Outback Steakhouse Wheat Bread {Copycat Recipe}

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When Scott and I started dating and got married, I loved going to the Outback Steakhouse on date nights.

Not because of the steak because I haven't eaten steak in over twenty years, but because I love their bread.

I could pound on one of the loaves they had put on the table while I was waiting for my main course and by the time my food came out, I wasn't really hungry. I bathed the bread with Wallaby Darneds, frozen and muddy peach bellinis made with peaches, champagne, vodka, and peach brandy, also with additional floating shots on top. The good thing is, I was preparing to absorb all those healthy liquid peaches. Because of those good memories, I wanted to create Outback bread at home.

I made this bread at least ten times before posting this recipe. I have tried, tested and adjusted it; playing with the amount of molasses and oil used, to include brown sugar or not, add a little cocoa powder or not and in what amount, how to shape the breads, what type of flour and how much to use. Although I saw recipes online that require a heterogeneous mix of different types of flour, I imagine the average person does not have rye, whole wheat, white whole wheat, bread and all-purpose flour and wanted to keep the recipe as streamlined as possible without lose authenticity.

I also experimented with the brand and type of yeast used, first testing Trader Joe and Fleishman's active dry yeast. When I used both, I tried to dissolve the yeast in warm water and used it right away. I also tried to test those yeasts by dissolving them in warm water, adding a teaspoon of sugar, and letting them rest for ten minutes before using them. Trying them yielded better results than using them right away, but none of the bread's results were as good as with Red Star Platinum yeast, which doesn't need to be dissolved before using it. It is a new yeast on the market, intended to provide professional results at home, giving a greater final volume, especially to wheat breads. Without a doubt, it is the best yeast to create a lighter Outback style bread that is better lifted.

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To make the bread, first add the wet ingredients to a glass measuring cup, which includes water, molasses, and oil, and microwave for about one minute on high power, until the temperature of the mixture reaches 125F. That is a warmer temperature, comparatively, at the temperature of most liquids used in working and dissolving yeast, which are normally in the range of 105 to 115F. However, platinum yeast needs this, but if you use other brands of yeast, follow the temperature guidelines on the packaging.

Pour the heated water, molasses, and oil mixture over a waiting dry mix in a bowl, consisting of 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, brown and granular sugars, and cocoa powder. Stir everything and the dough will be wet, sloppy and sticky. Turn it onto a Silpat non-stick baking mat or floured work surface and knead the remaining cup of flour. Using a Silpat is good because you don't have to use it.

You may need to add additional flour depending on the humidity of your dough, but generally in bread making, excess flour creates denser, heavier and heavier doughs and produces heavier bread. Use the least amount of flour needed to get a soft, pillowy dough ball that isn't sticky. In my tests, 2 1/2 cups seems to be the magic number, but its mileage may vary. The times I've used extra flour, the bread is noticeably denser and the wheat bread is already on the dense side.

Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes, or until smooth and non-sticky. Or until you are tired. Yes, you can put the taco in a stand mixer and let the dough hook do the work for you, but this isn't a big batch of bread and it's easy to make by hand. Kneading the warm, soft and fragrant dough and inhaling the robust smells of molasses and cocoa powder, and feeling the warmth on my fingers is pleasant to me. If it's not for you, throw it in the stand mixer and put your workhorse to work.

Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl and flip it over so the top sides are lightly greased and allow the dough to rise for at least 1 hour, or until it doubles in size. It seems to me that my dough needs about 90 minutes, but all yeasts, doughs and conditions are different. After doubling in size, tap down to release air and knead again briefly, about three minutes. You really can't knead too much by hand, you'll tire before the bread. So when in doubt, kneading an extra minute or two by hand (the machines are different) is not going to cause anything "bad" to happen. In my opinion, I have engraved cookie-making rules, which is once flour is added, mix just to combine, and no more; To prepare the bread it is necessary to get mentally accustomed to the fact that I can manipulate the dough and I must.

