Amish Friendship Bread Starter

Amish Friendship Bread Starter ♥
If you love Amish Friendship Bread, having an active starter on hand is a must. It’s usually passed from person to person, so each bag of starter carries with it a little bit of love from the kitchen it came from (and any kitchens before that). Amish Friendship Bread starter is the heart of what makes Amish Friendship Bread so special, because it’s all about sharing what we have with others. A little starter, in other words, can go a long way.

Friendship Bread Starter FBK

But what if you don’t have any starter and you’re dying to make some Amish Friendship Bread? Here’s the recipe for making your own starter so you can not only bake for yourself but get some AFB love going in your community.

5 from 1 reviews
Amish Friendship Bread Starter
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (110° F/45° C)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. In a 2-quart glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
  3. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.
  4. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions for Amish Friendship Bread.
Kitchen Notes
The starter should be left at room temperature. Drape loosely with dish towel or plastic wrap. Do not use metal utensils or bowls. If using a sealed Ziploc bag, be sure to let the air out if the bag gets too puffy.

Also, when you make a starter from scratch, you can sometimes end up with a much greater yield than 4 cups depending on the temperature of your kitchen and eagerness of your starter! If this happens, reserve one cup for baking and divide the remaining batter into Ziploc baggies of 1 cup each to freeze or share with friends.

For instructions on how to care for your Amish Friendship Bread starter for ten days, click here or read below:

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 to the bag: 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: Follow the directions below:
  • Pour the entire bag into a nonmetal bowl.

  • Add 1½ cup flour, 1½ cup sugar, 1½ cup milk.

  • Measure out equal portions of 1 cup each into 4 1-gallon Ziploc bags. *Most people will end up with 4-7 portions depending on how active your starter has been, especially if you made your starter from scratch.

  • Keep one of the bags for yourself (or leave it in the mixing bowl if you plan to bake right away), and give the other bags to friends along with the recipe.

For the recipe to make the original Amish Friendship Bread, click here.

Follow the 10-day instructions for caring for your starter. On Day 10 you’ll divvy up your starter by measuring out 1 cup for every gallon-sized Ziploc bag and reserving 1 cup for you to bake with. You might end up with 4 to 6 Ziploc bags, depending on how active your starter is. You’ll then pass those bags to friends, neighbors and co-workers in your community and bake two loaves with your 1 cup.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Day 10 ♥

If you only want to make Amish Friendship Bread once, you’re done. But if you want to be able to bake it whenever you’d like, save an extra bag for yourself and either toss it in the freezer until ready to use or start the process all over again, treating Day 10 as Day 1. The starter tastes better over time, so rather than making it fresh whenever you want some Amish Friendship, consider keeping a bag on hand.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe |

If you’re keeping an active starter on hand and baking every 10 days, consider giving your starter a happy home. Over the years I’ve used anything and everything you could store your starter in. Right now my favorite is the 9-cup Bormioli Rocco Fido Square Jar with Blue Lid (below). I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it (hint: a lot). It’s around $10 on Amazon and leaves plenty of room for your Amish Friendship Bread starter to grow. It’s dishwasher safe and actually makes your starter look GOOD.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Day 5 ♥

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “Why do I have to use commercial yeast?” Well, the answer is that you don’t. You can try to get your starter going just by letting it grab the wild yeasts in the air, but unless you live in San Francisco, it doesn’t always work. Commercial yeast gives your starter a kickstart, and after that it will use the wild yeasts in the air to keep itself going. The flour, sugar and milk feed the starter, and that’s what gives your Amish Friendship Bread starter its unique flavor.

For those of you who are new to Amish Friendship Bread, it may seem strange and even unsanitary to keep it on the counter, especially since the starter contains milk. But the starter is quick to break down the flour, milk and sugar and it’s a fermentation process that seems to keep itself healthy.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Day 6 ♥ friendshipbreadkitchen.comA healthy and active starter is bubbly at least once during the 10-day cycle (other days it may be “quiet” or flat), especially after being fed. If your starter goes bad or spoils, you’ll know–it may discolor or smell funky. Granted, I’m not one of those people who thinks a starter smells great, but a simple sniff, bubble and color check will reveal the state of your starter. Here’s a quick starter check-up:

  • Smell. Should be yeasty and beer-like. If it smells sharp and hasn’t been fed in the past 4-6 days, give it a feed and then give another sniff in 24-48 hours.
  • Bubbles. After a feeding, it should be active and bubbly within 24 hours. This is especially true for brand new starters on Day 1 and Day 6 feedings (which means you’ll see activity fairly soon). On other days it may be “quiet” or flat like pancake batter, but a quick stir should reveal a few bubbles. It’s important to squeeze the bag or give your starter a stir on a daily basis, just to make sure all the ingredients have a chance to get metabolized.
  • Color. Creamy, off-white.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter ♥ +

Here’s a picture of an Amish Friendship Bread starter on the morning of Day 7. The bubbles had been going all night after its Day 6 feeding, and have formed a little crust. Don’t panic, just stir it back in and go on with your day.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Day 7 ♥

Have more questions? Check out our FAQs or read on below before leaving a comment. Most of your questions are probably answered in one of the two places. We also have several photo tutorials to help you troubleshoot any starter issues you may have.

Got a gorgeous starter? Send us a picture! Submit your photo here.

And before you give away that last bag of starter, remember that there are over 250 Amish Friendship Bread recipes in the Recipe Box. That’s a lot of different ways to use your 1 cup of starter, and I’m coming up with new recipes all the time (you can get our latest cookbook with 50 quick and easy Amish Friendship Bread recipes here). So whatever you decide to do, have fun with it and remember to share whatever you bake with others. ♥

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How to care for Amish Friendship Bread starter on Day 6 |

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  1. Jayme Mack says:

    I love this stuff haven’t had any in a couple of years so glad I can make my own starter I hope it works for me.

    • I haven’t had it for over 8 yrs now could never find anyone who had it glad i have it now. 🙂

    • Keep us posted, Jayme and Cherie! I’m glad you found us!

      • Darien:

        Thank you so much for posting this! My wife is gonna kill me, but I just printed off the starter recipe, and am on my way out the door to get some ziploc gallon bags, all purpose flour, and some Fleichmann’s yeast!!! We had an assembly line going about three yrs ago, and everyone has been asking since, why I haven’t made any more bread. Sue (wife), absolutely put her foot down the next Christmas season, as we were leaving the state and going up North for Christmas, so there wasn’t much of a defense to be made. But we’re going to be home this year for Christmas, and I am determined to start this all over again. I printed off the recipe for the bread as well. I wonder, where can I find the recipe for the Amish Pumpkin Spice friendship bread? When I was trying to find this, I had pumpkin on my mind, wondering how I could concoct it. Thanks again, and I look forward to receiving your letters! Augusta, Ga. is going to have some Amish Friendship Bread, this Christmas!!!

    • I just ordered my book and I am a newbie here. I am so excited I can’t wait to begin my new baking adventure. I think I will start with Sour dough. Wheeeeee!!!

  2. I remember my Mom doing this when I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to do it as an adult. My only question do I make the starter for friends too and supply the starter kit with the recipe? Any help would be greatly appreciated. This is better than chain letters.

    • Anne, visit our Amish Friendship Bread primer for more details on how to maintain and gift the bread and starter: But in short, yes, you pass along a bag of starter with (ideally) a few slices of the bread or a mini loaf and the instructions. It’s a culinary chain letter without the negative consequences!

