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Nov 14, 2007 10:48 AM

Question about Amish Friendship Bread

I received a ziploc baggie of amish friendship bread starter from the SO's mother a little while ago. I just noticed today that the recipe that came with it calls for a large box of instant vanilla pudding, which doesn't sound very Amish if you ask me. Does anyone know of a recipe for a more authentic Amish Friendship Bread which doesn't include instant Jello?

...I really hope this bread is worth the 10 days of mushing, feeding, and waiting!

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  1. I used to do this 10-12 years ago. I don't have the exact recipe I used to use, but it was something like this (no pudding):

    I didn't think the bread was any better than good quick bread. The best tip my mother gave me was to cut the starter in half so you only need to add half the ingredients and in the end, have just enough starter to make a new loaf and to keep for the next loaf. I had been begging people to take the starter and often ended up throwing it out. I did it for a few months, played a lot with the recipe, adding different things (pumpkin was a big one; and cocoa for some of the flour and then chocolate chips; bananas; etc.). It was fun to play with but I got tired of it.

    1. It's doubtful whether this 'chain letter' starter has any thing to do with the Amish, except in name..

      There are, of course, plenty of bread recipes that use a sourdough starter, but the sweet bread of your recipe isn't one of them.


      1. Note that this starter is quite different from sourdough starters. It uses equal parts flour and sugar. Also all the recipes, even if they don't have pudding mix, use baking soda and powder for their main leavening. So the starter is just a quick bread flavoring agent.

        2 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          I noticed that too. Does this mean the bread would turn out ok even if I baked it early?

          1. re: Reene902

            I haven't worked with this starter, though I have grown and used an 'alaskan' style sourdough starter. I suspect you could use all of the starter that you were given right away. After all it is just a portion of the starter that your friend had just grown for 10 days. But you wouldn't have any left over to pass on to someone else. That's the purpose of the 10 day growing period - you add more flour and sugar (twice?) so you end up with 3 times what you started with. You use some of that, you pass some on, and use some to grow another batch.

            A real sourdough starter can be used daily, kept and nourished in a 'sourdough pot'. For each use, a portion is taken out, and used to 'set a sponge' overnight. Other ingredients are added to the sponge the next day to make pancakes, bread, or even quickbreads. In this use the sourdough is an alternative to packaged yeast. I don't know if there is a good online source for working with sourdough. I have an older book called 'Cooking Alaskan' that has a 20 page chapter on the subject.


        2. There are LOADS of variations (with and without Jello) on this site:

          1. I made it twice last year after getting the starter from a friend. I simply used the recipe that came with the bread with a few modifications. Having had the "original version" previously, I wanted something a little less sweet and less oily, so I left out the pudding mix and substituted applesauce for 1/3 of the oil. I also added cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of ginger the second time I made it. A friend that I gave the recipe to tried it with apple pieces which turned out quite well also (again without the pudding and 1/3 applesauce for oil). I would say it is worth the mushing, etc 1 or 2 times since it has a slightly different taste than most quickbreads, but is not really any better or worse than most of my other good quickbread recipes.