08 May 2009

Amish Friendship Bread

My friend Donna gave me a ziplock baggie of goo and a piece of paper, detailing the directions for "Amish Friendship Bread". This had me laughing. Especially at the end, where it says "Only the Amish know how to create the starter, so if you give them all away, you will have to wait until someone gives you one back." Told Donna it's a good thing she knows someone that's half (Amish) Mennonite [me]! :)

Anyway, the goo is a yeast/milk/flour/sugar mixture that is the perpetual product of this bread. The yeast starter becomes large enough for 5 portions... one to bake into 2 loaves, 3 to give away to friends in baggies to get them hooked, and then 1 to keep for yourself for your next batch (10 days later after baking the 1st batch). Donna had followed the directions, but substituted soy milk for the regular milk. So the dairy content had been diluted significantly

As I proceeded with my baggie from her (a product of her soy batch), I used hempmilk, unbleached flour, and organic cane sugar. So although this began as a dairy starter, the amount of dairy has been diluted even further. By the time I've finished with mine, the dairy content is probably negligible.

Here is the original recipe/directions, along with my notes [in brackets] for changes.


*Do not use metal spoon or bowl for mixing
*Do not refrigerate
*If air gets in bag, let it out
*It is normal for batter to rise, bubble and ferment

Day 1: Do nothing. This is the date you received the batter.
Day 2: Mush bag
Day 3: Mush bag
Day 4: Mush bag
Day 5: Mush bag
Day 6: Add to the bag 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk then mush bag [Use non-dairy milk (soy or hemp) for vegan version. May consider organic sugar, unbleached flour, etc. as other healthier substitutes.]
Day 7: Mush bag
Day 8: Mush bag
Day 9: Mush bag
Day 10: Follow the instructions below:

1) Pour the entire contents of the bag into a NON METALLIC bowl
2) Add 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups sugar and 1 ½ cups milk. Mix well. [Once again, substitute unbleached flour, organic sugar, and non-dairy "milk".]
3) Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into 4 gallon Ziploc bags. Keep a starter for your self and give the other 3 to friends along with a copy of this recipe. Should this not be passed onto a friend on the first day, be certain to tell the friend which day the bag is at when presented to them. It is helpful to mark the bag. When you pass this onto a friend the new Day 1 will be the day that you baked.
4) Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees
5) Add the below ingredients to the remaining batter in the bowl. Mix well

3 eggs [substitute equivalent of 3 eggs in egg replacer, such as Ener-G]
1 cup oil (or ½ cup oil and ½ cup applesauce) [I opted for the split with applesauce.]
½ cup milk [non-dairy]
1 cup sugar [organic cane sugar]
2 tsp cinnamon [to cut acidity, I do 1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 nutmeg.]
1 large box instant vanilla pudding [I substituted 2/3 c. vanilla spice hemp protein powder]
½ tsp vanilla [always add extra!!]
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups flour [unbleached is better]
You can add nuts, dates, whatever!

6) Grease 2 large loaf pans and mix additional ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with half of this mixture.
7) Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar on top.
8) Bake 1 hour. Cool until bread loosens from pan evenly (about 10-15 min). Turn onto serving dish. Serve warm or cold.

* If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days. The bread is very good and makes a great gift. Only the Amish know how to create the starter, so if you give them all away, you will have to wait until someone gives you one back. ***Enjoy***


So if you want some of my vegan starter, let me know. We'll see what we can work out (distance/transportation-wise). My friend TinaMarie stopped by from out-of-town today, and she took all 3 baggies with her that were left over from this batch. She has people she is eager to hand it out to! :)


  1. This turns out as a very cakey sweetbread. It makes 2 loaves. I sent one loaf over to the neighbours; and kept the other loaf here. The boys *loved* it and gobbled it up. That includes the hemp protein!
    The last ingredient listed is a free-for-all of whatever sounds good to you. I put in currants and coconut.

  2. Sunday will be Day 10 for the live yeast starter again. This time, I've added fresh ground "live" spelt flour [from Farmer's Market] instead of the unbleached flour. Looking lovely, I must say!! :)

  3. I just got a starter last week for the first time, definitely not a vegan starter. Although I do prefer to eat vegan foods, I'm going to try it anyway. I used soymilk on Day 6 and will use it again today to make the bread.

    I found your blog through searches on vegan Amish Friendship Bread.

    There are recipes to make the starter from scratch. Most call for milk which could probably be substituted with nondairy milk. One calls for water instead and then milk to be added on Day 6, which could again be subbed with non-dairy. If I like today's bread, I'm going to start my own 100% vegan starter and see how that goes.