    • In the recipe, you will note that it tells you to divide it into 4 bags, part of those bags are for your friends (hence the title ‘friendship bread’). When giving them the instructions, you can leave out the starter process up until the bagging or give them the entire recipe so that if something should go wrong, they can make the starter and continue. If doing this, just be sure to let them know what day to start with. It is a fun and delicious treat, kids love it, too!!

  3. Im starting this for the first time in many yrs…begining the starter, I too want to give my niece in chicago a starter too, so it goes into plastic bags? I hope this works, the recipes all sound so yummy, I love chocolate, and those chocolate recipes sound so good, wish me luck as I make some for my dear sweet neighbor lady, shes been a really good neighbor since we’ve moved here almost a yr ago, I know she will love these..hugs,

    • It goes in a Ziploc bag, Kathy! But if you’re going to ship it by mail, be warned that the baggie may expand a lot so make sure all the air is out when you seal the bag and put it in another bag to be safe! Also, do not ship it a day or two after you’ve fed it, when the yeast is most active. Catch it during a quiet period, like day 4 or 5, and then have her feed it as soon as she receives it. Have fun with it, Kathy!

  4. carol lee says:

    what is the 10 day cycle ? what does it entail doing for 10 days ? you leave this at room temperature for 10 days, the starter mixture ?

  5. meezermom says:

    Going to start some today, love the variety of recipes you’ve assembled for us.

    • Would love to hear about what you end up baking! Keep us posted!

      • Deborah Uballe says:

        Darien, is the same thing that my mother used to call Herman ?

        • Hi, I’ve never heard any one else all this Herman besides my Grandma who has now passed away. We have ‘Herman’ twice a year and it brings back great memories. She said that anything you have to spend ten days with must have a name. 🙂 May I ask where your mother is from? Dakotas??

          • OMY! I had completely forgotten about this being called HERMAN until I read your post! I remember this from my childhood. It sat in a glass bowl with a damp dish towel draped over it, and each day had to be stirred with a wooden spoon. I remember how much it was stressed to ONLY use the wooden spoon.

            It started being circulated thru some coworkers a couple weeks ago, and I saw one had starters to give away and asked for one. It brings back wonderful memories. I’ve already done one 10 day cycle and passed out all but one starter. I gave my son one of the baked loaves and he threatened to come steal the other loaf from me, he loved it so much. But I know he would forget to care for the starter, if I passed it on. So, I’ll keep the cycle going and he can have some every 10 days, until one of us grows tired of it!

            Today I am on the 2nd 10 day baking day, and plan to keep all the starters. Next batch will have extra bread to bake and hand out small loaves with each starter. I foresee this being my new contribution at brunches/luncheons we have at work. 🙂

            And, I shall mush it, and mix it, and bake it and call it HERMAN!!!! 🙂

  6. I have been looking for this starter recipe for about 10 years now and I am so happy to finally find it. Thanks

  7. i would really like to give this a try, i’ve had this a long time ago

  8. Dawn McKenzie says:

    Can this starter be made gluten free??

    • Hi Dawn! Yes, just replace the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour of choice (or use Bob’s Red Mill GF general purpose flour). We have a gluten-free/vegan recipe in the Recipe Box but would love more (hint, hint!).


  10. Is there a “yeast-free” version of Friendship Bread?

    • Hi Brenda
      Yes the starter recipe does include yeast. You can leave out the commercially packaged yeast but your starter will pick up natural yeast from the air. That yeast is what causes the ingredients to ferment to give it the sourdough qualities.
      Does this help? Have a great day.

  11. Nancy Sturgill says:

    I am so glad to get the starter recipe again. I have received the starter before and love the bread. Have made different ones and am happy to get this so I can get started again. Thanks.

  12. Judie Gorsuch says:

    Can’t wait to “start” it~Been along time since I have had the “starter”.

  13. Regina Durden says:

    I have searched for this recipe for years thank you

  14. Love Friendship Bread and haven’t had it in years so was delighted to find this page. Can you tell me if there are variations to just the standard bread? Would love to mix other things in but I’m not a brave soul when it comes to cooking! (And my son is an Executive Chef…he learned to cook as self-defense!!!)

  15. kathy ansell says:

    have been waiting for some-one to start these and give me a starter!!!!!!!
    can’t wait to bake

  16. I have a question, can I store my starter in a glass jar? is there a reason it must be moved to a plastic bag?

    • Hi Amy! Yes, you can absolutely store it in a glass jar — the instructions (and no one knows for sure who started the whole phenomenon) says Ziploc bags and we’ve found it’s easier to mash and gift, but diehard Amish Friendship Bread and sourdough chefs prefer glass containers. Thanks for your question!

  17. Can’t wait to start this… always wanted to make my own starter… :~)

  18. gayle walker says:

    you gave the recipe but what is the 10 days after you make it I made this years ago and it was delicious my kids would devour the whole loaf in one sitting I now that on certain days you add things and on certain days u stir or let it rest but not sure what day is what could u please share I would love to make this again thank u

  19. Carrolthequiltlady says:

    Like most writers, I did this years ago and then lost my starter. Have tried several times to ‘start the starter’ but had no luck. Thankfully I found you. My kids will be so happy and I do not have to drive 164 miles to get bread now. lol

  20. Helen Lokar says:

    I have made this for several years but I have a problem with using ziplock bags cause as the product is fermenting I had started to notice ghnats around my bags. And before long my house had too many. Apparently they could smell the dough fermenting and were attracted to it. I have had to use jars or other containers to make my mix. I will not stop making the bread but just was wondering if any one else had a similar situation.

    • If you will fill a rose vase 1/3rd of the way with apple cider vinegar and set it beside the bags of starter, the gnats will go into the vase and drown. They are drawn to the smell of the vinegar. Good luck!

  21. Yesssss! I lost this recipe & instructions several years ago!! Here it is and all the other goodies! It is absolutely delish & you can get creative with it!! Wheee!! Glad I found you!! :O)

  22. I understand the starter prep, but having trouble with step 4. It says to follow amish friendship bread 10 day instructions. So, what is done for each day of the 10 days? Help

  23. I havae not heard of this bread before but very anxious to make it for the first time….

  24. Bobbi Capwell says:

    I haven’t had this in a very long time. I love it and the sharing of the bread is a way to keep the love going.

    I also had not ever thought of all of the variations to it. I cant wait to try them all.

  25. Rena Laws says:

    Oh, thank u so much. I made friendship bread a few times. Getting the starter here, I can make some bread and share with the ladies here at my apartment community. How do u prevent the mixture from blowing up. I had to stop when that happened. Thanks again.

  26. Victoria says:

    Love this !!! Amish Friendship Bread

  27. sharmane keith says:

    I have been looking for this thanks a bunch.I was born in Ephtra ,Pa.

  28. Thanks have been looking for this friendship bread starter

  29. michelle says:

    So glad I could find this again.

  30. Sheryl Menke says:

    I have two bags of starter. One I will be baking with today. I already made another girl the starter from scratch and I have my new book from Darien…I drove one hour to Barnes and Nobels to buy it. Now just to find a few quiet moments to read. Dont’ just share your bread but your prayers also for those like Japan. Wish we could send them bread. GOD bless…Sheryl

  31. I just love the Amish Friendship Bread….my friends and I really enjoy it…..Thank you for printing and haveing the starter recipe for it….now if I ever stop make it for a while and can’t find anyone that has it I can now make my own…..Thank you

  32. HI! I’m so glad to stop by here and found your recipe! I remembered my mom used to make those all the time and love the smell! OK, my Question is… how can it stand the room temp? My kitchen always cool /chilly than other rooms.. so I wasn’t sure if it can stand cool/chilly room .. Thanks and your site is wonderful!! 🙂

  33. Vicki Wright says:

    i have made friendship bread for years and the recipe i have does not have the yeast in it and has always been delicious, just wonder what the difference is??

