During my super low carb ketogenic phase I was really desperate for anything that resembled bread. Okay, maybe not desperate (says the former carb addict), I wasn’t searching for it, I didn’t really even think it was possible. Gluten free? Sure, there were a million kinds of substitute gluten free flours that were just as carbtastic as my long buried King Arthur knock off, sometimes even more, but how do you make low carb bread? It seemed so much like the antithesis of the thing that it couldn’t be possible. So it was to my utter surprise when helping to plan a friend’s wedding that one of the other bridesmaids, also rocking her low carb lifestyle, casually mentioned “PB Bread” in an email.
PB Bread. What could that be? Only one thing surely, as my induction from childhood told me: Peanut Butter. So I asked her and she introduced me to Mr. Peanut Bread.
Needless to say I was skeptical. I trusted her when she said it could make something like bread, but I expected a) that it would taste atrociously of peanut butter (not a bad thing when that’s what you want, I like peanut butter cookies as much as the next girl) and b) would not have a truly bread-like texture. You might be able to toast it or put stuff between two slices, but there was no way that it was going to hold up to the standards of a life-long-bread-lover.
I was wrong.
First, I’ll admit the peanut butter bread does smell a whole lot like peanut butter especially when still warm, there’s no doubt about that, but remarkably it doesn’t really taste like it. You wouldn’t mistake it for bleached white flour bread, but if you couldn’t smell it you might not be able to place exactly why that is. Second, the texture is lovely. It isn’t fluffy, there’s no wonder bread about this loaf, but more like a thick brown bread, not too dense, but substantial.
After my first try at this bread I went on to attempt using other nut butters, adding sweeteners like bananas or altering the recipe to include chocolate. It’s very versatile. As for what to do with it, the possibilities are endless. Make a sandwich, have some toast, fry it, whatever you like. I did find that I didn’t care for it with butter or ghee much, but there were a lot of other outstanding combinations which I’ve listed below.
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (or any other unsweetened nut butter like almond, cashew, or best of all macadamian nut butter)
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- The basic recipe is great on its own, but adding other ingredients can really change the profile of this bread. Keep in mind that these will obviously change the nutritional information!
- 1 tsp - 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp - 1/3 cup maple syrup
- You may see that other recipes mention adding splenda, but I do not use it. If I'm feeling indulgent I'll add honey or maple syrup, but it really doesn't need sweetener at all.
- 1/2-3/4 cup cocoa powder for chocolate peanut butter bread
- 1-2 bananas
- 1/2 cup applesauce (add gradually, you don't want the batter to get too thin or it won't rise)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- First measure the nut butter out into a mixing bowl. If the nut butter is separated or in chunks, mix it a bit with a spoon or in your mixer until it's creamy.
- Next add the eggs, mixing them in one by one until they're well incorporated. Initially the nut butter and the eggs won't want to combine, but be persistent.
- Then add the salt and the baking soda, but do not mix! Add the vinegar and make sure that it hits the baking soda which should immediately bubble. Without this step your bread will come out fine, but you really won't get much of a rise out of it.
- Mix well by hand or in your mixer for 1-2 minutes.
- At this point if you are adding any other ingredients to sweeten or modify your bread, this is where you should add them, again mixing well. Keep in mind the wetter the ingredient that you add the more conservative you need to be about how much you use as you don't want the mix to lose its integrity. When adding applesauce for example, you will want to add a bit at a time or alter the mixture further by adding cocoa in order to maintain the right consistency. I recommend making this recipe at least once without additions before you go wild with it.
- Grease your loaf pan or your muffin pan then fill with the mixture before placing it in the oven to cook.
- Set the timer for 35 minutes (try 30 if using a muffin pan) and check the loaf with a toothpick. If it comes out clean go ahead and pull it out.
- Cool, and serve.
Adapted from Mr. Peanut Butter Bread by 24/7 Low Carb Diner