If you’ve ever eaten there, you know; the Cheesecake Factory brown bread is everyone’s favourite. Delivered to the tables warm with little packets of butter, the five of us always fight over who gets the last slice while we wait for more to come. For years I just knew that I liked it, and didn’t even bother thinking about why. It wasn’t until I started trying to make it at home that I realized I liked it because of all the layers of flavour. And it just tastes damn amazing!
Molasses, honey, cocoa, espresso, whole wheat. The ingredient list made me scratch my head a few times while working on this one, but in the end, once I got it right, everything somehow made perfect sense. You’re going to have to trust me.
Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread, aka Chocolate Bread.
Or how to get kids to try it the first time.
I’ve been making this Cheesecake Factory brown bread almost monthly for 2 years now. You can see my first post about it here. The kids call it chocolate bread, but I just call it my favourite. I could eat all 6 loafs by myself. I don’t let myself, but I totally could.
I’ve learned a few things making this so many times. Like, even though all that research in the beginning told me they added a caramel colouring to their dough, that’s a step we don’t need to take. It looks great without it. You also don’t NEED to add the cornmeal to the bottom, or the oats to the top. Those just make it look so much nicer though, so I keep doing it. I’ll leave that step up to you.
I’m sure you could also make two big loaves, instead of the six smaller ones, but I like the little ones. I like to pretend that eating 10 little slices is WAY better for you then 3 or four big ones. I also like to pretend I’m Pink in the shower. We do what we have to to get by.
I’m not going to lie to you. My Cheesecake Factory brown bread isn’t the quickest, or the easiest bread to make. If you’re nervous about making bread (I only say this because I was), I’ve got a three step process for you to build up your confidence. Before I started making my own bread regularly I was terrified about screwing it up. I promise it’s not nearly as difficult as you may worry it is.
Step 1 – Crusty, Rustic, No Knead Bread
Start off with this one, my crusty, rustic, no-knead bread. It’s a super easy no-knead bread that you mix together with a wooden spoon in a big bowl. No mixer and no fancy shaping either. It’s what everyone calls “Artisan” bread.
Step 2 – Sweet Dinner Rolls
After that, give my dinner rolls a shot. This gets you using the mixer, and learning how to shape rolls. This dough is super easy to work with, and once you make these, you’ll feel like a bread making god. At least I did.
Step 3 – Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread
Time to make my Cheesecake Factory brown bread. Don’t think that you can’t make this if you’ve never made any other bread. You totally can! Just don’t treat the dough too preciously. It’s just dough. It’s just bread. You’ve got this.
Trust your gut when you’re making it, even if you haven’t made bread before. If you think that the dough is too sticky to handle, add a little more flour to the mixer. If you think it’s way too dry, just add a little bit of water (like a teaspoon at a time). You’ll find lots of extra information at the bottom of my recipe to help you out here.
And most importantly – don’t forget the butter for it when it’s warm out of the oven! We usually have a couple of extra loaves left over. When they’re completely cool, wrap them up in plastic wrap, or put them in a zip-lock bag, and enjoy them the next night!