Amish Friendship Bread Recipe With Pudding
Amish Friendship Bread is a unique bread with a tasty mix of sweet and tangy flavors, thanks to its special fermented starter. This cinnamon friendship bread is rich and comforting, with a moist, dense, cake-like texture that's so satisfying.
The fermented starter adds a depth of flavor, and with the addition of the pudding mix and cinnamon, this recipe creates a truly delightful quick bread!
Amish Friendship Bread is a beloved treat whether you eat it plain or slathered with butter. I love it plain! However, you can also spice it up with extras like nuts, raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips as desired.
Friendship Bread Starter
You will need an Amish sourdough culture starter to make this recipe.
Amish Friendship Bread begins with a sourdough culture that is shared among friends. It starts with a friend giving you a portion of a starter—a mix of flour, sugar, and milk that captures wild yeast and bacteria.
Over ten days, you follow instructions to feed the starter with more flour, sugar, and milk, keeping it alive.
After this period, you divide the starter into four portions. Two or three portions are shared with friends, and the fourth is used to bake a loaf of the most heavenly cinnamon-sugared Amish Friendship Bread.
It's fun to share with your friends, and this practice of sharing helps people to feel connected. However, if you can't find anyone interested in the sourdough starter, just freeze the 1-cup bags for later use.
In airtight freezer bags, it stays good frozen for up to a year. So when you're ready to begin the sourdough process or bake bread again, take it out of the freezer, consider it as Day 1, or use the cup of thawed starter to bake more friendship bread!
What If I Can't Find Any Sourdough Starter?
I shared the starter recipe in a previous post, so if you don't already have a starter, you will need to find that recipe and create a starter before baking this bread.
The whole process of making a friendship bread starter from scratch takes twelve days before you are ready to bake the bread. It may seem like a long wait, but trust me, it's worth it!
If you already have a starter, then you are ready to get baking, unless you want to take it through the ten-day cycle so that you have starters to share and more for the next time.
10-Day Starter Cycle
Amish Friendship Bread Starter lives at room temperature on a 10-day cycle. The basis of the cycle is feeding the starter every five days and dividing the starter every ten days.
Day #1. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Day #2. Do nothing.
Day # 3. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Day #4. Do nothing.
Day #5. Add one cup milk, one cup sugar, and one cup flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. (At this point, you may need to transfer it to a larger bowl.)
Day #6. Do nothing.
Day #7. Do nothing.
Day #8. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Day #9. Do nothing.
Day #10. Add one cup of milk, one cup of sugar, and one cup of flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. Set aside one cup of starter to make a batch of friendship bread.
Divide the remaining starter into one-cup portions and share them with friends.
Ready to get started baking? Each ingredient in this Amish Friendship Bread recipe contributes to the overall flavor, texture, and structure of the bread.
- Friendship Bread Starter adds a fermented and tangy flavor, as well as contributing to the bread's rise.
- Oil provides moisture to the bread and contributes to its rich texture. For a healthier option, you can substitute 1/2 cup of the oil for applesauce.
- Eggs add structure, moisture, and richness to the bread.
- Milk enhances the moistness and tenderness of the bread.
- Vanilla Extract adds a warm and aromatic flavor to complement the sweet and tangy notes.
- All-Purpose Flour provides the structure and foundation for the bread.
- Sugar sweetens the bread and contributes to its overall flavor.
- Baking Powder acts as a leavening agent to help the bread rise and create a light texture.
- Baking Soda is another leavening agent that reacts with the acid in the starter to add more rise.
- Salt balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.
- Cinnamon adds warmth and a hint of spice to the flavor profile.
- Instant Vanilla Pudding enhances the moisture, provides a rich texture, and adds a deep flavor to this Amish cinnamon bread.
How to Make Amish Friendship Bread
Once you have obtained or created a starter, friendship bread is very quick and easy to make. It's simply a matter of gathering, measuring, and mixing together all your ingredients in the order given.
