News from the Tennessee Valley Food

Give the tasty gift of Amish Friendship Bread

By Patrice Stewart

A reader of Decatur Daily food pages called to ask for the recipes for Friendship Bread and the starter mixture that is used in making it.

We located recipes to share with this reader and others.

Amish Friendship Bread requires making the starter over 10 days and then using some of that to make the bread.

You can give some of the starter and the recipe to friends, along with this tasty bread.

Itís a good idea for sharing for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other times when a token gift is helpful. Several varieties can be made. Also, you can make it plain or mix in your favorite fruit.

Starter for Friendship Bread
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 cups milk

It takes 10 days to get this starter ready. Do not use metal containers or utensils in making the starter. Here are the directions for each of the 10 days:

Day 1: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water and let stand 10 minutes. In a 2-quart glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature until bubbly.

Days 2 through 4: Stir the starter with a spoon.

Day 5: Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.

Days 6 through 9: Stir only.

Day 10: Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup of the starter to make your first bread. Give 2 cups to friends, along with the recipes for starter and Amish Bread.

Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10-day process over again (beginning with day 2).

Note: Once you have made the starter, you will consider it Day One, and thus ignore step 1 in this recipe and proceed with day 2. You can also freeze this starter in 1 cup measures for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using. Here is a basic recipe to try, using your starter mix.

Amish Friendship Bread
1 cup starter
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
11/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, including starter, and mix well. Pour into two well greased and sugared 9x5-inch loaf pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Cool 20 minutes before removing from pans. Makes two 9x5-inch loaves.

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Recipe request

If you are looking for a recipe, we can help. Call Patrice Stewart at 340-2446 or e-mail her at