Peanut Butter Bread

published Sep 25, 2021
Easiest Fall Ever
Peanut Butter Bread Recipe

Inspired by the Depression era recipe that went viral in 2020, this recipe is just as easy and even more delicious.

Serves8

Prep15 minutes

Cook40 minutes to 50 minutes

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A slice of peanut butter bread with peanut butter and honey with the rest of the loaf sliced on a cutting board next to it
Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

While a whole lot of us were tending to sourdough starters in the beginning of the pandemic, there was another recipe quietly (but rapidly) making the rounds: peanut butter bread! Published in Canada in 1932 by the parent company of Five Roses Flour, the original recipe comes from the cookbook A Guide to Good Cooking

The original peanut bread required no extra equipment, like a hand or stand mixer. And reflective of many Depression-era recipes, it only called for a handful of ingredients that most people would have on hand. It’s little wonder that this took off in the middle of a global pandemic with lots of shortages. 

My first time making this recipe, I was amazed by how easy it was. However, I was less than pleased with the texture: It was dry and tough. I went back to the drawing board, and by altering a few ratios (less baking powder, more sugar) and a few techniques (mixing the peanut butter with the milk before adding to the rest of the ingredients), I was able to create a better-textured loaf.

The biggest breakthrough came when I added a touch of oil. Much better! The loaf had a great crumb and now had an almost stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth effect you get from a spoon of peanut butter. Sure, it’s no longer as austere as a Depression-era recipe would dictate, but it’s 2021 — and I’d wager that oil is now a very common ingredient in our pantries. Proof that sometimes it’s the little changes that make the biggest difference. 

Can I Put Oats in Peanut Butter Bread?

A sprinkling of old-fashioned rolled oats on top would make a great garnish for this bread, but stay away from mixing any into the batter. Oats absorb a lot of water and will interfere with recipe performance. 

What Kind of Peanut Butter Should I Use?

Regular ol’ smooth peanut butter is best in this recipe. If you’d like a little additional texture, feel free to use crunchy peanut butter. Just stay away from natural, freshly ground, or reduced fat peanut butter, as they will behave differently and cause the bread to be drier or fall apart. 

What Mix-Ins Should I Include?

You can add up to a 1/2 cup of the following:

  • Dark or milk chocolate chips (regular or mini)
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Butterscotch chips
  • Regular or golden raisins
Credit: Shilpa Uskokovic

What Can You Eat Peanut Butter Bread With?

Top your peanut butter bread slices with the following options:

Peanut Butter Bread Recipe

Inspired by the Depression era recipe that went viral in 2020, this recipe is just as easy and even more delicious.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes to 50 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 1/4 cup

    salted roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    whole milk

  • 1/2 cup

    smooth peanut butter (not natural or freshly ground)

  • 1/3 cup

    vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Position rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan with cooking spray. Alternatively, lightly brush with oil or softened butter. Line with a strip of parchment paper ensuring the paper hangs over two long sides of the pan to create a sling.

  2. Roughly chop 1/4 cup salted, roasted peanuts, if using.

  3. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. Add 1 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil to a separate large bowl and whisk until smooth. (It will look broken and difficult to stir for the first 30 seconds but keep whisking and it will come together.)

  5. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until there are no large, dry streaks of flour visible. (Some small lumps are okay). Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if using, and press peanuts into the surface of the batter so they adhere.

  6. Bake until bread is golden-brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed (or a skewer inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached), 40 to 50 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting it out by the parchment sling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.

Recipe Notes

Muffins: To make muffins, line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Scoop a scant 1/4 cup into each cup and bake at 350° until a toothpick comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Storage: Peanut butter bread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. To freeze, wrap the bread tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.