Monday, August 17, 2015

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Honey Wheat Bread

I have a confession to make.

Every time I go to a restaurant that has complimentary bread (of any kind), I totally fill up on bread.

So much so, that I usually only eat a couple of bites of my entrée. It's bad. Bad, but so, so good.

We've all been to The Cheesecake Factory, right?

They serve complimentary bread baskets for you to munch on while you wait. The white bread is delicious, but have you tried the brown bread??? 

It's life-changing. Apparently it's called "honey wheat black (or black) bread," but I just call it the brown bread. I've wanted to try a recipe for this bread for a long time, but I could never find a good one that seemed reliable.

So I looked through different recipes to create my own. I gathered ideas from various recipes.

Friends, this bread is a home run. It tastes EXACTLY like the bread from the restaurant. EXACTLY LIKE IT!! Get out your mixers, because you're going to want to make this right now.

Copycat Cheesecake Factory Honey Wheat Bread

Yields: 5-6 small loaves

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup honey
oats for decoration

1. In a medium bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir until combined and let it sit for 5 minutes to activate.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

3. Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and add the butter, molasses, and honey. Stir to roughly combine, then attach the dough hook. Add more flour if needed (the dough should not stick to the sides or bottom of the bowl). Knead on medium-low speed for 8-10 minutes, or until it passes the fingerprint test (meaning, when you poke it with your finger, it should bounce back slowly.)

4. Let dough rise in a covered greased bowl in a warm place until doubled. Mine took about 30 minutes because I put it in a 100 degree oven.

5. Divide the dough and form it into the desired shapes. Spray the tops with water and sprinkle oats, if desired. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the loaves with it, then let them rise until doubled.

6. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes, depending on the shape. Loaves are done when they sound hollow when you tap on them.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kentucky Butter Bundt

Is there anything more elegant than a bundt cake?

They're round, dense, and not overly sweet.

This bundt cake is my absolute favorite. It's a simple vanilla bundt cake soaked with a butter glaze throughout the entire cake. The glaze goes on while the cake is cooling in the pan, and it creates a moist soaked cake with a slightly sugar crisp on the outside of the cake.

Bundt cakes have frustrated me in the past, because parts always seem to stick in the pan. I can't stand that! For this recipe, the cake didn't stick at all. The secret?

You have to let the bundt cool all the way in the pan before inverting it. 

This cake is great, because it's even better on the second and third days. This means you can make it the night before, and it will be even more moist the next day! This cake will still be great if you can't resist it on the first day, but I recommend waiting if you can! 

Kentucky Butter Bundt

Yields: approximately 12 servings 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a bundt pan liberally with butter or shortening, getting into every nook and cranny. Lightly sprinkle with flour and tap out the excess.
2. Place all the cake ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a bowl with a hand mixer). Mix on low for 30 seconds, then up to medium (about a 4) for 3 minutes. 

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-75 minutes (it totally depends on your oven and altitude), or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

4. Prepare the glaze by combining all of the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium low. Stir until everything melts and dissolves together, but make sure you don't boil it. 

5. Right when the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes in it with a knife. Keep the cake in the pan! Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, letting it soak in as you go. 

6. Let the cake cool completely (I covered it and left it overnight) before inverting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. 

Note: Cake is best if you make it the day before so it can cool in the pan overnight.