Do you love the brown bread at Cheesecake Factory? Now you can make it at home with this delicious copycat recipe. An incredibly flavorful dinner bread full of substantial ingredients.
Why You Should Make This Bread
You need only glance at the ingredients list for this recipe to know that it's packed with flavor. There's just so much going on in here and it all works together seamlessly to mimic that delicious brown bread at Cheesecake Factory that's just so darn hard to stop eating.
The Awesome Ingredients
- Whole Wheat and Bread Flour: a power combination of flour, you get the hearty nutty flavor from whole wheat while the higher gluten in the bread flour adds chewiness and texture.
- Honey, Molasses, and Brown Sugar: just a bit of each adds more than just sweetness to this recipe. You have caramel-y floral notes from honey, a bit of smokiness from the molasses, and deep toffee notes from brown sugar.
- Unsweetened Cocoa: no worries, this bread does not taste like chocolate, but just a small bit of cocoa powder added to the dough further contributes to the boldness and adds a slight bitterness to balance the sweet ingredients.
- Yeast: being a yeast-leavened dough, you'll need a package of fresh active dry yeast (or about 2 ¼ teaspoons)
- Butter and Salt: Self-explanatory... I've found that salt makes a huge difference in this bread.
- Oats & Semolina: the top of the bread loaves are sprinkled with old-fashioned oats to add a fun crunch and even more flavor. The bottom of the loaves are baked on a bed of semolina flour or cornmeal to up the crunch factor and help with moving the loaves off of the parchment.
- Use Fresh Yeast: I sound like a broken record with this one because I place this tip on every single yeast recipe I post on my blog. It's important, though! If your yeast isn't fresh, it won't get foamy when added to the warm water and sugar, and the bread won't rise.
- Rise In A Warm Place: Cold kitchens are no bueno for getting a nice high rise out of your dough. If your kitchen is on the chilly side, consider a bathroom (where someone has recently showered) or laundry room instead. If your oven has a "proof" setting - use it! It's fantastic and I use my oven for proofing all of my bread doughs. If your oven doesn't have this setting, place a glass dish with 3-4 cups of boiling water in the lower rack of the oven, and then place your bowl containing the dough on a rack above it.
- Use The Right Amount Of Flour: I always give a range of flour measurements when posting bread recipes, because I very much believe that bringing together a perfect dough depends on the "feel" of each individual batch. Start out with less flour and gradually add it in until a smooth elastic dough is formed. Before kneading it'll be slightly sticky, but should not be gloppy or wet. On the flip side, the dough also should not be crumbly or dry, which can happen when too much flour is added.
A bench scraper makes easy work of cutting bread dough (buy here)
How Should I Serve This Bread?
There is so, so much flavor in this bread by itself it really doesn't need anything fancy or extra for serving. I prefer to serve it warm, sliced with a pat of melty butter.
This bread can be served alongside pretty much any entree from any cuisine you can think of, which is probably why it's such a popular tableside brown bread at Cheesecake Factory!
Can I Freeze This Bread?
This bread freezes very well! You can freeze it at two points:
- After the first rise: Let the dough complete the first rise, punch it down, and form into the 4 loaves as indicated in the recipe. Then wrap the dough in plastic wrap, place into a freezer-safe bag, and freeze for up to 6 months. To thaw: Place the frozen loaves onto a semolina/cornmeal and parchment-lined baking sheet and let thaw and rise (may take 3-4 hours, or longer). Before baking, sprinkle with oats.
- After the bread is baked: You can also freeze the baked and finished bread loaves. Let them cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 6 months. To thaw: simply let it sit on the counter until thawed - maybe 90 minutes or so? You can warm slices in the microwave or toast in the oven if you prefer.
I really hope you give this recipe a try! You'll realize that you don't even have to climb into your car to experience the brown bread at the Cheesecake Factory. And for those of you who are still getting used to the idea of bread-making or working with yeast, this is an excellent practice recipe with a big payoff! Enjoy!Print
Brown Bread At Cheesecake Factory
- Total Time: 50 minutes + rising time for dough
- Yield: 4 loaves 1x
The brown bread at Cheesecake Factory is famously delicious. A mixture of brown and whole wheat flour form a hearty base punctuated with honey, molasses, brown sugar, and a surprise ingredient - cocoa powder.
- 1 ¼ cup warm water
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 TBS molasses
- 1 TBS brown sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
- Up to 2 ¼ cup bread flour
- Up to 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 3 TBS salted butter, melted
- old-fashioned oats for topping
- semolina flour or cornmeal for bottom of pan
- Mix together the warm water, honey, molasses, and brown sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy.
- In a second, large bowl, mix together 2 cups of the bread flour, 1 cup of the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
- Add the yeast mixture and melted butter to the flour mixture. Stir until a dough is formed. Slowly add more bread flour and whole wheat flour a couple of tablespoons at a time until a nice elastic dough is formed. It should not be dry and should be only very slightly sticky.
- If kneading by hand: turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
If kneading with a stand mixer: use the dough hook attachment and mix for 6-8 minutes.
The dough will be smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky when it is ready.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut into four equal pieces. Form each piece into a loaf ~7-8" long
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with semolina flour or cornmeal. Spread the loaves out on the sheet, leaving some space in between.
- Top the loaves with oats, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the dough puffs up.
- While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 350F. When dough has risen, bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan once.
- Let cool slightly before slicing. Serve as is or with salted butter. Tastes even better the next day!
You can freeze the dough after the first rise and after being formed into loaves, or you can freeze the finished baked bread. See post content for full details.
If your dough does not rise well, ensure that your yeast is fresh, your water is not too hot, and that the dough was rising in a warm environment.
If you work with dough frequently, consider adding an inexpensive bench scraper to your collection of tools.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Oven
Keywords: brown bread, dinner bread, cheesecake factory
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Great recipe! Thank you for sharing