If you are looking for a new way to use your Amish friendship bread starter, try this easy, white bread that is perfect for sandwiches and savory meals. No additional sugar added!
For at least a year now, many have asked for new ways to use up your friendship bread starter. The most commonly requested recipe? A simple white bread. Not sweet like a dessert, but one that you could slice and serve as a sandwich.
When yeast started becoming scarce a few weeks ago, I pulled a friendship bread starter out of the freezer that had been in there a year. Yes a year. I added 1/2 cup each of flour, milk and sugar and got the whole sourdough process started again. This classic homemade white bread was the first recipe I tested. And Maddie called it “super addicting“. That’s what we want! 🙂
What exactly is Amish friendship bread starter?
You’ll notice that this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Click here to find that recipe. It is a sweet sourdough (sometimes called Herman sourdough) made from milk, flour and sugar. It’s a 10 day process, but it is super easy. It’s called friendship bread because after the 10 days, you divide the starter into a few bags to give to friends. That way they can enjoy the amazing breads this starter makes!
Important Note: Plan Ahead!
This sourdough bread is a little different than traditional artisan sourdough. It takes a little longer to rise a loaf of bread. Because of that, you’ll want to plan 48 hours to make this bread. Don’t worry…that’s not 48 hours of hands on time. In fact, there is hardly any hands on time at all. Most of the 48 hours is rise time.
Ingredients for Sandwich Friendship Bread
You’ll need just 5 ingredients to make this bread:
- friendship sourdough starter
- oil. We use vegetable oil, but others would work too.
- water (The water should be warm. About 100º Fahrenheit should work.)
- flour. Unbleached flour generally works best with sourdough. And bread flour will give the bread better structure, but all-purpose will work too.
How to Make Friendship Bread
This recipe starts with the Amish friendship bread starter. We have not tested it with traditional sourdough starter (the kind without sugar). Most likely it would work, but know that we have not yet tested it.
Pro Tip: Sourdough recipes work best if you weigh each ingredient based on grams. A kitchen scale works best for this. This is the kitchen scale we have and love.
Mix the dough.
- Take a glass bowl and whisk together the starter, oil, salt and warm water.
- Then add in the flour and mix until it becomes a shaggy dough.
- Allow the dough to sit for just 30 minutes.
- Pick the dough ball up and form a ball with the dough.
- Then spray a clean bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough ball in the glass bowl and cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap.
Allow the dough to rise for about 24 hours room temperature. How fast the dough rises will depend on the temperature of your house. If your house is cold (which ours often is!), place the bowl in the oven and turn on the oven light. Make sure the bowl is not touching or very close to the oven light. Close the oven and allow the warmth of the light bulb to help the bread rise.
This trick helps our dough when we feel it is having trouble rising, but remember that the dough is in there. We’ve forgotten the dough was in there and turned the oven on only to ruin our rising bread!
After about 24 hours, the dough should be slightly risen. Pick the dough ball up and knead it about 10 times. It should feel tacky, but not too sticky. This takes less than a minute. No need to knead the dough for minutes on end!
Spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray (or coat it with oil). Form the dough into an oval “loaf” shape and place it in the prepared pan. Cover it again with plastic wrap and let it rise another 24 hours.
We found the second rise took less time than the first rise. After about 14 hours our dough looked like this:
We let it sit another 6 hours or so and it didn’t really rise anymore. Plan 24 hours for each rise though, and be pleasantly surprised if it takes less time!
When your dough has risen to fill the pan, it is time to bake! Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. If you think it is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil and continue to bake.
What is this bread good for?
This bread is excellent for slicing and serving with just butter. Or top with honey or your favorite homemade jam. It’s also good for:
Basically anything you use regular white bread for!
Other Recipes to Use Friendship Bread Starter
- chocolate friendship bread
- pumpkin sourdough coffee cake
- cinnamon friendship bread
- carrot cake
- chocolate chip muffins
White Amish Friendship Bread
- 1/2 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter (130 grams)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (50 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (9 grams)
- 3/4 cup warm water (170 grams)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour) (450 grams)
- This recipe works best if you weight out the ingredients. We highly recommend a kitchen scale.
- In a medium size bowl, use a whisk to mix together the starter, oil, salt, and water.
- Add the flour. Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together until the flour is absorbed and a stiff dough forms.
- Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
- Using your hands, form a dough ball.
- Spray a large glass bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Leave the dough overnight at room temperature.
- At about the same time the next day, check the dough. It should be slightly risen. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead about 10 times to form a smooth ball.
- Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil or cooking spray. Form a small, smooth loaf with the dough and place it in the pan.
- Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to sit again at room temperature overnight.
- You should find the next day that the dough has risen nicely to fill the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit and bake for about 35-40 minutes. If the top is getting too brown, cover loosely with a piece of foil so it doesn't get any more brown.
- Allow the bread to cool for 5-10 minutes. Loosen the edges of the bread with a knife and remove it from the pan to cool on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container.
Recipe slightly adapted from Friendship Bread Kitchen