I remember it was a cold Wednesday evening. I was in the middle of my “post-noon pre-dinner” nap when I awoke in a cold sweat. Clutching my stomach, I built up the strength to look outside of my window. The sun beamed straight into my eyes, and as I felt its warmth crawl across my skin I had an epiphany: what if—just what if—I could craft a sandwich as sweet as it was savory. As pleasant as it were piquant. It dawned on me that such a sandwich could be made: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
It’s rare that you see food that has these dramatically contrasting flavors. Peanut butter and jelly is similar to honey on pizza. Though, people may say you’re a horrible person for that, don’t listen. Not only is it the contrast between sweet and savory that makes this recipe, but the freshness of the ingredients and how creative you can get with it.
Let’s begin with your bread selection.
My personal favorite, you can mill your own flour or wheat to bake your own bread from complete scratch.
A loaf bought from your local bakery.
That one loaf of bread you found at the grocery store that was super cheap and had the furthest expiration date.
Like most sandwiches, the bread is going to be around 50-60 percent of its content (80-90 percent if you’re weird) so choose wisely.
What truly makes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, is the peanut butter and jelly (duh). With so many kinds of peanut butter and jelly to chose from it can get a little overwhelming.
You can divide your peanut butter selection into two categories.
Crunchy (yuck! gross! bleh!)
Creamy (mmmm yummy the best one)
There is absolutely never a wrong answer when it comes to choosing your type of peanut butter. Except for crunchy, why would you ever use crunchy peanut butter?
Jelly is what can make or break your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There are way too many jellies to chose from, and honestly it get’s a lot weirder when you think about jam. It doesn’t even stop at jam, there’s marmalade too. What even is that? I’m convinced marmalade isn’t actually real- when was the last time you’ve seen someone eat marmalade????? No, it’s clear the concept of marmalade was just invented by British to sell more “Paddington” books.
Regardless of what you choose, what’s even more important is the ratio of peanut butter to jelly. This is where all the math skills you learned come in hand. Too much jelly and you’re just eating wet bread, too much peanut butter and it gets super salty. The golden ratio for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is [REDACTED] (peanut butter : jelly).
Now that the introduction is over, let’s get to the assembly of the sandwich. First, put the peanut butter and jelly between your first and second layer of bread. Simple right? No. Easier said then done. It takes finesse to execute these movements, and takes years of practice to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Only true masters of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich can gain more freedom to experiment. It can be ages before you even try to make the waffle peanut butter and jelly sandwich grand slam special. Despite that, it’s still a great and easy recipe to make for a home chef of any age.