Sunday, April 7, 2013

Knock Off Cheesecake Factory Bread

Knock Off Cheesecake Factory Bread - made March 30, 2013 from Rae Gun Ramblings
I was high on the success of the Lemon Monkey Bread and thinking "hey, yeasted doughs aren't so hard or so time consuming" so I decided to try my hand at another bread recipe I'd pinned on pinterest.  My friend Jeannie and I like to go to Cheesecake Factory and, like many of its patrons, we like the dark bread that's usually served warm in the bread basket and is the first to go.  Outback Steakhouse also serves a dark bread that's equally yum.  I've always wanted to try making something similar.

This recipe was easy to make but hard to handle.  The dough was too soft and sticky, even after mixing and kneading it (via dough hook) to develop the gluten.  So, instead of rolls, I opted to drop the soft, sticky dough into mini loaf pans for its second rise.  Much easier to deal with.  Overall, this was similar to the Cheesecake Factory bread but I wouldn't call it exactly like it.  It looks the same and if I'd had a baking stone to bake it as rolls (if the dough hadn't been so soft), it would've been a bit more crusty.  Flavor-wise though, I think the molasses gave it more of an aftertaste and "bite" that wasn't in the original CF version or the Outback version.  It was still good but I think next time I would cut back on the molasses and increase the cocoa powder slightly.

3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup molasses (try 1/8 cup)
1 1/8 cup all purpose flour (increase for 1 1/4 cups if dough is too soft)
3/8 cup wheat flour (increase to 1/2 cup if dough is too soft)
1/2 tablespoon cocoa (try 1 tablespoon)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/8 tsp yeast (1/2 packet)
1/2 tablespoon oil
egg white for brushing loaves
oats for sprinkling
  1. Dissolve the coffee in the water. Add yeast and let bubble. Add sugar, cocoa, salt, and oil. 
  2. Add half the flour and the molasses and knead or beat with dough hook in a stand mixer. Continue adding flour and beating until dough pulls away from the bowl. You want it sticky but manageable. 
  3. Place in oiled bowl and allow dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. Shape into rolls or loaf. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with oats. Allow to rise. 
  4. Bake at 350 F 20-35 minutes (time varies depending on the size of the roll/loaf). To tell if it's done pick it up and thump the underside it will sound hollow when it's finished.

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