RECIPE: Friendship Bread

With a spotlight on fairness for the UN’s World Health Day 2021 theme, we thought it would be great to bake some friendship bread! A traditional Amish recipe from the Northeast United States, friendship bread encourages bakers to pass it on and share with others. Try it out and share with your friends! Then, they can “pay it forward” when they’re ready to share with their own friends, family, and neighbors! 

Getting It Started

Amish Friendship Bread is similar to Sourdough bread because both are baked from a “starter” dough. This is a batch of dough mix that you save, then “feed” in a 10-day process. Here’s how to make a Friendship Bread Starter. 


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 cups white sugar, divided
  • 3 cups milk


NOTE: Do not use metal utensils to mix the Friendship Bread starter.

Step 1 : Dissolve .25 oz yeast in ¼ cup water in a small ceramic bowl. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container container, mix 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly. Stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture slowly. Cover with a damp towel and let stand until bubbly. Leave loosely covered at room temperature. This is Day 1 of the 10-day bread making cycle. 

Step 2: Once a day until day 4 of the bread making cycle, stir starter with a spoon. On day 5, stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. On day 6 through day 9 just stir the starter gently.

Step 3: On Day 10, stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread using the Friendship Bread Recipe below. Then, give 2 cups of the starter to a friend along with the recipe. You can either store the last 1 cup of starter mix in a container in your refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again, beginning with step 2.

Time to Bake! 

Once your starter is ready, it’s time to bake the dough mix into a delicious loaf of bread. Here are the ingredients and instructions for your delicious Friendship Bread! 


  • 1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 (9×5 inch) loaf pans.

Step 2: Mix bread starter with oil, eggs, and dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pans.

Step 3: Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Step 4: Allow to cool, then, enjoy!