I’ve always loved dried fruits (apricots, sweet sweet pineapple, raisins, even prunes) but once I discovered dates, dried fruits became one of my favorite treats. I’m always trying to find new ways to enjoy and share. I also love peanut butter (classic and powder forms) and find myself often pairing fruits and nuts together, including in this bread. I was inspired by a Food52 contest* and puzzled around to find a way to create a fruity and nutty bread.
Enter…PB&J Crunch Bread!
PB&J Crunch Bread slices are a tasty snack on their own, and are also tasty topped with assorted healthy and ‘splurgy’ options like fruits, fruit spread, ice cream, frozen yogurt, Greek yogurt, marshmallow fluff (the ultimate fluffernutter!) or chocolate sauce.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Crunch Bread
Copyright 2106 by Lauren Bradford (aka The Food Puzzler)
2 cups flour of choice
(NOTE: I use half spelt and half organic AP flour)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup peanut butter powder
1 cup milk
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice
1/2 cup dried fruits of choice, chopped fine or pulsed in food processor
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a bread pan (8″x4″ or 9″x3″) with parchment paper or coat bottom and sides with non-stick spray, and place a piece of parchment on the bottom of the pan.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
3. Place the milk, honey, warm water and sugar in a smaller bowl and mix to work in the honey. Then, add egg and combine.
4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and combine thoroughly with a spatula or heavy spoon.
5. Place half the mixture in the pan, then add a layer of nuts and dried fruits, reserving 2 tablespoons of the fruit and 1 tablespoon of the nuts.
6. Pour the remaining bread batter on top of the mixture and spread evenly. Top with reserved fruit and nuts.
NOTE: This bread takes about an hour to bake, so to prevent burning on the top, loosely covered it with foil or parchment before placing in the center of the oven.
7. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, which is between 45 minutes and one hour. Start checking at 45 minutes.
8. Cool to warm if serving or completely if freezing, slice with a serrated knife for best results. Serves 10 good-sized pieces, or wrap individual slices and freeze for later use.