Peanut Butter Bread – A Retro Recipe Test

Posted on Mar 14 2012 - 6:19am by RetroRuth

I have to admit, right off the bat, that I was excited for this recipe. Maybe “excited” isn’t strong enough of a word. I was hysterical for it. I was insane over it. I woke up in the morning, pushed back the covers and I thought, “Today, I am finally going to make Peanut Butter Bread!” It was a great moment. I felt like the world was in complete balance. The birds outside my window were even singing. In harmony.

With my cats.

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Okay, so maybe I might of got myself a teensy worked up over this one. Maybe raised my hopes to a ridiculous degree. Inflated expectations a little too much. It’s understandable, after all. Out of Alaskas Kitchens001

This recipe is from a special book.

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It’s from a special book called Out of Alaska’s Kitchens. It’s from a special book called Out of Alaska’s Kitchens that my 99-year-old great aunt recently presented me with when we visited her on our trip to Las Vegas.

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A book she got when she lived in Alaska in 1958.

If you are a collector (*cough* hoarder!) of vintage recipes, the recipes with the family connections are by far the best ones. I am pretty sure it doesn’t get much more special than that.

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So, yeah, you can’t really blame me.

And then this happened, which made me even more excited:

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Yeah, that’s right! The dough looked like peanut butter cookie dough!

I mean, I couldn’t taste it to find out if it tasted like peanut butter cookies because, well,  everyone knows that Tom tastes the food for the first time.  If I tasted it first and made a face, it would give Tom an unfair advantage. Right?

So, in my mind, I pretended  that I had tasted it. And that it tasted like peanut butter cookie dough.

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Now, anyone who is an experienced baker, or really, any kind of baker, can already see that this recipe has problems. There is only 1/3 cup a sugar in this whole thing. There is no butter. There are no eggs. And it was supposed to make two loaves, I think, since the recipe mentioned loaf tins, plural. That is not very much of anything in terms of ingredients, especially sugar. Certainly not enough for one loaf, let alone two.

But, humming to myself and thinking of birds and cats and delicious Peanut Butter Bread, I went ahead  with my baking and crammed all the batter into one pan.

“Do you think this batter will go over the side of the pan?”

Tom shrugged his shoulders. “I have no idea.”

“Maybe I should split it up?”

“Why? If it overflows, then hilarity will ensue. I am sure the blog readers will love it.”

“I suppose, but I would hate to look like an idiot.”

“Then why do you keep humming that stupid song?”

Touché.

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Well, hilarity didn’t ensue in the form of overflowing bread. The bread baked up quite nicely. I didn’t even need my emergency drip pan.

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I even liked the texture. Can you see how moist it turned out? I was extra pleased with that.

However, I should have been more worried about the sugar.

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“This is HORRIBLE!”

“No!” I was still in denial. The birds in my head were still singing. It could still be perfect. I grabbed up a piece of bread and took a big bite.

It was horrible. At least, as any type of peanut butter cookie.  I should have known by just the ingredients that this was not a decadent dessert type of bread. Or dessert at all. Reading the recipe without the sparkles in my eyes, I can tell this was a utilitarian sandwich bread. Probably from the Depression. It required the minimum amount of ingredients and it churned out something that was recognizable as bread.

The Verdict: Pretty gross on it’s own. It really didn’t even have good enough taste to be a savory bread. If I was making this again, which I probably won’t, I would either add more salt and season it and give in to savory, OR I would add a half stick of butter, up the sugar to a cup, add vanilla, sprinkle sugar on the top and call it cookie bread.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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19 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Yinzerella March 14, 2012 at 10:02 am - Reply

    What a bummer. I love the cookbook, though!
    I was back in Pittsburgh this weekend and came back with a treasure trove of retro goodies: cookbooks, pyrex, jewelry. My mum gave me one similar to the Alaska one except from Aspinwall, PA. Let me just say that there are some good molded salads in that one!

    • RetroRuth March 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      Eee!!! Can’t wait to see something from your mom’s book! Actually…do you think it might be time to start planning another Recipe Dare??? Email me!

  2. veg-o-matic March 14, 2012 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Oh, man. Best. TomFace™. Ever.
    I think I’m going to make that picture my wallpaper.
    It’s too bad this didn’t work out, because peanut butter bread sounds awesome. Maybe toasted. With Nutella.
    Yeah, that’s the trick.
    By the way, what song were you humming?

    • RetroRuth March 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      Ha ha! That would be hilarious! 🙂

      I know, I was bummed it didn’t work out, too. Now that I am thinking about it, I might end up making it again with some of the changes.

      Ummmm…songs from the HMS Pinafore…total, total dork.

  3. Sara In AZ March 14, 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Ha! Love that Tom face! 🙂 Ugggghhhh, I was SURE too that it would be good too – no matter what the ingredients were.

    • RetroRuth March 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      I know, right?? I was so sad.

  4. Andrea March 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Ohhh noooooooooooooo! As a lover of peanut butter, I totally understand your disappointment, Ruth! Even looking at the picture, I was already thinking that I should bake this up today … until I saw the TomFace! I am tempted to try it with your alteration suggestions, though …

    • RetroRuth March 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      Yes! Make it and tell me how it goes, because I am totally up to my elbows in lambcakes. 🙂

  5. laura k March 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    I have made a very similar recipe to this, from a 1920s era cookbook, but I loved how it turned out. It does have egg, and a little more sugar, but it’s not really a decadent dessert bread. It did, however, make excellent breakfast toast. Here’s the recipe, if you want to try it: http://www.kitchenilliterate.com/2009/01/13/peanut-butter-bread-new-favorite-breakfast/

    • RetroRuth March 23, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

      Yep, laura k! I am glad you chimed in on this one! It does prove that with just a few more additions, this bread could still be good. 🙂

  6. melody March 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    i KNEW i had seen this somewhere else…and it is in the “Paula Deen’s Kitchen Classics” cookbook on page 110. the same thing. SCARY…after reading this post i’m tempted to draw a huge red X through that recipe so neither i nor anyone to whom the book descends will ever attempt the recipe…

    • melody March 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

      p.s. the Paula Deen recipe contains the following last statement in the recipe: “Great with homemade jam.”

      • RetroRuth March 23, 2012 at 9:12 am - Reply

        I could see that. This needed a heck of a lot more sugar!

    • RetroRuth March 23, 2012 at 9:11 am - Reply

      That is so strange! I’ve seen or heard about a number of recipes that I make here that are also made by Paula Deen. I guess it shows that she really does cook from vintage recipes. Now, if only she could tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones…

  7. DessertForTwo March 22, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Just found your site–love old recipes!

    Sorry this bread didn’t turn out ok. I think you’re right–the few amount of ingredients means it’s one of those depression-era recipes that needs lots more sugar and flavor for our taste buds.

    Keep on cookin’! 🙂

    • RetroRuth March 23, 2012 at 9:13 am - Reply

      Hi DessertForTwo! Glad you like the site!

  8. Roberta December 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Oh! I’ve been reading through the archives, thinking about this cookbook that I inherited from my grandma that I should go through in search of something special to share. Surely, I thought, a 1950s Alaskan cookbook would have some novelties you’ve never seen before. Here it is though, my very own “Out of Alaska’s Kitchens.” I’m going to go dig around on the bookshelf later anyway, because I think I’ve got another one from an Alaskan women’s club or something like that where everything is hand written and mimeographed.

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