  34. Thank you for sharing this recipe a while back I tried this at a friends home and she was to give me some of the mix but it never happened. So now I can start my own mix to pass around tks so much!


  35. Kelly Johns says:

    My daughter was just asking me to see if I could get a bag of this from a friend that had starters now she’ll be able to make her self .. This is the best bread i’ve had in years

  36. cranbery says:

    This is what I was looking for…..thanks!

  37. judy parker says:

    I use to make this all the time. but when I made mine I used a glass bowl and stired it with a wooden spoon. Can I see use a glass bowl and wooden spoon. I’d rather do it that way. Thanx. and if some hasn’t tired it, I can attest how wonderful it is. I didn’t know u could freeze it. I know u can freeze the bread/cake.

  38. Theresa Jeczo says:

    Read article in Book Page. Many years ago I baked it. Loved it. Will start from scratch and give starter to my friends. Thank you from Fairfield,NJ

    • Ooh, that looks like something I could rellay make! Thanks for the post! And thanks also for linking up at the Super Sunday Stumble! I’ve stumbled this page and made sure I’m following you on SU. Hope to see you at the hop again this week!Christine recently posted..

  39. Frances Quinn says:

    Can the Friendship Bread starter be frozen?

    • After you get it out of the freezer…and add the one cup each of flour, sugar and milk…do you need to wait more before baking?? Do you then split that into 4 and keep going??

  40. Roxanne Forrest says:

    I agree with the others. I used to get starter at least 4 times a year. Now I can’t find anyone that has it. I am glad that you have the recipe for the starter and I will start the ball rolling. This bread is out of this world. Glad I found your site on FB. Thanks.

  41. Help! I remember years ago getting a starter but you added fruit every day or so…am I crazy? Would love to have the recipe again.



  42. I forgot the 10 minute standing time on original starter. Do I need to toss, this is day 3.

  43. Would love to have this starter.. Had this many years ago and misplaced it. thanks

  44. I am so excited to find the starter recipe. I have my original recipe to pass with the bread but I never had the starter recipe!

  45. Priscilla J. Stevens says:

    very interesting site.

  46. Sadie Spinks says:

    I had this starter many years ago & my family loved it! I made pancakes on the weekends-I had guests almost every weekend! My baby son, who was 3 at the time, could eat 4 – 6 inch pancakes. He wanted pancakes all the time. I lost the recipe(& my starter) when our home burned back in 1986. I have often thought about it but couldn’t remember the name. I am so glad I clicked on the link!

  47. Ruth Fox says:

    I had this starter mix in years sure glad to start my own it is sooooo good

  48. Tonia C. Tucker says:

    I’m concerned… This is the first time I’ve had to make my starter from scratch. I have an OLD recipe from my Grandma’s recipe box and it didn’t say to add yeast. However, it tells you to give the starter 26 days before you actually make the bread. On day 27 you add the last cup flour, sugar, and milk and divide it into four 1 cup containers. These can be given away or will make four cakes or breads.

    • Hello Tonia! I’m sure your grandma’s recipe is a great one. If you want to try your starter that way, please share the results with us. Otherwise, if you use the standard Amish Friendship Bread starter recipe, you’ll find that the commercial yeast you add will “kick-start” your starter so that you can reliably bake by day 10. I’m sure you’ll have fun any route you take. Does that address your concern?

  49. Darien,

    How do you keep it good and alive if you don’t use it in a long while?


    • Hi ShaTwanee! If you’re not going to use it for a while, store it in the freezer. You can keep it there indefinitely! When you’re ready to use it, take it out and let it defrost on the counter for a few hours. Then bake with it once it’s at room temperature. If you always want to keep some starter on hand, feed the starter first before baking with it, and put the extra aside. Have fun!


  50. thrilled to find this site! for years i made this at Christmas – different varieties for gifts. But i have not made them in a long, long time and am now ready to get a starter going! wonderful!!

  51. I have been doing the AFB for years and since I was told not to use metal bowls or utensils, I never asked why. We use metal pans with paper liners for the mini loaves with no problem. So why do we not use metal bowls or utensils? Just curious. Don’t plan on changing my ways now since I have always been so successful with my starter and recipes. Love the site by the way.
    So. California

  52. thanks for sharing this

  53. I have made this with Splenda and good luck with it.

    • I have made some with sugar and some with Splenda and right now the Splenda ones are more watery and separated…I’m worried about them. Also, do you add 1 c Splenda each time like the regular ones where you add sugar? Thanks!

  54. GreenGall says:

    I am so thrilled to find Amish Friendship Bread! I’ve not had any in aoubt 18 years.

    I’ll be making the ‘starter’ myself and can’t wait to start sharing.

    Thank-you for the site.

  55. Cari Graham says:

    I would like to get start soon and be able to do that with my daughter and see if it success for us…it sounds wonderful and I also cook alot of different things too…:)

  56. Louvilla Gross says:

    my family and friends enjoy this bread. I have also used it for a activity project at work. It does not last lolng around my house and my Husband.

  57. sandra whaley says:


  58. I started my starter today! 5-7-11
    Laurie Carlson

  59. Phyllis Immekus says:

    I will be looking for your book Friendship Bread. Love everything Amish. Have done the Friendship bread in the past and it is awesome.

  60. Chastity Walker says:

    I love the Amish friendship bread. My GOD mother started me on this lovely bread, now my sisters/ friends and I all like to do this as a summer fun event. We all like to freeze starter kits, so we never run out of mix. I never knew the original starter recipe until I checked out on this site today! Thanks for all the wonderful Family Memories you have helped to create!

  61. Question: I just made the starter. Does this bag have to stay at room temp for the 10 days? Can u freeze the batter after the 10 days to make more bread later?

  62. Question: I just made the start today. Does this have to stay at room temp. for the 10 days or can it go in the fridge? Can you freeze the batter after the 10 days to make bread in the future?

  63. esther irons says:

    sounds good but i need the whole recipe, so i can make the bread

  64. Love Friendship bread and you have amazing recipes. What I need to know is…can the starter be made with rice flour and non-dairy (soy or rice or almond) milk for those who can’t have them? It would be wonderful if you could post a starter recipe for those who are vegan or must be gluten free.

  65. cheryl gillespie says:

    I just happened by this site and was so glad that I did. I had a friend that gave me a starter for the bread and I failed to keep it going and she had moved away. So now I can start my own and give it out and if I fail to keep it going I now know how to start my own, thanks so much.

  66. Mia Wells says:

    love the friendship bread this is my second time making it wish me luck!!!

  67. Deborah Barry says:

    oooo- have just spotted this book on the local bookshop shelves down here in Sydney Australia……..gotta be making one to share. How exciting. Eeeeek

  68. Barbara says:

    Thank you for this website that I reached via Facebook. I haven’t had the Bread in years since I “retired” my starter, and I am starting a new batch today! I am drooling!

  69. Lori Paulus says:

    Just finished reading Darien Gee’s book and I am going to make my starter today. It’s going to be a long 10 days wait for my starter to ripen.

