mash the bag

Day 4. Mash the bag

Day 5. Mash the bag.

Day 6. Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Mash the bag.

Day 7. Mash the bag.

Day 8. Mash the bag.

Day 9. Mash the bag.

Day 10. Pour into non metal bowl. Add 1/2 cup each of flour, sugar, milk. Measure out 4 separate servings into 4 Ziploc bags. Keep 1 and give the others away. This counts as Day 1.

*These Directions are for the Starter only!)

In the Kitchen


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