Bake the bread in standard-sized bread pans that have been coated with cinnamon and sugar.
Sugar and Cinnamon Coated Pans
Typically when I'm baking quick breads, I line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper for easier removal, and that is an option with this recipe too.
However, the instructions tell you to grease the pans and then coat the sides and bottoms of the pans with a cinnamon sugar mixture. Coating the pans with a cinnamon sugar mixture helps the bread not to stick and it also adds a delightful chewy coating to the crust of the bread.
The first time I made this bread, I coated the pans with cinnamon and sugar, but the bread still wanted to stick a bit in the corners.
So make sure you coat the pans very well, or line the bottoms with parchment first. Then spray the parchment and sprinkle it with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
If the bread doesn't want to slide out easily, run a knife around the edges to loosen it.
Amish Friendship Bread With Pudding or Without Pudding
To be honest with you, I found it interesting that Amish friendship bread has instant pudding mix included in the recipe. And I am guessing that some of you will have the same response.
Sharing friendship bread starters has been an Amish tradition for many years, and I find it hard to believe that the original bread recipe had instant pudding in the mix.
However, sometimes a recipe has a way of evolving over the years. Someone probably decided to see what happens if they add instant pudding, and they liked the outcome. The addition of pudding produces a richer flavor and texture.
So, of course, they share the discovery with their friends, and pretty soon everyone is adding instant pudding because it enhances the bread. So, here you have it, Amish friendship bread with pudding in the mix. 🙂
I will launch out though, and say that adding pudding mix is optional. You can try this bread both ways (with or without) and decide for yourself if it's worth adding the pudding.
Is There Any Way That I Can Make Friendship Bread Without a Starter?
The key to Amish Friendship Bread is having that special sourdough starter. The whole idea revolves around sharing a starter with friends. If you skip the starter, it's not friendship bread anymore.
However, it is possible to use this same recipe and make Amish cinnamon bread without a starter. 🙂
It won't be Amish Friendship bread, and the flavor won't be the same, but if you replace the starter and the half cup of milk with one and one-half cups of buttermilk, you'll end up with a tasty cinnamon quick bread. (Omit the starter and milk in the recipe, using 1 1/2 cups of real buttermilk instead.)
Amish women make some of the most delicious homemade breads, and this recipe is no exception. While it takes some time and dedication to create Amish Friendship Bread from scratch, enjoying this tasty bread makes it worth the wait.
And once you have a starter going, you can always keep a handy bag of starter in the freezer for the next time. Friendship bread starter can also be used to make other delicious baked goods such as Blueberry Friendship Muffins.
If you get to try this 10-day friendship bread recipe, I'd love it if you left a comment and star rating below. Thank you! (Starter recipe found here.)
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Items you may need...
Amish Friendship Bread Recipe
- 1 cup friendship bread starter
- 1 cup canola or vegetable oil (can use 1/2 c. oil and 1/2 c. applesauce if desired)
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 large box (5.1 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
- chopped nuts, chopped dates, chocolate chips, etc. are optional add-ins
- Friendship bread begins with a fermented starter, so if you don't have one, you'll need to create one using my recipe for friendship bread starter.
- Preheat the oven to 325℉.
- Prepare two standard-sized (8 1/2"x 4 1/2") loaf pans. Spray or butter them well, then sprinkle the pans with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. (Mix approximately 1/3 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.)
- In a large bowl, mix all the wet ingredients in the order given.1 cup friendship bread starter, 1 cup canola or vegetable oil, 3 large eggs, beaten, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 large box (5.1 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
- Stir in any add-ins desired.chopped nuts, chopped dates, chocolate chips, etc. are optional add-ins
- Divide the batter between two well-greased and cinnamon-sugar-sprinkled loaf pans. Sprinkle extra sugar and cinnamon over the tops if desired.
- Bake at 325° for one hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only a few crumbs. It may take up to 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the bread rest in the pans for 10 minutes.
- Cool and store in airtight bags or containers at room temperature for up to three days. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.