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May 14, 2015



Just for the fun of it I am off on a project that takes me back to the 70s, 80s and maybe the 90s. Some people may remember this and for others this will be either new or strange experience. We are talking about the “Friendship Cake”.   Some people call this a cake but it is really a “bread” and the starter is what is used to make what is also known as Amish Friendship Bread. It’s called Friendship Bread Starter because it is shared among friends.


History (according to Wikipedia)

There is no reason to think that the sweet, cinnamon-flavored bread has any connection to the Amish people,[1] although the name is taken from them. According to Elizabeth Coblentz, a member of the Old Order Amish and the author of the syndicated column “The Amish Cook”,[2] true Amish friendship bread is “just sourdough bread that is passed around to the sick and needy”.[3]

The recipe for Amish cinnamon bread may have first been posted to the Internet in 1990,[4] but the recipe itself is several decades old.


So let’s get started with the starter. For proper fermentation process, the starter should not come in contact with any metal (spoons, bowls, etc.) and do not use an electric mixer. This process is to be done by hand and for best result use glass, plastic and/or wooden utensils.

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 ounce envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F.)
  • Gallon size reseal able plastic bags



In a glass measuring cup, add 1/4 cup warm water. Add yeast and allow to dissolve. This takes about 10 minutes. Stir to combine.   In a large bowl (please do not use metal), combine sugar and flour with whisk. Slowly add milk and then yeast. Stir until combined.

The first day there is little to do with your gift. Make sure to keep the package in a warm but draft free area.

Days Two through Five: shake/massage/knead your bag. Be carefully not to spill the contents.

Day Six: Feed the starter by adding 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk. Shake/knead the mixture together.

Days Seven, Eight and Nine: basic shaking and kneading of the bag. Due to the buildup of air open the bag if needed to release any extra air.

Day Ten: open the bag and pour the contents into a big bowl.


After day 10, place 3/4 cup of the starter in each of the plastic bags. Share the other 3 bags with friends. Make sure to give a copy of the instructions to the three friends.   Use what is left in the bowl to make a loaf and remember to keep one of the starter bags as well. BTW – this bread will remind you of a quick bread and you can also add flavors of your choice, fruits and nuts to make this your special treat. Although this is a long process it is an interesting project and another method of sharing. Enjoy and have a great time sharing with your friends. In case you are a friend short, the starter can be frozen for later use.


Once you have received your bag of starter you can now start the process of beginning another starter recipe and the process of sharing. Mix in more flour, sugar and milk according to the recipe above.

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