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 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 TBS molasses
- 1 TBS brown sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
- Up to 2 1/4 cup bread flour
- Up to 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 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.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Oven
Keywords: brown bread, dinner bread, cheesecake factory