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It’s one of the most delicious quick breads that you will ever taste, and you’ve just GOT to share it with friends! This easy Amish Friendship Bread is laced with notes of cinnamon and sugar for a sweet breakfast, snack or dessert that pairs perfectly with a warm cup of coffee.
Have you guys heard about Amish Friendship Bread before? I recently tried it for the first time when my friend Jackie brought me some of her bread (along with a bag of the starter), and I was hooked. I just had to share this with all of you! After all, you’re my friends, right?!
Before we get into the details of exactly what Amish Friendship Bread is, let me just say that this is one of the best quick breads that I’ve ever made! It’s so moist, so rich in flavor, and so warmly spiced for the season. Thanks to a cinnamon-sugar topping, you get a great sweet crust on the top and a fluffy, tender inside. You’re seriously going to love it!
This Amish Friendship Bread is so good, in fact, that it earned a spot in the breadbasket on our Thanksgiving table. My kids were definitely happy about that!
What is Amish Friendship Bread?
This cinnamon-flavored bread has the consistency of a pound cake or coffee cake, and is dusted with a cinnamon-sugar topping. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, snack, dessert, or even a side dish with a special dinner.
What is the story behind Amish Friendship Bread?
So here’s the deal with Amish Friendship Bread: each batch begins with a starter (made with flour, yeast, sugar, and milk). You’re supposed to share the starter with 3 friends every time you prepare a batch of the bread. Those friends then make their own bread, and share the starter with 3 more friends. You get the idea — it’s basically like the bread version of an old-school chain letter! The recipe (and starter) is passed along like a chain from one friend to the next.
But don’t worry! You don’t have to wait for a friend to give you a batch of her starter in order to be able to prepare this Amish Friendship Bread!
My friend Jackie gave me my first batch of starter and the bread recipe to go with it, but I have also included the instructions for making your own starter here. Now you can get the chain going!
Is Amish Friendship Bread the same as sourdough?
No, the starter used for Amish Friendship Bread includes milk and sugar, so it’s much sweeter than a traditional sourdough starter.
Amish Friendship Bread without Starter
Don’t want to mess with a large batch of starter? You can enjoy this version of Amish Friendship Bread that’s made without starter.
Printable Amish Friendship Bread Instructions and Recipe
I have included the recipe and instructions in this printable PDF so that you can share it with all of your friends!
Here’s a quick look at the process for making the Amish Friendship Bread, which is incredibly EASY! Yes, it takes 10 days, but you don’t have to do much other than squish your bag around and wait during that 10-day period.
How to Make Amish Friendship Bread
It’s a fun activity for the kids to get involved with, and it’s a great way to share some love and baked goods with friends this holiday season!
Don’t forget that you can print out a full set of instructions with the recipe HERE.
Tips for the Best Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
- Do NOT use any metal spoons or bowls when mixing.
- Do NOT refrigerate the starter.
- If air gets into the bag, let it out.
- It’s normal for the starter to rise, bubble and ferment.
Amish Friendship Bread Instructions and Baking Schedule:
- Day 1: Do nothing. This is the date that you receive the bag of starter (or the date that you make your own batch of starter). Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 2: Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 3: Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 4: Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 5: Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 6: Add to the bag – 1 CUP OF FLOUR, 1 CUP OF SUGAR, and 1 CUP OF MILK. Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 7: Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 8: Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 9: Squish and mush the bag.
- Day 10: BAKING DAY! Mix and divide the starter as follows:
Mixing and Dividing the Starter on Day 10:
Pour the entire contents of the starter bag into a non-metal bowl and add:
- 1 ½ cups of flour
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- 1 ½ cups of milk
Measure out 4 separate batches of the starter batter (1 cup each) and place into large gallon-size Ziploc bags. Keep one bag of starter for yourself and give the other 3 to friends, along with a copy of these instructions. The batter that remains in the large bowl will be used for baking your Amish Friendship Bread, as instructed below:
Cinnamon Sugar Amish Friendship Bread
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 large (5 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix (just the dry mix)
- For the Topping: 1/4 cup of sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
TO PREPARE THE AMISH FRIENDSHIP BREAD ON DAY 10:
- Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Spray two large loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
- After adding the additional flour, sugar, and milk to the starter and dividing the starter into separate bags (as instructed above), you should have some starter batter still left in your large bowl.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to the starter batter in the large bowl (eggs through pudding mix).
- Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared loaf pans.
- In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle the top of each loaf with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake in the 325F/160C oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and then remove bread from pans.
- If you keep a starter bag for yourself, you can repeat the baking process every 10 days.