Peanut Butter and Jelly Loaf
Ever since I was experimenting with (read: eating a lot of) my PB & J sushi last week, I’ve been on a huge peanut butter and jelly kick. I’ve eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day of the week for the last ten days or so.
Call it sappy, but it really does remind me of my childhood. These days I leave the ends on, but other than that it’s the same old sandwich.
Of course, I can’t help myself when it comes to thinking of ways to ramp up something that I like that much.
So I figured it would be fun to make an actual bread loaf with peanut butter and jelly rolled right into it. Then any slice of toast is, like, an instant peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
How could you not like that!
1) Mix dry ingredients (flour yeast salt) together in a large bowl.
2) In a blender or food processor, pulse peanut butter together with water and egg until mixture is smooth.
3) Add wet mixture to dry stuff and stir to combine. It should be a pretty wet, sticky dough.
4) Cover dough loosely and let rise for 12-16 hours.
5) Dust dough with flour after it rises and dust a clean surface with flour as well. Turn out dough onto surface and shape it or roll it into a large rectangle (about 8×12).
6) Spread jam all over surface of dough, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges.
7) Fold the bottom 1/3 of the dough over and then continue to roll the dough up to form a jelly roll of sorts.
8) To prep your loaf pan, butter it well and sprinkle the bottom with half of your peanuts.
9) When jelly roll is finished, tuck the ends under and place it seam-side down in your loaf pan. Cover it and let it rise for another hour.
10) Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle the rest of the chopped peanuts on top.
11) Bake loaf at 450 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Remove from pan as soon as possible and let cool on a wire rack.
Starting the bread
The nice thing about this loaf is that it’s based on a no knead bread recipe from Jim Lahey.
Which means that it takes almost no time to make, but it does require about 12-16 hours to rise.
Ingeniously, Jim recommends mixing the peanut butter in with the no knead dough which gives it a really nice peanut butter flavor and also a soft texture.
Unfortunately, it’s kind of tricky mixing peanut butter into flour. The easiest way to do it is to blend your peanut butter, water, and egg together to make a sort of slurry and then mix that together with your dry ingredients.
This will smell really peanuty which is good!
Once your dough is mixed together, it should be pretty moist. Just stir it together until everything is mixed. No need to over-mix it.
Then cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12-16 hours. It should double in volume.
Forming the Loaf
Once your dough has risen, dust it well with flour and also throw some flour down on a clean surface. Then scoop out your dough onto the floured surface and lightly roll it into a large rectangle.
You’re shooting for a rectangle that’s about 8×12 in size.
Then spread your jam all over the surface of the dough!
Try to leave about a 1/2 inch around the edge of the dough.
Fold the bottom third of the dough up and then continue to roll the dough away from you to form a tight jelly roll of dough.
To prepare your loaf pan for baking, butter it liberally so the dough doesn’t stick and then sprinkle about 1/4 cup of roughly chopped peanuts right in the bottom of the pan.
Once you have your loaf rolled up, fold under the ends to form a nice even loaf. Then just plop the roll right into your loaf pan with the seam-side down. That’ll prevent most of your jelly from exploding out of the loaf.
Loosely cover the loaf and let it rise for another hour or so. It should again double in size.
Then brush the loaf with a light egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle on another 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts.
This guy is ready for the oven now!
Bake the loaf in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for about 50 minutes. The loaf should be really nice and golden brown. If it isn’t, then bake for another 10 minutes.
Check the loaf halfway through and if the peanuts are browning really quickly (mine were) then cover the loaf pan loosely with foil which will keep them out of the direct heat.
The final loaf is a thing of beauty!
Two things to note about this loaf:
1) It’s inevitable that some jelly will escape from the roll. When you pull your loaf pan out it might look as if a lot of jelly has cooked out of it. Have no fear. It’s probably fine as long as you rolled it tightly and cooked it with the seam side down.
2) When you pull the loaf out of the oven, immediately invert it on a pan or wire rack to get the loaf out of the pan. If you let it cool in the pan, it’ll turn really soggy. Ideally, you can cool it on a rack, but whatever you do, take it out of the pan as soon as possible.
This was my final loaf. As you can see, some jelly escaped, but it was still delicious.
As soon as I cut open the loaf and saw the cool jelly swirl, I knew this was a keeper of a recipe.
Of course, I had to take it to the next level as soon as possible and make a double peanut butter and jelly!
What do you think about that?!