It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time

My cooking friend Mary, of the wonderful Food Floozie blog, recently challenged me to a peanut butter throwdown of sorts.  We had been collectively lamenting the negative issues with natural peanut butter (though a brilliant suggestion from Andrew of Chew Chew Food Review–to flip over the jar for a while before stirring the oil into the goop–has changed my attitude a bit), and Mary suggested we trade off some local brands that we like and see what we could come up with.  I jumped at the chance and sent Mary a box with some Justin’s nut butters.  Mary promptly made some delicious, decadent-looking Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, which of course I must make in the very near future.  The towel was thrown into the ring, so I had to come up with something good.  I was eating some of the super-nutty-tasty Koeze’s peanut butter on a sliced apple, and I was craving a PB&J.  This inspired me to try to cut out the middle man and just make some peanut butter bread with a blackberry jam swirl:

Well, I like it a lot.  Sort of a sandwich in hand, as long as you don’t mind a little jam on your palms (that’s why we have tongues, anyway).

I started this recipe with the key ingredient, courtesy of Mary:

As a Michigan native (Michiganian?  Michigander?),  Harrison was pretty excited to see the jar of Koeze’s, which is a brand he associates with his home state.  (And, in his best Beavis and Butthead voice, noted that “Heh Heh, Heh Heh, It says Cream Nut.”  Yep.)

I started the dough with a proofing of a half cup of flour, a tablespoon of honey, a half cup of warm water, and two teaspoons of yeast.  After that was nice and bubbly I added in 2/3 cup of the peanut butter, an egg, another half cup of water, a teaspoon of vanilla, and an additional tablespoon of honey.  I let that go on the dough hook and then gradually added in another three cups of flour–I used half unbleached white and half whole wheat.  You have to adjust this according to the relative humidity where you live, but you want a pretty dense, shiny dough when it is finished up.  I let the dough go in the Kitchen Aid until it looked smooth and had pulled away from the sides:

At this point I covered the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise for an hour.  I then lightly floured a tea towel and pressed out the dough into a large rectangle, and slathered on a cup of homemade blackberry jam:

I tucked the short ends up to create a jam dam, then rolled it all up, burrito style.  This is where the tea towel comes in handy.  I then tucked the ends under to form a little loaf that would fit in my standard loaf pan, which I had sprayed with cooking spray:

I then let the loaf rise again but it was getting late and I only let it go for about 30 minutes, which seemed to be long enough.  I then baked the loaf in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until it sounded hollow when tapped in the center.  Yes, it did kind of puff up on the ends in a potentially obscene way.  No one will notice after you slice it up (unless you take a picture and put it on your blog…).  I brushed the top with a little melted butter for sheen:

Cool and slice, and it’s Peanut Butter Jelly time:

Just add a glass of milk, and you are all set.  Here is the recipe:

Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam Loaf

1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3-4 cups flour (half white and half whole wheat, if you like)
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup blackberry jam

Proof the yeast by combining a half cup of water with a half cup of flour, half of the honey, and the yeast.  When the yeast bubbles, add in the remaining honey, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla, and stir to combine.  Gradually add in the remaining flour until your dough is the right consistency, then knead or mix with a dough hook until smooth and pliable.  Let the dough rise until doubled.

Using a lightly floured towel, press the dough out as shown above and cover with the jam.  Roll up the loaf and place in an oiled loaf pan.  Let it rise a second time, for about 40 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Cool, slice, eat.

Thanks for reading,


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10 Responses to It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time

  1. Anonymous October 12, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    That is a mighty tempting peanut butter and jelly bread and it looks lip smacking good. Wonderful creation.

  2. Harrison October 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    From what I've been told, we're "Michiganians"… "Michigander" was declared sexist in the 1970s. (Try to imagine being a "Michigoose" and you can see why there was a disliking of the gender-specific term.) Regardless, Koeze's peanut butter was always in my reach during my undergrad days at Ferris State– seeing it brought back some memories.

  3. Lisa October 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    This looks really delicious I want some right now! I have battled with the peanut and oil separation for years so would also like to thank Andrew for the tip on turning the peanut butter over – it definitely works!

  4. Angela FRS October 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Yeah, why didn't I ever think to just turn the jar over?

    I am o.k. with Michigoose. However, I think I will stick with "people from Michigan."

  5. Anonymous October 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Heh. Jam dam.

  6. Angela FRS October 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Channeling my inner Beavis.

  7. Island Vittles October 13, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    What a lovely, stomach-warming idea…especially warm out of the oven first thing in the morning!

    I always buy the biggest jar of peanut butter in the store, and then dump the entire contents into a BIG bowl for a thorough mixing. Then back into the jar, and the fridge, it goes! The result? Week after easy week of fully blended natural peanut butter pleasure!

  8. Karen Harris October 13, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    I love reading both your post and Mary's. What a fun trade to make with each other. My son would love this recipe.

  9. Wendy Hammer October 13, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    As a former Wisconsinite or Madisonian, I can say that this looks really good. I got some of the Koeze's at the urging of Zingerman's and it was indeed good stuff. Still, I can content myself with plain Smucker's Natural. Turning is always key when you are dealing with the natural stuff.

  10. Yenta Mary October 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    That looks SO AMAZING!!! Oh, my God, I could eat that dough even before it gets baked! Technically we're Michiganians … zzzzzz. Personally, I like Michigoose just 'cause it's cute! And I had no idea your sweetie was one of us — we're all neighbors at heart, despite the currant distance, so no wonder we get along so well!

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