Saturday, May 05, 2007

Comfort Food - - - Double Chocolate Bread, Peanut Butter, Blackberry Jam Sandwiches

This morning when I came in from the barn and the garden I saw my 11 year old niece perched at a counter in the kitchen. I said "Good morning." She said "My mom and dad are painting, they didn't want me around. I told them I wanted to come hang out with you and do some cooking." I said "Great! What would you like to make?" She said "I want PBJ's with that chocolate bread you brought over last week." I said "Sounds like a plan my dear." She said "I want the peanut butter you make." Me "Can't think of anything else worthy of that bread, let me check and see if there's any put up." Her "No, I want to learn how to make it myself. You just watch." Me "Let's get started then."

The first thing to do is to break out the bread machine and make


1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar (we used baker's sugar that has been stored with vanilla beans)
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (about 12 squares of a Trader Joe's Pound Plus® 70% cocoa mass Bittersweet Chocolate)*

*or you can use semisweet chocolate chips, but it won't be near as good

Put everything but the chocolate into the machine's baking pan in the order listed. Set the machine for Sweet Bread. Add the chocolate bits when the signal beeps after the first rising. Cool on a rack in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely before slicing.

(extremely kid friendly recipe)

2 cups roasted, shelled peanuts
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (if using salted peanuts omit)
1/2 cup chopped roasted, shelled peanuts (for crunchy peanut butter)

Put the first three ingredients in a food processor with the chopping blade. Whirl on annihilate for three to four minutes until a ball forms, then disintegrates slowly. Stop this process two or three times to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Continue to pulse until you have a spreadable product. Then stir in the chopped peanuts to get crunchy peanut butter. (we don't do much else around here, we be fans of crunchy.

Note: This will keep for about a month if kept in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. The oils will separate and it must be stirred before each use. Once you've had this, you'll say "Fuck Skippy." (not skippy, the bush kangaroo but that pasty crap they sell in stores)

We've covered Blackberry Jam already folks.

To assemble your sandwiches, spread two pieces of bread with butter (homemade peanut butter will tear the crap out of even the sturdiest of breads), spread the peanut butter, then the jam, put them together. Serve with BBQ potato chips and tall glasses of cold milk.

This is best enjoyed in the company of children you adore.



Blogger Sherry said...

it sounds like heaven. especially the children part.

1:59 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

absolutely the children part is the best. my sister reports that this morning at breakfast my niece announced that she was coming over here today because "My uncle needs cheering up and we always have fun together."

she is not only wise beyond her years, she is kind.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

and you are blessed.

my little grandaughter will be 3 the end of this month. she is my bright light.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Camera Obscura said...

Is there some way to bump up the size of the bread recipe to where it would use closer to 4 cups of flour?

11:46 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

since this is a bread machine recipe, to double the ingredients one would have to mix them conventionally (a stand mixer with a dough hook would do nicely) then do two risings in the bowl, one in two loaf pans. then i would bake at 350° for 40 minutes. other than taking it out of the machine, although for thorough baking be sure to do it in two loaves.

3:49 PM  
Blogger litbrit said...

Oh my, I want one of those sandwiches right now.

I'm hungry and tired--the boys have worn me out--and my spirits could use the lift.

When they're older and I have a little more time (and less mess to deal with), I am going to make everything from scratch, the way I did long ago, Before Kids. We eat a pretty healthy diet, but I do buy my peanut butter ready-made (organic, of course, and from the health food store). But it's the same thing with anything you make--it tastes so much better than the prefab versions. I know this, but I don't always have time (or energy) to practice it.

I still enjoy reading and daydreaming, though!

4:38 PM  
Blogger Phydeaux Speaks said...

mmmmm, chocolate bread. My Mom baked lots of different breads, but never chocolate! I wish I had a bread machine - and a working oven. I may try it in my Dutch Oven by the fire.

4:51 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

this is a truly GREAT loaf of bread. it is dark and rich, like pumpernickle, there is a mere hint of sweetness that is more than handled by a nice bitter bite, courtesy of the cocoa. i would imagine that it would work just fine in a dutch oven. the trick would be finding a warm place for the risings. let me know how it turns out.

8:34 AM  
Blogger BadTux said...

I think about buying a bread machine all the time. But then I realize that I would be 500 pounds of blubber within six months of buying a bread machine... fresh bread hot out of the oven is the most wonderful thing ever. Just such a pain to make, without a bread machine, which means I don't overdo it.

One must know your addictions and plan accordingly... just as an alcoholic knows not to go into home wine-making as a hobby, a breadaholic knows not to go into home bread-making as a hobby. Sigh.

4:54 PM  

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