Cherry, Almond and Coconut Bread

A fellow 6th grade math teacher gave me a bag of Amish friendship bread starter about a 6 weeks ago and I have been going strong giving away starter and baking bread every ten days since then.  The problem now is that I’m running out of friends to give it to!  Nothing like realizing you only have 12 friends to really boost the self esteem.  Sad day.  Anyone in Amarillo need some starter?  Let me know.  I will even drive it to your house.  There is one caveat, you have to then become my friend…

I’ve tried a few variations on the basic cinnamon bread.

  1. butterscotch pudding with toffee bits
  2. butterscotch pudding with toffee bits and vanilla chips
  3. vanilla pudding with pecans
  4. chocolate pudding with white chocolate chips

These cookies I made last week inspired my latest bread experiment.  Seeing as how I had dried cherries, almonds and coconut on hand it only seemed natural to give these ingredients a chance in the bread.  I made one loaf plain with vanilla pudding and cinnamon, and to the remaining batter I added the cherries, almonds and coconut; about a handful of each.  What am I doing?  No measuring?  I think I’m turning in to Rachel Ray!  Before you know it I am going to be writing EVOO in my posts and giving all my posts super cutesy names!  OK, OK.  I will not turn in to Rachel Ray.  I will tell you that the amounts were about 3/4 cup each.  Give or take…

If you have friendship bread starter, then just add 3/4 cup each cherries, sliced almonds and sweetened shredded coconut.  If you do NOT have starter, then you can try to make your own using the following recipe from  After you make the starter you can make the bread!  The recipe I have been using is at the bottom of this post.  One of the best parts about this bread is the cinnamon sugar coated pans.  It gives such a wonderful, crunchy exterior.  I used some Sugar in the Raw on top of my loaves and it was incredibly good.  Perfect crunchy sweetness.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 cups white sugar, divided
  • 3 cups milk


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes. In a 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container, combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly. Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.
  2. On days 2 thru 4; stir starter with a spoon. Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Days 6 thru 9; stir only.
  3. Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Remove 1 cup to make your first bread, give 2 cups to friends along with this recipe, and your favorite Amish Bread recipe. Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).
Amish Friendship Bread


Do not use a metal bowl or spoon.

Do not refrigerate.

The mix will rise, bubble and ferment.  So, “burp” the bag as needed.

Day 1: Do nothing

Day 2: Mush the bag.

Day 3: Mush

Day 4: Mush

Day 5: Mush

Day 6: Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.  Mush together in the bag.

Day 7: Mush

Day 8: Mush

Day 9: Mush

Day 10: Follow the instructions below.

1.            Pour entire contents of the bag into a large non-metal bowl.

2.            Add 1 ½ cups each flour, sugar and milk.  Mix together well.

3.            Measure 1 cup of batter into each of 4 gallon size bags and give to friends, along with a copy of this recipe.  Put the date on the bag to help keep track!

4.            Preheat the oven to 325.

5.            To the remaining batter add:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 large box instant pudding (vanilla or any flavor)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

6.            Grease 2 loaf pans and dust with sugar or a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

7.            Divide the batter evenly between the pans.  Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar if desired.

8.            Bake for 1 hour, cool for 15 minutes then remove from pans to cool completely on wire racks.

* Keep a bag of starter for yourself if you want to make more bread.