The Amish Bread That Takes 10 Days To Make

The Amish have a long and storied history stretching back to the time of the Protestant Reformation. According to Amish Tables, William Penn's founding of Pennsylvania as an experiment in religious tolerance drew the Amish across the Atlantic in the hopes of escaping the persecution they were facing in Europe. Today, of course, Pennsylvania is famous for Dutch Country, the oldest continuous Amish community in the United States (per

Known primarily for their dedication to simple living, strict religious principles, and qualms with modern technology, the Amish are also acclaimed for their baked goods. Amish Heritage explains that the two pillars behind Amish baking are the use of simple ingredients and making everything from scratch. Shoofly pie, a molasses-based breakfast pie, is popular throughout Dutch Country. However, there is one particular bread that has reached a high level of popularity outside of Amish communities — and it can take nearly two weeks to prepare.

A bread of kindness and convenience

Committing to making amish friendship bread is like committing to friendship itself; you need to be in it for the long haul. Before you can even consider putting the bread in the oven, you need to prepare the starter. According to Friendship Bread Kitchen, the starter for friendship bread is akin to the starter used to make sourdough bread, a fermented mixture of flour and liquid. Friendship Bread is similar, except it also uses milk, sugar, and yeast in the recipe and is left to rest for 10 days before it is ready to use.

Friendship bread began as a form of charity in the community, as bakers would provide the sick and poor with bread to feed themselves (via Amish Furniture Factory). This grew into the sharing of bread and splitting the starter among friends. Owing to the nature of the starter — the more you feed it the larger it gets — it became necessary to share with friends out of sheer convenience.

The resulting bread is soft and sweet, especially when sprinkled with a cinnamon topping. As long as the starter is present, you can feel free to experiment and develop a unique friendship bread of your own.