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No-Knead Peanut Butter Bread (can swap almond butter)

peanut butter bread | bread in 5

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.

peanut butter swirl buns | bread in 5

peanut butter bread | bread in 5

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.

peanut butter bread | bread in 5

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.

peanut butter bread | bread in 5

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.

peanut butter swirl buns | bread in 5

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18 thoughts on “No-Knead Peanut Butter Bread (can swap almond butter)

  1. What kind of peanut butter? The unsweetened kind, or the regular, sweetened kind like Skippy or Peter Pan?

    • Not without adjustments and experimentation, and in general, we don’t recommend pastry flours (not enough protein to maintain a nice structure). You can experiment with vital wheat gluten, extra water if you want do do our method in whole grains, that’s the subject of our 2nd book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, you can click on the book image above…

      • Thank you! I couldn’t wait for an answer so I tried it with the white whole wheat and used less. It did not rise. Not exactly sure where I made a mistake. I also 1/2’d the recipe just in case. I do have 2 of your books but Mom has them. She bakes more than I do and I was making the bread for her. Will try again.

      • When you say “did not rise,” do you mean that there was zero hole structure in the finished product (assume you actually baked it off?)? Or just less than you expected. As I say, you can’t just swap WW or it’ll be a brick. It might work if you find the right amount to decrease the WW (or increase the water). But it won’t be as nice unless you use vital wheat gluten as in Healthy Bread in Five, assume that’s one of the books your mom has for you…

      • It maybe rose about 1/2 inch. I did bake it because I thought it might rise later. Nada. Nothing. Just a big brick like you said! Haha! I make the no knead all the time. I know that that is supposed to look like but I did not this time. I am pretty amateur compared to Mom. Her favorite recipe is your wine and cheese bread. I gave her both of your books as a gift.

  2. I made a half recipe and the yeast seemed like a bit less than I expected, so I made it 2 tsp (for half, so more than 1 Tbsp for full).
    It still didn’t rise like I expected in 2 hours on the counter, even though I’d taken the temperature of the warmed liquids to be sure it was in the right range. I made rolls and the refrigerator rise took care of the difference, which is my favorite for rich dough (brioche, challah). They were great. Yeast is fine and fairly new, kept in the fridge.

    • So sounds like the outcome was good, despite the slow initial rise (which I can’t explain). Maybe your room was a bit cool…

  3. I got very good results with this, using a natural almond butter that separates in the jars and has to be stirred together thoroughly first. I also used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 5 cups of bread flour instead of seven cups of AP, and added an extra half cup of milk. The bread baked up darker than in the photos, but I think that was mostly due to using a dark wildflower honey. The taste and texture are great.
    I’m looking forward the trying the sweet tools with the rest of the dough. I’m also considering trying the recipe with maple syrup instead of honey.

    • Great— this kind of experimentation is exactly what we intended. Once you know the principles, you can take off from there.

    • Hi Jonathan,

      The Vietnamese breads typically have a portion of rice flour in them. I have been playing with a recipe, but haven’t perfected it yet. I will post when I do. Until then, you can try a longer rest time.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. The linked swirl bun recipe has you cutting the dough into 4 jumbo buns. The picture here shows 9 standard buns. Any difference in the rise or baking times between the two?

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