Monday, August 17, 2015

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Honey Wheat Bread

I have a confession to make.

Every time I go to a restaurant that has complimentary bread (of any kind), I totally fill up on bread.

So much so, that I usually only eat a couple of bites of my entrée. It's bad. Bad, but so, so good.

We've all been to The Cheesecake Factory, right?

They serve complimentary bread baskets for you to munch on while you wait. The white bread is delicious, but have you tried the brown bread??? 

It's life-changing. Apparently it's called "honey wheat black (or black) bread," but I just call it the brown bread. I've wanted to try a recipe for this bread for a long time, but I could never find a good one that seemed reliable.

So I looked through different recipes to create my own. I gathered ideas from various recipes.

Friends, this bread is a home run. It tastes EXACTLY like the bread from the restaurant. EXACTLY LIKE IT!! Get out your mixers, because you're going to want to make this right now.

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Honey Wheat Bread

Yields: 5-6 small loaves

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup honey
oats for decoration

1. In a medium bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir until combined and let it sit for 5 minutes to activate.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

3. Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and add the butter, molasses, and honey. Stir to roughly combine, then attach the dough hook. Add more flour if needed (the dough should not stick to the sides or bottom of the bowl). Knead on medium-low speed for 8-10 minutes, or until it passes the fingerprint test (meaning, when you poke it with your finger, it should bounce back slowly.)

4. Let dough rise in a covered greased bowl in a warm place until doubled. Mine took about 30 minutes because I put it in a 100 degree oven.

5. Divide the dough and form it into the desired shapes. Spray the tops with water and sprinkle oats, if desired. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the loaves with it, then let them rise until doubled.

6. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, depending on the shape. Loaves are done when they sound hollow when you tap on them.