  70. Mary Marshall says:

    I have loved the friendship bread made in any way possible. I even was desparate one evening, we live in the mtns outside of Boise, & it is a trip to go to town, I was out of the Vanilla Instant Pudding. I used pistachio. It was great tasting, looked a little odd though. Mary Marshall

  71. Can this be made in a double or triple starter batch? I would love to be able to give to the ladies at my church!!

  72. Cassondra says:

    My son is Autistic and is on a gluten free diet. Does anyone know of a starter and directions to do this in a gluten free method? I appreciate any comments and helpful hints. Thank you so much. 🙂

  73. trish rodgers says:

    i would like for the recipe for the starter and other directions mailed to me if possible, also the btrad recipe. i really would appreciate it thanks , trish

  74. I have been looking for this recipe for a long time.

  75. Marie Diehl says:

    I haven’t seen or done this for 20 years. Brings back wonderful memories. Wish I coule afford to buy your book, but thanks for all you share from the bottom of my heart.
    I don’t see a prompt for printing this recipe. Am I missing it?

    • Hi Marie! You can print directly from your browser window (just click “File” then “Print”). We’re working on getting a better printer widget in the meantime! Also, feel free to look up the book in the library! We also have free booklet and recipe giveaways occasionally, so check in with our contests periodically!

  76. Can’t wait to try it & share!

  77. I am from Indiana and moved to Texas where NO ONE that I’ve meet makes Amish Friendship bread. I’ve never had the recipe for the starter until NOW. Thank you so much. Believe me my family and friends will love you for sharing this with me.

  78. Amy Dickerson says:

    I am so happy to have found this site as i love the bread from the starter mixture and no i can make some and send a package to my sis thanks so much

  79. Corena Anton says:

    Its been 9 years since having a batch of this Friendship Bread. I am so excited to start a fresh batch and begin sharing with friends!

  80. Charity Weeks says:

    I just started reading Friendship Bread today…I am almost done, I have not been able to put it down. I LOVE this book and I love Friendship Bread!! What a wonderful story Darien!! I am going to make sure that we read this in my book club when we start up again in the fall…and we’ll have the fruits of our labor to share! 🙂

  81. rebecca rogers says:

    glad i found this site wanting to try this recipe

  82. Roxanna Smith says:

    I love the Amish friendship bread, I have wanted the starter recipe for years. Thanks for posting this.

  83. so glad to find a recipe to make my own starter. hardly anyone makes this anymore around here. i’ve missed it so much! can’t wait to try more of recipes on here.

  84. OMG,Thank you, i have been looking for this for forever.when i had the starter,(from my sister-in-law) i made it , ate it, froze it, gave it out as christmas gifts.til i couldnt make anymore. i thought i was tired of eating & baking it. i made different flavors, and it was awesome… now i want to make it again, and here it is. ty soo much for the starter recipe.i will be baking again for a long time.

  85. Kathy Upton says:

    help i just hit day 10 so excited baking bread but here is the problem, this starter make more than 4 cups of starter after adding the ingredients to day 10! is this just me? help????

  86. Hi,
    I am a little confused about my starter. Do I mix it in the bowl and than pour it into a ziploc bag right away or when I divide it?
    I read the book (Friendship Bread) and loved it. Its a feel good story and easy reading.

  87. Carolyn O`Donnell says:

    I thought I was the only one confused with instructions, so I read most other questions and still came up empty. My solution was to just jump right in and try. I am on day two and it had just puffed up (no bubbles) but smells ok like beer. I just gave it a stir. I need assurance this is normal.
    I keep it in the garage where its warm since in Florida the air condition runs forever.

  88. I have just found the book Friendship Bread which I am “devouring”, now I want to start the Starter — How many teaspoons of yeast in a pkt please — many thanks

  89. Louise Foley says:

    I Loved the book and cannot wait to get started. I never knew there were so meny recipes I do not know what to try first.

  90. Do you need to use whole milk? I have quickly gone thru al the questions and no one has mentioned if 1% milk is okay – that is what I happen to have on hand. Also is rapid rise yeast okay to use?

  91. I rarely use air conditioning so my house temperature varies quite a bit and get get as warm as 82 degrees before I breakdown. On day 10 I added 1 1/2 cups each of flour, sugar and milk. I had 7 1/2 cups to use and share! WOW!

  92. I am going to try this my husband said he would like a good banana cream pie that the amish makes so i am going to look for a reciepe

  93. Carrie Gentry Tomes says:

    My ENTIRE family loves Amish Friendship Bread. I make it several times a year, especially around the holidays. I have 2 grown nieces who ask for it as their gift.

  94. Thank you so much for this starter recipe! My grandmother used to make frienship bread and I lost her starter! Now, I can have a little bit of Granny Betty back again!

  95. Michele Smith says:

    I have wanted to start this and glad a friend recommended this site.

  96. “Very excited about this”. – I started my starter batch yesterday, the “hard” part is waiting for the next 9 days to bake and enjoy! – Thank you for providing this website. 🙂

  97. Lola Harbour says:

    This is GREAT! Never tried “Sweet” starter before, always did sourdough!
    I’m now a BIG fan of friendshipbreadkitchen.

  98. yummy

    • I grew up with home made breads mom aaylws made our bread (and still bakes it). I’ve yo-yo’d between baking all our bread and buying it mostly for convenience. Lately I’ve gone back to making our bread because I’m concerned with all the additives in store bought bread. I’ve been using my bread machine most of the time because it’s so convenient; but I know that long rises make a more flavorful loaf. I would love to have the recipe for your sour dough bread.I just discovered your web site and I plan to be a frequent visitor.

  99. penny corum says:

    I done this years ago. it was so much fun. excited bout doin it again

  100. I’ve just broken a knee and cookies wouldn’t be a good idea, with the ups and downs. I am so anxious to try this. I can think of several people who will be interested in trying it. I have never seen this starter before. Both the starter and the bread itself look wonderful. Thanks for making it available.

  101. If the starter is in a glass jar, is “mashing” the same thing as stirring the starter? I can’t wait to get going on this. Would be fun to get the women of the church started on this.

  102. Karen Merrell says:

    I love Friendship bread, but haven’t made it for a couple of years. Glad to find the Starter Recipe, but I had to print out 34 pages of comments just to get it.

  103. I just finished reading the Friendship Bread by darien gee,
    a wonderful book full of love, and relationships.

    Can’t wait to start baking

  104. I want to make this, however don’t have friend’s who bake so would just keep it for myself.
    My question is regarding freezing the extra. At what stage do you freeze it please & how long will it keep in the freezer.


  105. Ramona LaFavor says:

    I am so excited to get started.

  106. I wonder if you can freeze starter?

  107. Linda Fish says:

    I’ve done this before but only after being given the starter. I haven’t done it in awhile so I needed the starter. Thank you for your help.

  108. April Tiller says:

    Love this it will make great gifts for my good friends this year for Christmas. Thanks so much !

  109. Can the starters that oyu give to people be left in room temperatures for the 10 days?

  110. I love the FREINDSHIP BREAD!!!! I use to use it a lot when my children were young, they LOVED IT!! I just tried to start a batch but for some reason it isn’t developing like it should.I never used yeast before and used a sugar sub. w/o yeast. there is no froth in it. I started it on Oct.7th!! I really can’t wait for it to get started, any ideas. Can I add regular sugar to it on the 6th day or start a new batch???!

