Need help with Amish Friendship Bread


DIS Veteran
Mar 30, 2004
Has anyone made this or made their own starter for this? I've made it before several times, but this is the first time I've made the starter for myself. I made the starter using 1 cup each of milk, sugar and flour (got the recipe online). On day 5 added another cup each of milk, sugar and flour. It's now day 10 and I'm supposed to make the bread today. But, my starter smells bad. The closest thing I can think of is smelling like bad cheese. Is it supposed to smell bad? I don't recall ever smelling it before, but I know it's supposed to ferment or something like that. I'm just not sure if I should use this starter. And I'm especially not comfortable with passing it out to other people. Can anyone help me with this?
Yes, it should smell bad. Afterall, milk sitting out for 10 days?? Yikes! What will you add? Nuts & raisins? vanilla pudding & chocolate chips? cinnamon & apples? I had a terrible time last time I tried to make the starter. Mine molded. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to cover loosely or tightly but apparently tupperware and airtight seal was not the way to go.
Your recipe needs to include yeast. The yeast eats all the oxygen in the sealed container, which prevents aerobic bacteria from growing and causing the milk to spoil.

It should not smell, you forgot yeast.
It's a great tradition.

ETA: I do mine in a ziplock bag and just knead instead of stirring.

Friendship Bread Starter

Ingredients for Starter:

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar

Procedure to make Starter:

Note: DO NOT use metal bowls or spoons and DO NOT refrigerate.

Dissolve yeast in small amount of warm water. Mix all ingredients together in an ample sized bowl or jar (it WILL grow). This is Day 1 of the starter.

Day 1: The day you receive the starter - Do nothing.
Day 2, 3, 4: Stir with wooden spoon.
Day 5: Add 1 cup each - flour, sugar, milk. Stir.
Day 6, 7, 8: Stir with wooden spoon.
Day 9: Do nothing.
Day 10: Add 1 cup each - flour, sugar, milk. Stir. Pour into 3 containers (1 cup each). Give 2 containers to friends along with this recipe. Keep 1 cup for yourself.


When giving starter away, only half fill the container and provide for some ventilation (ie. small hole in top of jar). The starter does expand and unless the gases caused by the fermenting process are allowed to escape, they will build up and could cause the lid of the container to pop off.

Store the remaining starter in a container in the refrigerator and begin the 10 day process over again when ready. You can also freeze this starter in 1 cup measures for later use. Frozen starter will take at least 3 hours at room temperature to thaw before using.
OK Thanks everyone! I searched online for a starter recipe and some said to use yeast and others said not to. A few months ago, I posted a question as to whether or not I should use yeast and everyone said not to. But, I will try it with the yeast this time (Thanks Barb for posting your recipe)! I know some of you said that it's supposed to smell bad, but I'm just not comfortable with the way it does smell. I guess now I have to wait another 10 days for my bread :guilty: . This time I'm making one loaf with chocolate chips and one loaf with cinnamon chips. Can't wait to try the cinnamon!!!


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