Divide the dough into two equal parts and form two log-like shapes, called batards. You can simply roll the dough into two cylinders, but creating surface tension when forming the loaves is advantageous because the bread will rise better as it bakes. Place your little bundle of joy seam-side down on a prepared baking sheet that has been dusted with two tablespoons of cornmeal. Cornmeal adds authenticity to finished bread, with small textured stains interspersed in each bite, and most importantly, prevents the bottom of the bread from laying directly on the baking sheet, preventing the base from browning too much before the center cooks. Using your fingers, lightly pat the cornmeal from the baking sheet onto the top and sides of the bread. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough.

Cover the two batards with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for about 30 minutes. They will not double in size, but will swell. As they rise, I preheat the oven and keep the baking sheet on top of the stove as it is a nice, toasty place for the dough to rise. Then bake your bread and get ready for amazing scents to float in the air. The rich fragrance of molasses, cocoa powder, wheat, and the aroma of bread baking is simply intoxicating, no Wallaby Darneds needed.

While the bread is baking, make honey butter by combining softened butter with a little honey, or use margarine with agave to keep this vegan, and beat vigorously with a spoon until smooth and fluffy. Bread is excellent without honey butter, but let's be honest, everything is better with creamy sweetened butter.

Overall, I am incredibly satisfied with this bread. I kept it vegan and used brown sugar instead of honey, which caramelizes as it bakes, creating a subtle honey flavor that's sweet enough to take away the molasses. Molasses is a spicy flavor and each person's threshold is different. I use molasses without purging, which is much less spicy, bitter and intense than blackstrap. Unsulphered lends flavor tones that I think are a closer approximation to Outback bread, but let your taste buds be your guide.

The most notable difference between this bread and the Outback is that it is denser and heavier. Through the magic known as restaurant-quality ingredients, mass-produced dough, commercial ovens, and undoubtedly years of research, his bread is lighter. At home, adding vital wheat gluten to the dough or replacing some of the wheat flour with all-purpose flour or bread flour are ways in which you could lighten the loaf, but some of the walnut and wheat shades will lessen if changes to white. Also, I don't mind a denser bread. This is bread, not angel food pie, and I do enjoy some density, friendliness, and chewiness.

I've been making a couple batches of this bread every week for the past few weeks. The breads are small and it goes fast. Or we eat it fresh from the oven, and technically the bread must cool completely before cutting or breaking it in our case; And what we don't eat fresh, I wrap and make sandwiches, or I toast and spread it with honey butter. The bread also freezes very well and can be prepared ahead of time and defrosted as needed.

I have been doing an excellent job inhaling these breads. Like the old days in Outback.