  111. Shirley Lay says:

    I live at Good Samaritan Village in Kissimmee, Fl. We have a fantastic library with so many different things for older people including a low vision room for sight impaired . We have two reading machines, many large print books, and many audio books. We are staffed completely by volunteers. We have many librarians, some authors and others living here. I am privilaged to be one of the volunteers . Many of our books are donated and we have fund raisers to buy some. It will be wonderful if we could have this wonderful book. I have just read it but I want to keep mine.

  112. Darlene LaBarre says:

    Is there a way to make this bread without the sour dough tast?

  113. Jeanne Travers says:


    First, I am loving the novel! But, I am not done with it yet. I had a feeling there would be a website with the recipies and I was thrilled to find it. I am curious about how forgiving the recipie is regarding the timeline. Can you bake on the 9th or the 11th day? How important is it to be so specific? I am guessing the sour taste will be less on the 9th and more on the 11th. I am just trying to plan this out so that I am not rushed on baking day, but my schedule is always so full. Thanks for any advice you can offer on the baking and for writing such an incredible story.

  114. kylie danielson says:

    I have just made the starter but used a metal whisk to mix it then read about not using metal utensils, but have used a glass bowl, do you think I will have a problem !!

  115. love the bread especially with just coconut and pecans..

  116. Linda Kaminski says:

    Does the .25 ounce equal 1 of the 1/4 oz. pkg of yeast?

  117. karen barrett says:


  118. have not made this in years,want to get started again

  119. I was given this recipe about 1 year ago from one of my co-workers and let it go without feeding so i lost it…so glad to find it the bread and other things i can make with it.thanks alot.

  120. I am going to try this for the first time.Thank you for posting the step by step.

  121. It has been a few years since a friend of mine gave me a starter bag of Freindship Bread! So glad I found this~can’t wait to do it myself & share with other friends~~Thank you! Hope it turns out as good:)

  122. i love this cake. i have made lots of them for christmas gifts. i did’nt have the recipe for the starter. the first one was given to now i did’nt have the begin. thanks

  123. Hi … I’ve just finished listening to the book and loved it! And now after hearing all about it and seeing all the recipes, I just have to start a “starter” to share with my friends! Haven’t had the pleasure of this since the mid-80’s and back then all I had was the original bread recipe. Thank you for assembling all the recipes … can’t wait to start!

  124. ShayDee44 says:

    I just baked my first batch on 1/22/12 from a bag of the starter that was given to me. I followed the instructions to the letter, however when I separated the batches into 1 cup servings to give to friends I ended up with 5 bags not including the 1 cup I kept to bake. No one wanted any now I have 5 bags of starter. It’s on day 4, can I freeze it now, and if so when I take it out of the freezer do I start up at day 5, or day 10?

  125. Alice Lege says:

    I have never made this cake,but I am going to give it a try. Wish me luck!

  126. So everytime I add ingredients to the batter, I have to mash, mash mash, then on day 5 add more ing., then on day ten start using the batter, and save 1 cup to add ing to..right? why cant I use after it rises in a few days?

  127. I love the bread but I need to stop making it. I don’t want to make anymore starters, so can I leave out day 10 and just add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture that I have?

  128. After the ten days, you keep one cup and bake with it, then you give the other 9 away; do the people bake with the cup you gave them, or do they start with the day you gave it to them and add to it again on day 5, and then they bake again and give 9 away? Do you have to ever add more yeast?

    • They start with the day you gave it to them as day one and feed it on day 6 and then feed it on day ten, separate into one cup batches and bake what you want, save or give away one cup each to friends or family and then the circle starts again, squeeze/stir and then feed etc. etc.

  129. Thanks so much!!

  130. I used to have it recipe, now is come back again and glad get it copy as save in my computer recipe my file. I love to exchange Amish Bread with friends to pass along when save extra in to jar. It is good bread.

  131. Hi. I have made this before and love it. I’m getting ready to make some more but I’m wondering if I can put it in a glass mason jar with a metal lid to gift it? I just hate the idea of giving someone a plastic bag of mush, lol. I would rather it look semi nice. Thanks.

  132. I just finished the book. It was wonderful. The cover caught my eye when I had gone to the library. I haven’t had friendship bread in years and was greatful that you had the recipe for the starter in the book. I am very anxious to start baking. Also the website is a wonderful place to find so many recipes that no one in my family should ever get tired of Friendship Bread. Thanks so much.

  133. Pat Laird says:

    May I get a bag of your bread starter? Thank you!

  134. Darlene Rose says:

    Thank you! i love this bread!!! Making my own starter is fun !!! I love to bake
    Darlene rose in Ramona CA

  135. My mixture didn’t get bubbly… Should I start over or is this okay? I really love this bread and don’t want to waste 10 days for it to not come out right…

  136. I think this is a fabulous idea and as soon as I get a jar big enough for this I am going to do this with my friend, Cheryl. She lives on the next street over and we walk together in the mornings with my husband and my dog!

  137. Tonia C. Tucker says:

    I’ve made the Friendship Bread that turns out like a pound cake or bundt cake, but how do I make the bread that is like bread dough and not cake batter?

  138. Betsy Semmens says:

    I need some help! I made the starter and I am almost ready to divide it and pass it on. Once I have done that and I give a bag to my neighbor, what is she supposed to do on the first day? I am unclear if she is supposed to add 1c sugar, 1 c milk and 1 c flour on Day 1 after receiving the starter from me. Help!

  139. After the 10 days with the starter can I divide into 1 cup each and use it for four different bread recipies? Or can I only take the one cup out? Thank you for all of you great advice and yummy recipies.

  140. My daughter brought home from work a starter kit and when she gave me one I couldn’t wait for the 10 days was up but I did and when I baked the bread of o’ my goodness it was one of the best, now I know I can make so much more I can’t wait for my 10 days to be up. I’m going to try other things and when I do I will post how they are, and my daughter is going to be trying other things also so she will be telling me how yhey were ,,,can’t wait!!!

  141. Since you can’t use metal bowls or spoons in the preparation of the bread, can you bake it in metal loaf pans?

  142. Debbie Kenny says:

    I so happy to finally find this starter.It is great! Just made an orange date nut bread, and it was delicious!!!

  143. Hi Mary, I have been on the site for about 3 months trying different recipes and I just love it. I had made the bread 20 years ago but when the starter died so did my bread making days. I am having a blast. One thing I have done after you telling one of the readers that the starter was very resilient is I do not let it go the 10 days. I only do one feeding, Now my starter is 3 months old so I think it is pretty strong, but I had run out of people to give starters to, so I hated having all of this extra. So with only the one feeding and using it sooner I can make a sour dough and a friendship bread, have a starter and then if I want to give one away I have one, not 4. I am getting ready to convert one to sugar-free, so I will keep you posted on how that turns out. Thanks again for a great site, Anne

  144. would like to learn more

  145. I recently received a copy of Friendship Bread from NetGalley and absolutely loved the book! (check out my website for the review).

    I was very excited to see that there were recipes included. I just put together my first starter ever! It’s now sitting in the bowl and I’ll be moving it to the Ziploc bags later tonight. Is there a specific amount of time I should wait? I know it says until it’s bubbly, but is there a general time (2-3 hours for example)?

    Thanks so much for writing the book and sharing all of these recipes!

  146. Sandra Morgan says:

    I ‘m happy that I came across your site ! My sister-in-law had done this for her co-workers. I’ve been looking for a really good recipe to use. Thanks !!!

