Even as an adult, peanut butter and jelly is still a favorite combination. A few times a year I’ll still make a ‘pb & j’ with the kids for lunch, enjoying some junior high nostalgia along with a glass of milk and a handful of potato chips. I decided maybe it was time to class peanut butter up a bit, by turning it into an almost-brioche loaf that is perfect for toasting, or a sandwich bread with extra peanut butter power. Peanut butter swirl buns are also a good idea, and I think French toast might have to be next on my to-do list.
No-Knead Peanut Butter Dough
Almond butter can be substituted for the peanut butter.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup peanut butter
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon active dry, or instant yeast (1 packet)
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
In a large saucepan, combine the milk, honey, butter, and peanut butter. Heat over low heat until the butter is melted. Whisk the ingredients together until mixed, and then set aside to cool to 100-110 degrees.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs together. Set aside.
Mix the flour, yeast, and salt in a 5-quart bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or lidded but not airtight food container). Pour the peanut butter mixture and the eggs over the flour and mix on low until combined (or use a dough whisk to incorporate the peanut butter mixture and eggs into the flour). Pour the mixture into a large food container and cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.
To bake the bread:
Weigh a 2-pound piece of dough (large cantaloupe-size) a scale.
Let the dough rise in a well greased non-stick 8 1/2 x 4 1/2- inch Loaf Pan, covered loosely with plastic wrap for 1 hour and 40 minutes (or just 60 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).
Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaf for about 60 minutes. Flip the loaf out of the pan and allow to cool before cutting it.
To bake the peanut butter swirl buns:
1 1/2 pounds peanut butter dough
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
Follow Zoe’s instructions for assembling and baking the swirl buns, using the melted butter and brown sugar for the filling.
When the buns have cooled, top the swirled buns with peanut butter cream cheese icing:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar
In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt and mix again until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat again until smooth and fluffy.