Amish Sourdough Bread

Round artisan sourdough bread


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  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Rise: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Servings: 20 servings
  • Yields: 2 loaves
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
17 Calories
1g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 17
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 162mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 8mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Amish sourdough bread, also known as friendship bread, is traditionally gifted. The starter mix works in place of standard baking yeast and can be used to make several kinds of yeast-based breads, like Amish cinnamon bread. As the baker, you would keep one cup of starter mix to create a new cycle of bread making; you can then give the remaining three cups of starter discard to friends so they can make their own. One cup of sourdough starter typically makes a standard loaf of bread.

In order to prevent starter mix from running out, it is customary to feed the starter (with flour, water, and sugar or honey) before removing a cup to use. A five-day baking cycle feeds the starter every fifth day and uses the resulting mixture on that day to bake a loaf or two of bread. The leftover mixture is then used to begin the next fermentation cycle.

Intimidated? Don't be. Amish sourdough is one of the easiest sourdoughs to make, and the resulting bread is delicious as a side dish or for sandwiches.


  • 1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 cups water (110 to 115 F)
  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup sourdough starter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.

  3. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of the flour, salt, sugar, and sourdough starter.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the baking soda; stir into the sourdough mixture. Keep adding in as much of the remaining 1 cup of flour as you can, mixing with a spoon. 

  5. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total).

  6. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease the top and cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in volume. 

  7. Punch down and divide the dough in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. 

  8. Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans or one large baking sheet for 6-inch round loaves. Shape dough into the desired shape. Make shallow X-shaped slashes with a sharp knife. Cover and let rise about 1 hour, or until doubled. 

  9. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake loaves 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

  10. Serve and enjoy.


Starter mix can be frozen and used later, with the new cycle beginning after the starter mix has thawed. Additionally, it can be slowed to about half the normal fermentation rate when it is stored in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature.