I didn't have any on hand when I made my first batch, and I think I prefer it without. The bread is still plenty tasty without adding that, too.
For the second batch I made, I wanted something less sweet and more healthy - the original recipe I used calls for a full cup of oil and a full cup of sugar. (I also wanted to add cranberries.) So I reworked the recipe to get this tasty concoction. Follow all the usual Amish Friendship Bread directions for your starter, but use the following ingredients instead.
Cranberry Friendship Bread
3 eggs 2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. milk 2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. oil 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. applesauce 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. honey 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla 1/3 c. cranberries
Add all ingredients to your starter; mix well. Pour into two large greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
I love this version of the bread so much more. There's still a hint of sweetness, which the cranberries help to emphasize, and the wheat flour makes it much more hearty. It's excellent with a cup of Bohemian tea, so I imagine adding orange zest would make this bread just about perfect.
The only thing I wish was different about this bread? I'd rather not throw out so much starter every time I make it. I wonder if there's a way to avoid that...