  147. HI there, we don’t use yeast as we make sourdough regularly, can I just use some of my real sourdough to start the friendship bread – instead of bakers yeast (which is a monoculture and so not as healthy for us!). Thanks, great site and can’t wait to make the bread!!

  148. Help! I have starter that I froze but I’ve misplaced the directions on how to use it! Can you help please?

  149. Melissa says:

    I’m making the starter for the first time. It’s day five and it continues to be really runny – not goopy like the above photos. It is seperated until I sir it each day. I substituted water for the milk due to an allergy according to the vegan recipe. Does it sound like it’s working? Thanks for your help – I’m hoping for some yummy bread! Melissa

  150. I plan on making this with soymilk, for a dairy free bread. So excited to have found the recipe! (:

  151. Is sour dough starter and friendship bread starter the same and can they be used interchangably?

  152. Just making sure I have this right…… If I make a starter, I follow the normal 10 day instructions then on the 10th day I bake with one cup of my mixture and give the other 3 away and they begin with their 10 day instructions or do I not bake that 10th day …..thanks!

  153. Janice Guetchidjian says:

    Here is another way to make the bread. Eliminate the vanilla pudding, use only 1 3/4 cups of flour, add 1/4 cup of dry farina, peel, core and cut a granny smith or honey crisp apple into small pieces. Dust the bottom of the pan with the entire amout of sugar and cinnamon (don’t put on the top). Pour 1/4 of the batter into the pan, then layer with the cut up apple, then pour the remaining batter on the top and bake. It is really good and doesn’t have the added sugar from the pudding. The apple tops it off just right too.

  154. Christine Hall says:

    I am totally confused. When making the “starter”, it says to consider that day as day 1. That I understand. But then it says ” for the next 10 days” do this and that. Is this a 11 day bread or should that have read …”for the next 9 days” do this and that ? I hope I haven’t ruined my starter since I am going by the 11 day thing. I started my starter on Sat. Did nothing Sun., stir mon , tues and Wed. Added the milk, sugar and flour today. Since then I have looked up other “starter” and it says the day you mix up your starter is day 1 and then do this and that for the next 9 days. Have I ruined mine ???

    • Dan Thompson says:

      Christine: I am certainly no expert at this, but when the directions say consider the day that you make the starter day one, take it literally. In years past, I have gone over two weeks past the 10 days, (I am ashamed to admit!), before I made my bread, and it didn’t have any affect on it whatsoever. So one day isn’t going to matter at all. As long as you let the air out of the bag, when it inflates do to the yeast, if you use ziploc bags, and continue to stir it, it will be just fine. This stuff is pretty hard to mess up, so you haven’t ruined anything!!! Relax, and happy baking!!! (And this comes from a man that is not a baker……I just love this bread!).

  155. Nichole O. says:

    I remember Friendship Bread from when I was a kid. My mom and her girlfriends used to trade the starters back and forth. I was excited to try making the starter today. I guess I mixed up the directions a bit…while multi-tasking… and added the flour and sugar to the yeast mixture and then poured in the milk. Will this still work. I’d rather start over on day 1 than figure out on day 10 that I can’t bake the bread or share the batter with friends. BTW, the mixture looks just like the description of pancake batter.

  156. Jason Wallace says:

    I was wondering how long can you freeze the starter for?

    • Indefinitely! Check our FAQs for more on freezing your starter, but it’ll keep until you need it, even if it’s a couple years later!

  157. Susan Thompson says:

    I have used a frozen starter a year later, and it was fine. I also use a wire whisk…doesn’t seem to change the bread at all. I wish I could make a starter and bake it immediately!!! I hate to wait the ten days! Oh, by the way, you can mess up the starter along the way, and it doesn’t change the outcome! I forgot the day I was supposed to add…added two days later than when I should have with no problem. It’s a very ‘forgiving’ dough!!

  158. i make my starter with just, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar. i love making different flavors, and making mini muffins, or even a bundt pan. so many diffent flavors, The favorite is lemon poppy seed and Cherrycheese cake.

  159. i have had a starter going since Thanksgiving. Love the friendship bread.

  160. I haven’t had friendship bread in years. The one I remember is from when I was a kid and my mom had it in a jar. But the one she would do she would had fruit to the mix during the 7 or 10 days. It was an okay bread but these look so much better. Going to start me a starter tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing.

  161. I used to to make an Amish Friendship Bread that the starter was instant potato flakes. I still have the recipe somewhere, your recipe inspires me to start making it again. Thank you!

  162. Paula Wilson says:

    What do you do if you just want to make the starter and the bread, but don’t want extra bags to share.

    • Bake off the extra bags, or freeze them to save for a later date, Paula. On Day 10 you’ll have enough starter for 4-7 recipes, with each recipe yielding 2 loaves each. You could gift everyone in your neighborhood with Amish Friendship Bread! (and the bread freezes well, too). Good luck!

  163. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, for posting this starter recipe can’t wait to get started!!!

  164. Can’t wait to try this one.

  165. Do you start feeding the starter the day after you mix it up? How often do you feed it and how much?

  166. I have also seen starters that only use water, flour, sugar. I noticed yours uses milk, won’t the milk really sour fast – could it get dangerous to eat.

    • Hi Carol! Amish Friendship Bread has been around for several decades — it’s not my recipe. The milk doesn’t sour or spoil — there are people who’ve had their AFB starters for several years. I couldn’t explain the science of the starter, but it has something to do with the fact that the starter is fermenting. Here is a link you may find helpful: Hope this helps answer your question and allay any concerns!

  167. Pam Robinson says:

    I used to have the recipe long ago and loved to make the different breads. I am so glad I found your website a few years back but have lost my recipe again (it was in a folder on my email domain) and I cannot find here what we are to do each day for the 10 days. I know we do something and add something each day but what? Cannot find it here. Please help! Thanks

  168. Pam, you can look up the full starter recipe at Reference Amish Friendship Bread, and they have a clearly delineated recipe for both the starter and the bread. I had trouble locating both on this site as well. Good luck!

  169. Becky Deppe says:

    I was wondering if on day 10 when you go to bake if you could possibly divide the batter and make two different kinds of bread? Or would it be to much pudding in each loaf?

    • Author Darien Gee says:

      Hi Becky! We do this all the time in the Kitchen — we mix all the base ingredients together and then separate it into two different batters and add the additional ingredients that’ll make them different. You’ll end up with two different loaves. And because the instructions vaguely refer to “1-2 boxes of pudding,” you can either divide the pudding or put a whole box in each recipe (if you’re doing one chocolate and one vanilla, for example). Let me know what you end up doing, Becky — we’ve done it both ways and both work well.

      • Becky Deppe says:

        I did divide out the mix and used two different pudding mixes.
        One was Lemon and the other was Pistachio. I used a whole, small box each and they turned out really brown, but they were both good!!
        Thanks so much!!

  170. Verna Daugherty says:

    I haven’t made the Amish Friendship Bread for more years than I care to say. So Ii thought I would look for a starter recipe. I noticed, when looking for Friendship Bread Starter, that some of the recipes call for yeast, and some don’t. I can’t remember if I used yeast or not. Which is better for a denser bread, which is what my family loved? I also don’t recall using Pudding Mix in the batter. Can you clear this up for me? Have there been a lot of changes since the 70s?

