Sunday, June 6, 2010
Peanut butter and rhubarb is my official favorite flavor combination. So when I read about the 9th Great Peanut Butter Exhibition, I knew exactly what my fruit/veggie combo would be!
I had some difficulty deciding which of my brilliant ideas to actualize, though. My first thought was a PB Banana & Rhubarb muffin, using my recipe for PB Banana & Blueberry Muffins. Rhubarb wouldn't be a simple switch for the blueberries, though, because big chunks of it don't fare well on their own. My second thought was a PB&R cheesecake. I even hunted down an inspirational recipe at Epicurious. A few tubs of Tofutti cream cheese and sour cream, a cup of peanut butter, some sugar and a swirl of compote and I'd be good to go. However, though it would have been a real winner of a recipe (especially given the judging criteria for this exhibition: PB weight, prep time etc.), I'd be stuck eating a whole cheesecake by myself. I did lose a few pounds during our vacation in Japan, but that would still be pushing it.
Ultimately, I settled on a variation of a nummy breakfast: whole wheat bread with PB&R. Since I can be extremely lazy on some mornings, why not just bake the PB&R right into the loaf? Coincidentally, a recipe for peanut butter yeast bread was posted on Serious Eats not one week ago. With a couple of tweaks, I was on my way to blissful snacking.
Peanut Butter Rhubarb Swirl Bread
For the dough:
-1 cup warm water
-1 cup bread flour
-1 cup white whole wheat flour
-1/4 cup milled flax seed
-1 tablespoon honey
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon dry active yeast
-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
For the compote:
-1 cup fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped
-1 tablespoon honey
Add all of the ingredients for the dough to the pan of a bread machine. Set the machine to "manual" and let it do its thing. Alternatively, use a food processor, standing mixer, or good old fashioned elbow grease to combine, then knead on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 70 minutes, punching down midway.
When the dough is ready, punch it down and shape it into a rectangle, with the width approximately the length of a loaf pan. The longer your rectangle, the more swirls you'll get in the bread. Simmer the rhubarb and honey until it reaches a jam-like consistency. Spread the compote over the rectangle, leaving an inch around the sides.
Roll your loaf up delicately. The dough will be soft and foamy, so use caution so it doesn't tear. Pinch the ends and place the loaf seam-side down in a greased loaf pan.
Let the loaf rise for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Bake at 325° for 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Now the most labor-intensive part of all: wait for the loaf to cool. Completely.
Read some blogs. Play some video games. Go for a nice long run--the further away from the kitchen you are the better. After a couple of hours...or until your will power caves...cut the loaf into 8-12 slices.
Devour plain or with your favorite toppings: cream cheese, honey butter, more rhubarb compote....
This bread is soft and salty, with a delicious tang from the rhubarb and complex aroma from the honey. I had to stick the loaf in the freezer as quickly as possible to keep myself from eating the whole thing in one afternoon!
Posted by Tamara Marnell at 6/06/2010