My new Pet: Amish Friendship Bread

It is called Amish Friendship Bread.  The idea is you keep this sweet bread starter in the fridge, feed it every 5 days and squoosh to mix the contents of the zippy bag each day.  On the 10th day you feed it again and pull out four cups and put in separate bags to give to four friends.  The remainder can be used in a quick bread or cake recipe.

It is kind of like Tribbles.  You feed them and they multiply.  Every 10 days you have to find another four friends willing to accept this gift of a new pet.  Then 10 days later they are trying to find four more friends, and the gift goes on.

None of my friends OR family were willing to accept this fertile pet so I have lots.  I do not need to add a whole cake every 10 days to my diet. Neither does the cat, and he is not even interested.

So I turn to the internet and Google found a lot more recipes than the cake that was provided with the starter instructions.  There is also a method of birth control for the AFB to freeze by the cupful then thawing to use in a recipe.  I like the freedom that provides.  My cat is more self-sufficient than the AFB…

The pet owner of the mother of my AFB and it’s siblings were happy to receive the additional recipes – especially the waffles.   Here at the Dustbunny Palace we don’t have a lot of dried fruit and nuts sitting around – they tend to be consumed so I was particularly interested in the basic batter recipes.

The original recipe has pudding mix and a LOT of oil – one cup for two loaves. I left the oil out by mistake and the cake turned out OK but awfully dense and I really didn’t like the flavor with the pudding. The off flavor may have been the ultra cheap pudding mix with artificial vanilla.  I read that sprinkling the greased pan with cinnamon sugar is nice, so I did that and will do that step again!

Next time I tried another recipe,  making it in my bread machine on the quick bread option.   Turned out AWESOME but way over-browned.  If I use the bread machine again I’ll remove the quick bread before the end of the cycle.  While that was baking I made some pancakes.  Now THAT is hard to resist!  They were so good I didn’t even use any butter or syrup.  Eating leftovers I got the brilliant idea to spoon pineapple over the top.  Perfection!  No, not perfection – that would only come with the addition of ice cream, but pretty close.

The Tribble has turned into a cherished pet.

The Pancake recipe – I find my starter is very thick and I added more milk to make the batter thin enough to pour

Amish Pancakes & Waffles found at

Combine in large bowl:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Combine in smaller bowl:
2 TBS oil
2 cups Amish Friendship Bread starter
1/2 cup milk (plus/minus 1/4 cup)
1 egg

Add ingredients of smaller bowl to ingredients of large bowl and mix on medium speed.
Spoon batter onto greased griddle.

Prepare batter for pancakes except increase oil to 1/4 cup.

The following is the recipe I used for the bread machine.  I halved everything so it would make the amount for a single pan full.  Next time I want to do this in the oven.

This is the “Herman” Sourdough starter recipe – I have this around the house somewhere from long ago…(hey, the grey hair is not noticeable yet, or my friends are just being kind to me)

Friendship Cake with Herman Sourdourgh Starter

3 eggs,1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup oil, 2 cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Beat until smooth.  Add your choice of raisins, chopped nuts, dried fruit, chopped apples, cherries, pineapple, etc.  Pour into tube or bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  (start checking after 40 min.)

My variation for a smaller amount:

1 egg, one half teaspoon vanilla, one half cup sugar, one third cup oil, one cup flour, three quarters teaspoon baking soda, one teaspoon baking powder, one quarter teaspoon salt, and no cinnamon.

I didn’t add the cinnamon as I wanted to see what the flavor was without any additions other than vanilla.  It is awesome, and very tender and light.  Next time I am going to bake a whole recipe and use two small loaf pans in the oven.

So K, thanks for my new pet!


2 responses to “My new Pet: Amish Friendship Bread

  1. I just received 2 starter bags from a friend. They included a recipe for the bread…not sure how it differs from what you have, but I also tried it after someone else had baked it & added chocolate chips. A lot like pound cake…!

  2. I’m so glad to find this post! Sourdough ANYTHING is hard to find outside the U.S. I will definitely have to try this soon. Thanks!

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