March 30, 2011
Whoever invented the peanut butter and jelly sandwich was a genius. What other meal takes only minutes to prepare, but is incredibly nutritious, and with any luck will inspire cheers from the happy and hungry youngsters (or more mature eaters) ready to devour their sandwich? This sandwich has saved the day millions of times for mothers and fathers around the world, myself included.
As with any meal, the quality of the product is dependent on the quality of the ingredients with which you start. In our house, PB & J stands for peanut butter and jam since the pantry is generally loaded with various homemade jams and very little jelly. Our favorite is berry jam, either blackberry (as pictured above), ollalie berry, or raspberry. The next layer is organic, natural peanut butter (surprisingly enough Costco makes a great one), and of course the bread.
Oatmeal Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread is my go-to slicing bread. In the summer when my kids and I hide from the world (and the grocery stores) in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this is the bread that feeds us between the weekly trips to town for provisions. It is very easy to put together and turns out beautifully every time. The bread is slightly sweet from the maple syrup which makes it perfect for peanut butter and jam sandwiches or even grilled cheese. The bread also toasts beautifully, so in the off-chance you have leftovers the next morning, it will taste great toasted and slathered in butter and jam or honey.
Oatmeal Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
makes 1 loaf (enough for 6 sandwiches)
adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon salt
Mix warm water with yeast. Allow to sit 5 minutes while the yeast dissolves. Pour yeast mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except for 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour. Mix until dough ball forms, then knead on a lightly floured board until dough in stretchy and supple. Add some of the reserved flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft, but not sticky.
Place dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap. Let rise 1 1/2 hours in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured board. Press into a 8-inch square. Roll the square into a log. Place log seam side down in a buttered 8 x 5 x 3 inch bread pan. Let rise 45 minutes until 1 1/2 inches higher than pan. (see picture)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30-40 minutes until center registers 180 degrees. Cool 15 minutes, turn out on rack. Bread will slice most easily if you allow it to cool completely.
Here is a printer friendly version of the recipe:
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