Monday, July 12, 2010

Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Bushman Bread

Along with your meal at this huge national steakhouse chain, comes a
freshly baked loaf of dark, sweet bread, served on its own cutting board along
with soft whipped butter. One distinctive feature of the bread is its color.
How does the bread get so dark? Even though this recipe includes molasses and
cocoa, these ingredients alone will not give the bread its dark chocolate brown
color. Usually commercially produced breads that are this dark -- such as
pumpernickel or dark bran muffins -- contain caramel color, an ingredient often
used in the industry to darken foods. Since your local supermarket will not
likely have this mostly commercial ingredient, we'll create the brown coloring
from a mixture of three food colorings -- red, yellow and blue. My first
version of this clone recipe created a dough that was bit too loose, and the
measurements for the coloring was in drops. Recently, I spent several days
tightening up the formula, and I know you'll find it to be a better clone. If
you have a bread machine, use it for kneading the bread (you'll find the order
in which to add the ingredients to your machine in "Tidbits"). To bake the
bread, split the dough into six even portions that you can roll and cook on a
sheet pan in your home oven.

1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses

1 1/4 teaspoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon yellow food coloring
1 teaspoon blue food coloring

cornmeal for dusting

1. Mix sugar with warm water, then dissolve the yeast in the solution. In five
minutes the solution will begin to foam as the yeast begins its gassy dance
2. While the yeast is waking up, mix the flours, cocoa, and salt in a large
bowl. Mix butter into the dry mixture with your hands. Make an impression in
the middle of the dry mixture. Add the honey and molasses into the well. Mix
the food coloring with the yeast solution, then pour the solution into the
well. Stir from the middle bringing the dry mixture into the wet stuff, slowly
at first, then quickly as you incorporate all the ingredients. You will
eventually have to use your hands to combine everything. Knead the dough for 10
minutes on a lightly floured surface, then roll the dough into a ball and place
it into a covered bowl in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until it has
doubled in size.
3. When the dough has doubled, separate it into 6 even portions. Roll each
dough portion into logs that are 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. Pour cornmeal
onto your rolling surface. Moisten your hands then rub water onto each dough
log and roll it in the cornmeal. Arrange the rolled dough on a baking sheet and
cover it with plastic wrap. Set the dough in warm spot to rise for another
hour or so until the loaves have doubled in size.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the dough and bake it for 35 to 40
minutes in the hot oven. When the bread is done, take it out of the oven and
let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the bread with a sharp bread knife and
butter on the side. If you want whipped butter, like you get at the restaurant,
just use an electric mixer on high speed to whip some butter until it's fluffy.

Makes 6 small loaves.

Recipe and photos by Outback Steakhouse®

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