    • Author Darien Gee says:

      Hi Verna,

      Because Amish Friendship Bread is essentially a culinary “chain” letter, it’s probably taken many forms before the one that circulates now. In Europe it’s known as Herman or Hermann bread, and is often accompanied by a similar letter that also include a prayer by Padre Pio. I don’t know who or when the pudding mix got added, but it does boost flavor and moisture, though you could easily omit it as well (or use our homemade pudding mix recipes, found in the Recipe Box). You shouldn’t need any additional yeast — the starter is a yeast starter — but some of the recipes in the Box may have found better success in adding a “boost.” I think the biggest change since the 70’s in the presence of wild yeasts in the air — I think that may have decreased which is why it’s sometimes difficult to “start” a starter without a commercial yeast boost. Hope this helps and thanks for joining me in the Kitchen!

  171. Gave “birth” to a sugar free starter just to try it a couple days ago, today decided to start a regular one. Love it!!!

  172. Great site here! I would love to make this recipe but my husband is diabetic and I am a little concerned about the amount of sugar used. Is it possible to use less sugar for the starter?

  173. Hi Lori,
    How did that sugar-free starter worked for you?
    Do you mind sharing the recipe? Thanks!

  174. I need the recipe for the fruit starter that starts with pineapple, sugar and Brandy A.S.A.P. please, and/or a link to it. Tks. It takes two months to make the fruit cake from start to finish but it is well worth it. I misplaced mine. 🙁

  175. Stephanie says:

    If I am making a bunch of starters with around 26 kids that I only see once a week, and we are low on money, is it possible to dissolve the yeast in the 1/4 cup water for the 10 minutes and then divide the yeast mixture in half? Add 1/2 cup of the sugar, flour and milk? If so would they only add 1/2 cup on days 6 and 10? And would there be like 2 cups to divide vs 4? I would appreciate your help. Thank You!

  176. I have been making friendship bread now for about 6 months. A friend gave me a starter and I have been saving the 3 starters and making more and more bread – everybody loves it. I make the one with pudding and applesause, I change it and make rasin nut, bannana nut it is soooo good. I also give bread to the people who live in tent city, it is such a heavy bread that it keep them not hungry. I thank my friend Debbie and the Amish.

  177. I’m confused – the starter recipe references using “whats left in the bowl” and combine with ingredients for the bread (on day 10) but if you go to the bread recipe itself, it says to just use 1 cup of starter. So, which is it? If I use “whats left in the bowl” after removing the (4) 1 cup amounts into ziplocs, I have at least 4 cups left. So, is it one cup of the starter on day 10 or is it “whats left in the bowl”? Thank you! Is it still considered the starter after adding the ingredients for day 10? Please help explain this. This is my first attempt and I’m not sure I did it right.

    • In the old days, what was left in the bowl was 1 cup. But since so many people make their own starter, the yeast tends to be super active, usually yielding more than 4 cups on Day 10. So we recommend feeding the starter on Day 10, dividing the starter into equal portions of 1 cup, and then baking with 1 and giving the others away or freezing for another time. Hope this helps, Becca!

  178. I have always wanted a starter, but could never find a recipe that had tons of great reviews. This one is it……..and I am starting today. I am just a tad bit confused…..after day 10 do I have to start all over with day 1 and make a new batch of starter?

    • Hi Martha,

      Yes, on Day 10 the recipe is designed to be finished and you’ve passed on what’s left. However, lots of people like to keep a starter on hand so they can bake at any time. If this is what you’d like to do, reserve one of the bags of starter for yourself. If you think you want to bake in 10 days, treat that starter as Day 1 and go through the process again. If you don’t know when you want to bake, pop it in the freezer until you’re ready. You can either bake with it or start the process again (just bring it to room temperature, usually a few hours). The benefit to starting the process again is that you’ll have starter left over to share or save.

  179. Does any one know if its okay to freeze the starter??and if so how long before it needs to be used?? And any special instructions?? Thanks Jacquelyn I.B-)

  180. Have you ever baked the bread in a metal pan. I kept 2 starters last time so I could make alot of bread to give away, but just have a few glass pans, would a metal bundt pan work?

  181. Susan Thompson says:

    Lola, I use metal pans all the time. Turns out great!

  182. I’m on day 10 and want to bake the bread for gifts. Can I use all the batter today and make the bread or do I have to take a cup out and start the 10 days process over again?

  183. You will take out the 1 C for making your next batch (if you want to go through the 10 day process) and all the remaining starter is what you will use to make your bread to give away. If you don’t want to re-do the 10 day cycle, then just use everything!

  184. I just took my starter out of the freezer. Do I have to start the 10 day process or can I bake with it right away? I want to bake for Christmas but forgot to take it out of the freezer and I don’t have 10 days 🙁

  185. Kim, I freeze my starters when I don’t have anyone to give it to. I will take the starter out of the freezer a day or two before I want to cook it. I normally wait until I see the starter begin to bubble again before I cook it, but I have cooked it just a few hours after taking it out of the freezer when I was in a pinch. I couldn’t tell a difference in it.

  186. I’m want to take my last bag out of the freezer and start over at Day 1. Do I need to give it “a good feed” before I start the 10 day process? And if so, what is considered a good feed? The full 1 cup each, or is it reduced?

  187. I had a recipe for Sour Dough Starter & Bread many years ago and the Starter was never put in the refrigerator. I lost it after all the moves over the years and have never found it since. Does anyone have the recipe for this one? It had a nice scent to it, stayed on the kitchen counter and really made great bread.

  188. I am just starting Herman and it has separated with lots of liquid on the bottom. Is it okay?


    • Just mix it back in though it shouldn’t be separating that much if you are mixing or squeezing the bag daily. Look for bubbles to make sure the starter is active — you’ll see more on the days following a feeding than in the middle of the feeding period.

  189. I haven’t had a started bag in a while, and have never actually made my own – it’s always been a gift from a friend. I think I’d like to start the tradition this time out!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  190. Dani Richards says:

    isn’t there a way to not end up with all the starters at the end? I remember it’s by not adding as much of the flour, milk, sugar the last day. Not sure of the ratios though.

  191. May I ask what “mash” the bag means? Is it to give it a good squeeze all over?
    Also do you have metric measures please?

  192. Does freezing the starter kill the yeast?

  193. I had a recipe for Sour Dough Starter & Bread many years ago and the Starter was never put in the refrigerator. I lost it after all the Military moves over the years and have never found it since. Does anyone have the recipe for this one? It had a nice yeasty scent to it, stayed on the kitchen counter and really made great bread.

  194. Darien,
    I have had 3 ziplock bags of frozen starter since 2011. I just took 1 bag out the freezer yesterday and brought it to room temp. It looks fine and smells like yeast.
    I’m concerned that it has not bubbled after mashing it several times yesterday. How long do I need to wait before making the bread? Do I need to ‘feed’ it? I read that term in earlier post, but don’t know what it means, or how it is done. Am I able to to add the ingredient to make the 2 loaves without making extra for sharing?
    As for the other bags; how do I proceed from the frozen state, to prepare for sharing?

    Tnaks in advance for your response,

    • Hi Angel! You have a couple of options: use it right away (after it’s thawed, just measure 1 cup) or treat it like Day 6 and do a Day 6 feeding. On Day 10 you can divide it into 1-cup portions to share or freeze, and then bake with 1 cup as well. Some starters don’t bubble up after being frozen for a while without a little kickstart, so even if you do a small feeding, it will help. Good luck!

  195. I have an Amish Friendship Bread Starter that I’ve used for more than 15 years now. Someone at work how much I loved to cook, so she gifted me with one of her starters. I’ve never run out so some of that starter from 15 years ago still makes my loaves!

