Cook the Book: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread

Cook the Book: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread

"The flavor of the bread was fantastic—peanutty in a way that was more reminiscent of whole peanuts than peanut butter. "

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

I suppose I should start by saying that peanut butter and jelly has never been one of my favorite sandwiches. I've always been more of a turkey or tuna girl. But this jelly roll-like loaf made of peanut butter dough and lined with jelly from My Bread by Jim Lahey looked way too delicious not to share, no matter where you stand on PB&J.

This recipe is another riff on Lahey's no-knead method, this time throwing smooth peanut butter and a few tablespoons of whole wheat flour into the mix.

After the initial rise, the dough is formed into a rectangle and spread with a jelly of your choosing (I went with blueberry for both flavor and visual contrast). The dough is then rolled up and placed into a loaf pan lined with crushed peanuts and left to rise for another hour or so. It's topped with more peanuts and glazed with an egg wash.


After about 20 minutes I looked in on my loaf and found that the peanuts on the top were browning a little too quickly and were at risk of burning, so I covered the loaf loosely with a sheet of tin foil. A little less than an hour later, I pulled the perfectly burnished bread out of the oven and inverted it on o a cooling rack.

Slicing into the cooled loaf was pretty thrilling. The end slice showed no tell-tale signs of the blueberry jam but the second cutting revealed rings of jelly and lots of whole peanuts. The flavor of the bread was fantastic—peanutty in a way that was more reminiscent of whole peanuts than peanut butter. The jelly had seeped into the dough and given it a great sweet-tartness.

Did this loaf sell me on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Not really, but I cannot wait to toast up a few slices and spread them with butter for breakfast.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread

- One 8-inch loaf; 1 1/3 pounds -

Adapted from My Bread by Jim Lahey.


  • 1 large (about 60 grams) egg, beaten
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (280 grams) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (20 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) instant or other active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (260 grams) cool (55 to 65 degrees F) water
  • 3 tablespoons (50 grams) unsalted smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, whole
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (100 grams) seedless fruit jam of choice
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • additional flour for dusting


  1. 1.

    Reserve 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg for glazing the bread. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, yeast, and the remaining egg. Blend the water and peanut butter in a blender until smooth (some settling will occur if this is left to stand, so blend just before using). Add mixture to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough without any lumps, about 30 seconds. Stir in the whole peanuts until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, about 12 hours.

  2. 2.

    When the first rise is complete, sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Lightly flour your hands and gently pat and pull the dough into a rough rectangle about 8 by 12 inches.

  3. 3.

    Now you're going to make a sort of jelly roll: Position the dough so a long side is in front of you. Spread the jam evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Lift up the far side of the rectangle and fold one third of it over toward the center, then continue rolling up the remainder into a cylinder. With the seam on the bottom, tuck the ends of the roll under to seal them, so the jam doesn't ooze out during baking.

  4. 4.

    Lightly coat the loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of the chopped peanuts into the bottom of the pan. Gently transfer the dough, seam side down, to the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining chopped peanuts onto the dough. Cover the dough with a towel and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 hour. The dough is ready when it has doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

  5. 5.

    About 15 minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 450°F, with a rack in the center.

  6. 6.

    Brush the top of the dough with the reserved beaten egg. Bake until golden, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the peanuts start to darken, loosely cover the loaf with foil. Use pot holders to invert the pan onto a rack, remove the pan, and turn the bread right side up to cool thoroughly. (Don't dawdle--the bread will get soggy if it cools in the pan.)