Baking has become a staple for many during the coronavirus outbreak, keeping people entertained at home. From banana bread and sourdough to no-knead focaccia, spending free time by the kitchen oven is becoming a common occurrence.
One bread that the internet has quickly become obsessed with in recent weeks is the no-yeast peanut butter bread. The recipe was posted on Reddit seven months ago, inspired by a YouTube video by Glen and Friends Cooking. The recipe featured in the video is from the 1932 edition of the Canadian cookbook “Five Roses: A Guide to Good Cooking” by Elizabeth Driver.
The recipe resurfaced on the r/Old_Recipes subreddit, a place for the Reddit community to share recipes from their families or old books.
The bread has gained popularity because it requires easy-to-find household ingredients and doesn’t involve any yeast or kneading. The recipe, as explained in the YouTube video, dates back to the Great Depression and features simple and inexpensive ingredients.
The recipe calls for flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, milk, and of course, peanut butter. There’s no need to wait for the batter to rise. You mix together the dry ingredients, add milk and peanut butter and pour it directly into a bread pan to bake.
“It’s a quick bread,” Tom DiCamillo, a 78-year-old baker at DiCamillo’s Bakery in Niagara Falls, New York said. “It’s made with baking powder so it’s easy for a home baker to do that. With the peanut butter added to it and the milk, you would have a well-balanced, nutritional loaf of bread.”
DiCamillo, who has been baking at his family's bakery for 66 years, explained what separates a quick bread and a traditional loaf: time.
“The main difference is that you do not have to wait for the yeast to do its work,” he said. “The yeast is going to chew up the carbohydrates and produce the carbon dioxide and the gas is going to rise. This takes time ... a loaf of bread will take four hours, sometimes six hours to make a loaf of bread with yeast. A quick bread, or a chemically leavened baking powder bread, you can do it one, two, three. You can go right from mixing, put it in your pan, put it in the oven, and you’re all set.”
Many have attempted the easy recipe in the past week, sharing their triumphs and suggestions with others online.
Kara Rosser, an avid baker, followed the recipe to a T when she baked it for the first time. Spoiler alert: it was a success.
“Quick breads (the type of bread that is made with baking soda or baking powder rather than yeast) always have much cakey textures than yeast breads, which I think lends itself well to dessert-type breads like this one,” she said. “I really liked how simple the process was. I just used a single mixing bowl, whisk and spatula. I actually made this at around eight o'clock on a weeknight and by 9:15, I had tasty fresh bread! It's not very sweet, and actually goes really well with some butter.”
Another Reddit user made the peanut butter bread but added a cup of Nutella into the mix for a Nutella peanut butter bread. Yet another added chocolate and butterscotch chips for an even sweeter alternative.
Interested in making your own loaf? Try this recipe adapted from the Five Roses cookbook:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.
- Add milk to the flour mixture and then mix in peanut butter.
- Pour the batter into a greased bread pan and bake for one hour.