    • Hi Maggie! We love stories like this — we’ve also been gifted various starters over the years and it’s interesting to see how they each look different. If you ever get a chance to take a picture of your starter, I hope you’ll submit it to the photo gallery. Thanks for being in the Kitchen with us!

  196. Can you keep this in a mason jar instead of in plastic baggies? We are trying to cut down on baggie use around here 🙂

    • Hi Tabitha! A mason jar is too small — the starter can almost triple in size on a warm day, so you can use a large glass crock (with lid or plastic wrap/dish towel on top) – 3 to 5 gallon, just to be safe.

  197. Kimberlee says:

    I was wondering if anyone has the friendship poem that goes with the bread it was a poem with the instructions in it. It is fun do this at the holidays with the poem. Anybody?

  198. Does this starter ever go in the fridge? Does it stay on the counter all the time? I have a sourdough starter that after I feed it, it goes in the refrigerator for 7 days before I take it back out again to feed it.

  199. If my friend bagged my starter on 9/13 but she doesn’t give it to me until 9/15 which day do I count as day 1?

  200. You should count the day she bagged the starter, but if you’re off by a couple of days, it wouldn’t be a problem if you counted the day you received it (Day 3) as Day 1, Mandi.

  201. Could I use almond milk?

    • Yes, though we’ve noticed the nut milks and rice milk starters don’t look as active as the dairy-based starters. You definitely want to keep an eye on your starter to make sure it’s bubbling and frothing, especially 12 hours after a feeding. We’ve also started a starter on regular milk and then continue to feed it with rice or almond milk if we were out of regular milk, and that worked fine.

  202. Hello I have a question regarding freezing my bag. I received a bag from a friend and did the whole 10 day cycle. I separated my bags and gave some away and kept one and froze it. But I’m confused on what I do when I take it out of the freezer? Do I add anything to it and treat it as Day 1? I would like to continue making some. Thank you!

  203. I made Amish Friendship Bread years ago and was thrilled to see I could produce a starter, so is my family :D!
    I’ve completed my 10 days and want to start the bread itself, but I’m not sure what type of measuring cup to use when removing starter for the individual zip-loc bag, dry or liquid? Also, when the starter comes out of the freezer do I start from day 1 or is it ready to use as the cup I’m using now? Thanks in advance :)!

    • Hi Theresa–Great question! For liquids, you can use either — it’s exactly the same (you can test this by pouring 1 cup of water into a dry measuring cup and then pouring that into a liquid measuring cup. Still 1 cup!). It’s only with dry items that you want to be more precise and the type of measuring cup you use, or scale, can make a big difference. Using a dry measuring cup for milk or water is also messier as there’s no room for a shaky hand–there’s no room for forgiveness in a dry measuring cup since it’s measured right up to the rim.

      We’ve found with the starter that it is definitely easier to use a dry measuring cup to get exactly 1 cup. Hope this helps!

  204. Made this years ago before computers ever came out. Made Banana Bread with it, added pineapple to some, would try it different ways as well as regular Friendship Bread.

  205. Will almond milk work?

    • It will, but we’ve noticed the nut milks and rice milk result in a quieter starter. Unless you are completely dairy free, you can try starting your starter with milk and then continuing to feed it on almond milk–we’ve had good results with that. Just make sure you’re seeing bubbles and that your starter is active 12-24 hours after a feeding. Keep us posted!

  206. Question: Can you mash the bag too much? My kids love mashing it. Does the yeast need a rest time to activate?? I’d appreciate a quick response as we are doing this now. Thanks so much!!

  207. It’s an age-old recipe. I would only add that you can stir the mixture in the bowl with a wooden spoon. I had to go to 2 – 3 other websites to find out that you can stir the starter mixture instead of storing the starter in a ziplock bag.

    OK OK OK I am a “by the recipe” kind of guy and I do take recipes literally the first time I make a recipe. I wanted to make sure I got it RIGHT.

    • Hi James! Absolutely — we prefer the mixing bowl and wooden spoon method, and use t all the time. The advantage here is that the starter really gets exposure to air and the wild yeasts floating around, while the air supply inside the bag is limited. It works well to pass the starter along in a bag or store it in the freezer that way, and then transfer the starter into a mixing bowl for the 10-day journey!

  208. What I find that works for me so that I am not having lots of “baby starters” to give away is this; I take my 1 cup of frozen Amish Friendship Bread starter from the freezer, dump it into a Pyrex 4 cup measuring cup (or mixing bowl) and let it sit on the counter for 3 to 4 hours so it’s almost at room temperature. I feed it with 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and 1/2 cup sugar. I lightly cover the container with a sheet of plastic wrap (just lay the plastic wrap on top do not seal it down; you need the air flow.) Then let it sit overnight. Next day it will have bubbled nicely. Stir it down. Pour out one cup of starter, for your recipe, and you now have one cup of starter left to place back into the freezer to re-use again some other time. It’s that simple. No more multiple bags of starter to get rid of and you always have just 1 cup of frozen starter in your freezer to work with. [Thaw your 1 cup starter – Feed your 1 cup starter – Pour out 1 cup starter for recipe – Freeze leftover 1 cup starter]

  209. I make this bread every Christmas. I have used the same starter since 1995, always in a bowl. I use the entire recipe myself to make 4 loaves of bread, and freeze my one cup for a year. It’s still bubbling, and yes, we call it Herman.

  210. I’m going to a church event and want to bring these as gifts 16 days from now. Can I make the starter now and just continue to feed it? (feed on day 6, 10 and 16?) Or should I just wait to make the starter so day 10 falls on the day I need to bake. You said it tastes better the older it gets so I thought maybe it would work to start now instead of in a week?

    • Hi Becky! I’d make them now and put the date 16 days from now as Day 1 (so people what to do if they follow the instructions). One everything is bagged up and labelled, throw them in the freezer. Then you just need to take them the day or day before so they can thaw and you can attach the instructions or whatever else you’d like to do. It’ll be just fine if you’re off a day or two, but do it now so it’ll be one less thing to worry about later. You can check out our tutorial on reviving frozen starter if you have any questions: Have fun!

  211. Can soy milk be used in place of regular milk?

  212. My bag didn’t seal all the way and part of it leaked out. I would say about half. Should I still add the same amounts on day 10 or is it reined?

  213. Love this stuff! My ex used to make it 1 X month and give away. Never got the starter from her, so I made my own a month ago! Turned out great! Just made 6 loaves today! Man is it some kind of good! P.S. I didn’t have any plastic or ceramic bowls, so had to use stainless steel. Was worried it wouldn’t turn out, but it did! Not sure why that is mentioned, but the time in the bowl was about 5 minutes, so maybe it didn’t matter? But it is GOOD!

  214. There are several kinds of starter cakes that my mom used. One is a 30 day bread. Could you please send different recipes that I can try. One had lots of fruits in it.

  215. I started a starter with the yeast, milk, sugar, flour and put it in a zip lock bag 3 days ago.
    It’s pretty runny and it smells like beer. Is this normal? I’ve never started it before.

    • Hi Keri — yes. You should have had some activity (bubbles, etc.) after the first day, if not your yeast may be old. On Day 6, when you do another feeding round, you should see activity within 24-48 hours. The yeasty beer smell is right (fermentation) but you want some action, too.

  216. Is this possible to do in the Caribbean? The temp is pretty hot, in the house stays about 85 degrees. Would that be too hot? Thanks

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