Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Peanut bread

Dan has just decided that he likes peanuts so he was keen on the idea suggested by big brother Eddie and his friend Theo to make some peanut bread. This was supposed to be a trade-off because Eddie expected to hate last week's Marmite loaves - although they actually ended up converting him to the black sticky stuff. Still, peanut bread it is.

We used the basic white bread recipe with the following extras.

Special ingredients
210g unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly crushed
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

Make the dough and allow it to rise for two hours, as normal. While the dough is rising, crush the peanuts. Here's Dan using the traditional method of bashing the living daylights out of them with a rolling pin - they're in a plastic bag inside the towel. This produces a good, rough crush, with some nuts reduced to a powder and others still whole.

The shaped dough

Spreading the peanut butter

Spread the crushed nuts on a clean, flat surface. Punch the air out of the risen dough then put it on top of the crushed nuts and knead until all the nuts have been incorporated. Flatten the dough out a little and spread half of the peanut butter over the surface. Fold the dough over carefully to work the peanut butter into it. Flatten the dough again then repeat the operation with the rest of the peanut butter. Shape the worked dough into a round and continue with rising, slashing and baking as for the malted cob loaf.

Ready for the oven
Just out of the oven

Dan's Thumbometer - Double yum
As you can see from Dan's Thumbometer, the bread tastes fantastic. Really peanutty. The powdery nuts give the crumb a more complex texture than you get with the basic white bread, as well as adding flavour. The whole nuts provide a satisfying and tasty crunch. The peanut butter seams provides kicks of flavour. The bread was especially lovely straight out of the oven, and also toasted.
Uh-oh, disintegration!
BUT ... there was a problem with the finished loaf. The peanut butter layers don't bind the bread in the same way as the Marmite did last week (see Marmite loaf 1). On two attempts at baking this peanut bread (the first went down very quickly and a second was requested immediately), a layer of peanut butter ended up right under the crust at the top, causing it to peel off when sliced. The sliced bread also fell apart wherever there was a seam of peanut butter in it, making it very difficult to get out of the toaster.

So we need a rethink that will keep the depth of flavour but produce a more reliable crumb. Next time, we'll try replacing the butter in the basic white bread recipe with smooth peanut butter. We won't get the intense bursts of flavour from the peanut butter seams - but will hopefully be able to get the toast out of the toaster without turning the thing upside-down and scraping away with a knife. We'll post an update when we make it.

Update 1 - hmmm
So I tried replacing the butter with peanut butter. The bread didn't fall apart any more, but it was a bit heavy. Needs another rethink. Perhaps I'll just go back to the original and work the peanut butter in fully rather than leaving seams of it. A further update will appear.


  1. That sounds amazing. Just found your blog really enjoyed it!

  2. Why not try to add the peanut butter using book turn folds... roll out bread, spread peanut butter, fold onto itself, then repeat. Roll dough up with seam on bottom.