Outback Steakhouse Wheat Bread {Vegan Copycat Recipe}

Total time

2 hours 30 minutes

  • For him Bread
  • ½ cup warm water, heated to ~ 120-130F if using Platinum Red Star yeast, or about 100-110F for other yeast
  • ¼ cup un-purged molasses (not Blackstrap, see below; I used Grandma's original molasses)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil, plus more to grease the bowl
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup vital wheat gluten, optional but highly recommended for better elevation (I use Bob's Red Mill wheat gluten and vital gluten )
  • 2¼ teaspoons (¼ ounce package) Red Star Platinum yeast or use another instant dry yeast)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar, packaged (can be used light or dark)
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, or to taste
  • approximately ¼ cup bread flour (can be substituted for all-purpose flour)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cornmeal, optional but recommended for sprinkling baking sheets and dough
  • For him Honey butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (or margarine), softened
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (or agave), to taste
  1. For him Bread – In a glass measuring cup or in a microwave-safe container, heat water, molasses without purging and oil for about 1 minute on high power to heat it up to temperature. Testing with a thermometer is preferred, but if done with your finger, the mixture should feel warm but not hot; set aside.
  2. Molasses Note: Blackstrap molasses can be used at your own risk; It is much more bitter and spicy than raw honeydew and the recipe will theoretically "work", but the bread will be more bitter and I suspect it won't taste like Outback bread.
  3. In a large bowl, add 2 cups white whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, yeast, sugars, cocoa powder, salt and stir to combine. Add the wet mix to the dry mix and stir. The dough will be moist, sloppy, and sticky. Turn it into a Silpat baking mat or floured work surface. Slowly add and knead the remaining ¼ cup of bread flour, adding flour until the dough is smooth, smooth, and pillowy; Knead for about 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Shape into a softball-sized lump of dough and place in large greased bowl. Flip the dough to grease the other side and lightly rub a little oil from the sides of the bowl onto the surface of the dough with your fingertips. Cover with plastic wrap, place it in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise for at least 1 hour, or until it doubles in size. This increase takes me about 90 minutes, but your mileage may vary.
  5. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a Silpat liner or greasing it. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of baking sheet (optional, but cornmeal creates authentic bread look and feel and also prevents bread base from browning too quickly); set aside.
  6. Knock the dough down and knead lightly for about 3 minutes. Divide the dough in half and with half of the dough, form an elongated batardo, creating surface tension, pinching the ends and place the heap of dough on the baking sheet, seam side down. Run your fingers through the cornmeal and pat the dough. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover with a greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes. They will not double in size, but will expand. During the second rise, preheat the oven to 350F. Placing the baking sheet on top of the preheat oven creates a warm environment to get up.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bread is done and sounds a little hollow when touched, and after close examination you will be able to distinguish gold and gold bread from the inherently dark color of the dough. Remove the baked breads from the baking sheet immediately and place them on a wire rack to cool. Slice the bread only after it is completely cold. Store bread in an airtight container or a zippered food storage bag at room temperature for up to 5 days. Bread freezes well and can be baked, completely cooled, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw and eat toasted or heat for a couple of minutes in a hot oven.
  8. For him Honey butter – Combine butter and honey in a small bowl and mix vigorously with a spoon until fluffy, altering the proportion of honey to taste. Serve with bread.

I recommend the Red Star Platinum Yeast. I made this bread with other types and brands of yeast and by far gives me the fluffiest and lightest breads.

Flour Notes: The less flour used, the lighter and more authentic the finished bread will be. The bread will be lighter and the dough will rise better if vital wheat gluten is added. Also, a combination of bread flour (or all-purpose flour) instead of exclusively white whole wheat will allow the dough to rise better. I have made this bread with white whole wheat flour and a combination of white whole wheat flour and bread flour. The less white whole wheat is used, the better the dough rises and the lighter the finished bread is. Substitute, as desired, up to half and half the ratio of white to wheat; but I accept that wheat is just denser than white and for the flavor to be more authentic like Outback, I can live with the density.


Related recipes:

Pumpkin and banana bread with cream cheese frosting and golden butter: a touch of molasses in this bread gives it a great wealth of flavor and combines perfectly with pumpkin

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon-Sugar Butter – A kneaded yeast bread that is as easy as it sounds. If you've never made bread before, this is the ideal starter bread. You will no longer need or want to buy English muffins again when you can prepare yours at home so easily

Pumpkin Cinnamon French Toast Overnight with Maple Butter & Vanilla – If you have plenty of bread on hand, make this Monkey Bread with French Toast & Casserole Bake Overnight. Molasses, cinnamon, sugar, spices to warm up fall, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree create an overnight marinade for bread cubes and in the morning just bake

Strawberry Jelly Rolls – These start out as white muffins I made and baked, and in less than 15 minutes I was eating a warm jelly roll

Cinnamon Bun Pie – The best cinnamon buns I've ever made (to date) and they're ready to go from start to finish in under 30 minutes. I am working on yeast based cinnamon rolls below

Have you ever eaten outback wheat bread?

I think they call it Bushman's Honey Wheat, but it was hard to find a name for it other than just titled "Inner Bread." It's kind of ironic that my copycat bread, which comes from a chain of roasters, is vegan and doesn't use honey.

In my searches, I saw many recipes and versions for an imitation version of this bread, some with bad reviews and others with five different types of flour for a bread, as well as special ingredients like caramel flavoring. My goal was to keep it as simple as possible while preserving the flavor, and I am very happy with the results.

Have you ever made yeast bread?

If you have any tips, tricks, thoughts, favorite recipes, or anything else you can add about making bread, feel free to step in and link your favorite recipes.

Thank you for the entries in the South Beach Bars Sample Pack Giveaway and the Cuisinart for the Keurig Single Cup Coffee Giveaway.

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