This bread in all its chewy, soft glory might look a smidge familiar. You know that little California based chain, they serve cheesecake and have a menu the thickness similar to that of a Jersey diner? You may have heard of it...The Cheesecake Factory.
If you know it, then you know about the freaking brown bread. THAT BREAD. Oh my lord, I'm getting the bread sweats. It's soft and sweet and tender and just the best way to start a meal.
And this Honey Wheat Brown Bread is an at-home version that's simple to make and so so delicious.
Ok, hold on. Let's just talk about this honey wheat brown bread.
Tips for starting yeast doughs
New to yeast? Don't be scared, just keep a few things in mind and your bread is going to come out great!
Yeast doughs typically start with letting the yeast get foamy and involve
- a warm liquid (milk or water),
- sugar or some sort of sweet like honey (think of it as yeast food),
- and of course the yeast itself.
The yeast eats the sweet and turns into a foamy, liquidy starter. Not so scary right?
And here's my foolproof tip: temp your liquid. It should be around 100-110°F. If it's too hot it will kill the yeast and you'll get no foam. If it's too cold, your foam won't get foamy enough. And that's sad. Nobody wants sad yeast foam.
I use my digital meat thermometer to temp it. It's easy to read and if it is too hot you can just leave it in and watch the temp go down.
For the first rise, it'll happen in a greased bowl. Cover it with either a linen towel or plastic wrap to create a warm, incubator like environment.
The next rise will happen after you shape the dough before baking.
See these little beauties?? They're just one rise away from being this.
After baking, enjoy while hot with a nice slather of butter or store up to 4 days for later. This bread is my absolute favorite for making croutons. It provides a nice crunch and adds are great flavor to salads without being overpowering.
You should try them in this kale salad with pomegranate and blue cheese or autumn salad with apples and cheddar. Pretty much if there's any sort of seasonal salad, clearly I'm finding a reason to make this honey wheat brown bread into croutons for it. You should join me. If making this bread to go along with dinner, comfort food classic pot roast or lemony chicken thighs are a welcome sight on the dinner table.
If you're making this bread to go with dinner or for croutons be sure to tell me about it in the comments and leave a rating below. Tag #hungerthirstplay on all your tasty Instagram photos!
Honey Wheat Brown Bread
- 1 cup warm water, 105-110°F (236ml)
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups bread flour (241g)
- 1 ⅔ cup white whole wheat flour (191g)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons espresso powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- In the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine warm water and molasses. Sprinkle the liquid with yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy, then add in the honey.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, espresso and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to the yeast mixture on low speed. Once combined add butter and increase speed to medium until combined and a soft, smooth dough is formed - about 90 seconds.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area to rose for 1 hour, or until double in size.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into small, log shaped loaf then onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each loaf with whole rolled oats.
- Let the loaves rise until double in size - about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack for cooling. Honey Wheat Brown Bread is fresh for up to 4 days, wrapped, at room temperature.
- Molasses provides a natural, dark color to the bread but honey can be used in its place if you do not have molasses.