The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Amish Friendship Bread recipe deviation (pudding-less)

mardreygraves's picture

Amish Friendship Bread recipe deviation (pudding-less)

After a 10-year hiatus, I have been given another batch of Amish Friendship starter. I do enjoy the sweet breakfast-and-dessert style of the generic recipe that usually travels along with the starter, but I'm hoping to find an alternative to the box of pudding mix that it calls for. I'm curious about why it's even there. Eggs are already present, and I could certainly add in some vanilla extract. What is the purpose of pudding mix, can it simply leave it out, or is there a (healthier and less industrially processed) alternative I can substitute?

Thanks in advance!

rainbowbrown's picture

I know this might be a little more extreme than what you wanted, but heres what I did when I got an amish friendship bread starter last year. I sort of tossed the recipe that it came with because I didn't want to use pudding and I didn't want to do a quick bread. Then I just used the stuff in the panettone recipe from BBA, using it in place of the wild yeast sponge.  It turned out really well. If you don't mind totally deviating from the whole friendship bread schtick, you may want to just try something like that.

swtgran's picture

This is the only recipe I have ever used.  I have never used a recipe with pudding.

Friendship Cake with Herman Sourdourgh Starter

3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup oil, 2 cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Beat until smooth.  Add your choice of raisins, chopped nuts, dried fruit, chopped apples, cherries, pineapple, etc.  Pour into tube or bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  (start checking after 40 min.) 

I usually put into small  tea loaf pans, filling 2/3 full.  Cakes freeze great.  I usually don't give away the extra Herman and instead I make many small loaves with different add ins.  I then wrap tightly and freeze.  They come in real handy for unexpected guests and when I need something quick to take to a friend. 

My family's favorite is with chopped marachino cherries, mini chocolate chips and coconut.  The possibilities are endless! 

Sorry I don't know how put this in recipe format.  Terry

bakerincanada's picture

Go to for a puddingless recipe.  Also search for herman sour dough on this site as there are some other comments on what to do with the dough and another way to make it that isn't quite so onerous.


swtgran's picture

Oh, I forgot to mention you add all the ingredients to the herman.  I guess it wouldn't be Herman sourdough cake without it.  Sorry, Terry

Windischgirl's picture

Never having been able to leave well enough alone (and not being a big fan of the pudding version either), I took an online recipe and played with it.  Here's my version:

Amish Friendship Apple Bread

1 c. AP flour

1 c. WW flour

1/2 c white sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 C. AFB starter

3 eggs

1/3 c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce (or other fruit puree)

1 tsp vanilla

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced (can substitute 2 c. peeled chopped ripe fruit, such as pears or peaches, or shredded carrot or zucchini)

Optional: 1 c. toasted chopped nuts (walnuts with apples, almonds with pears, pecans with peaches, etc).

(1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 2 8x5 loaf pans (or 4 mini pans).

(2) Sift together dry ingredients.

(3) In large mixing bowl combine starter, eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla.  Add dry ingredients gradually and stir until just blended.  Stir in chopped apple and nuts.  Divide batter evenly between pans.

(4) Bake 50 min or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Place pans on rack to cool completely before removing.  Stores well in fridge or freezer wrapped well in plastic wrap.


A couple Tbs ground flaxmeal in place of a couple Tbs of the WW flour might be nice (I think I also used brown sugar rather than white for a richer flavor).  Last time I made this I used Oma's homemade pear sauce and chopped pears.  It was tasty for breakfast spread with low-fat cream cheese. 




Philadelphia PA

Windischgirl's picture

Hey Terry, when I read your recipe I realized we are probably working from the same base.  I like your suggestions for mix-ins; I'll have to try them.  Your family's favorite reminds me of German chocolate cake!

I also forgot to mention that I have substituted fat free yogurt for the applesauce component n recipes...I prefer Vanilla as plain is just too tart for my taste buds.

BTW, about 1/2 the oil in any recipe can be replaced by applesauce, yogurt, or other fruit purees...some of the oil is necessary to preserve the texture otherwise the result is just gummy.  I like the idea of reducing the amount of frees up some of my calorie allotment for chocolate ;-)



Philadelphia PA

kristaskitchen's picture

I had wandered the same thing, what does it do for the bread.  I ran out and didn't want to make a trip to the store so I tried baking without it.  It does add a little flavor but the main thing it seems to do is give it a firmer texture and good body.  It seems to crumble more without it. 

CureMinorWounds's picture

I just made my first batch of Friendship Bread, and it went beautifully, until I took it out of the oven. I let it cool for a bit, then I flipped it out of the pan and onto a plate, and it collapsed, exposing its uncooked insides to the world.

I baked it at 325, for 1 hour, just like my recipe stated, and it had the pudding in it. The inch to inch and a half around the outside and on the top that was cooked was fanstastic, the gooey center was not. Anybody have any idea what on earth I could have done wrong? I kept a cup of starter so I'm going to try again in 10 days.

swtgran's picture

Sorry, I have never used the pudding recipe.  I have also never had the problem you stated. 

I was always under the impression that pudding made a moister product.  These cakes are very moist without pudding.  Maybe you could try tenting with foil when it seems brown enough and cook longer, using the toothpick test for doneness.  Terry

momto5's picture

You probably needed some more time in the oven.  I just baked my first loaf a couple of weeks ago.  When I pulled it out after 1 hour, I checked it with a cake tester (basically a fancy toothpick) and noticed that it was very liquidy in the middle.  I put it in for about another 5 minutes and that did the trick. 

TNmumof2's picture

I've just omitted the milk and pudding and it turns out fine.  It's like Terry's Herman bread rcipe.