Packed with a subtle sweetness from honey and deep color from cocoa powder, this Honey Wheat Brown Bread is our newest family favorite. We love to savor it fresh and warm right off the oven, sliced and slathered in butter – tastes heavenly!
Nothing compares to freshly baked Honey Wheat bread at home, which is soft, delicious, and nutritious. Baking your bread is so satisfying; everything is so delightful, from the dough’s rise to the first slice that goes into your mouth!
The taste, the aroma, and the excitement that follows successful baking, well…. that’s inexplicable. And not to mention, the smell of freshly baked loaves will drown you in an intoxicating aura that’s —
- So therapeutic,
- So mesmeric, and
- It indeed makes the home feel ambrosial!
Is Honey Wheat Brown Bread Hard to bake?
Baking a perfect Brown Bread at home may seem elusive for some. For others, it might be a dream waiting to come true. If you, too, are apprehensive about how it might turn out, believe me, it is the easiest bread you will ever bake!
And the foolproof bread recipe that I am sharing with you is —
- Free of preservatives and additives
- A beginner’s bread that turns out great every time, and
- I am sure you will love every minute spent baking!
So, be rest assured, you are just a step away from becoming a perfect baker! Surely you would never want to resort to store-bought loaves once you bake one for your family.
So, get ready to bring a taste of the Cheesecake factory to your table with this easy-to-make Honey Wheat Brown Bread that is purely divine and tastes terrific!
Honey Wheat Brown Bread Ingredient List
By now, I am sure you must be tempted to bake the delicious loaves. So, let’s begin with the yummylicious expedition.
Wheat flour — For optimum results, use wheat flour. Wheat flour is rich in gluten, an essential protein that gives this bread its required elasticity and strength. However, it can be replaced with all-purpose flour.
Bread Flour — This contains more protein that helps in gluten formation. When kneaded in bread dough, this extra protein produces a lighter and fluffier loaf. You can substitute it with all-purpose flour, which will still taste great.
Protip — This recipe uses a blend of whole wheat flour and bread flour to achieve that perfect nutty flavor and lighter texture.
Active Dry Yeast — Using active dry yeast for baking your bread is best, although fresh instant yeast can also be used. If using instant yeast, you can skip the proofing step and add the yeast straight to the flour.
Brown sugar — You must use brown sugar that lends a deep flavor to the bread. However, it can be replaced with white sugar.
Lukewarm water — This is for proofing the yeast. Ensure the water is lukewarm (temperature between 100- 110 degrees Fahrenheit), as the temperature above will destroy the yeast.
Baking Powder — Baking powder is used to achieve the desired rise.
Cocoa Powder — Use a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder that gives your bread a subtle brown color and hints of chocolaty flavor.
Honey — Honey adds to the sweetness of the brown bread, thus making it irresistibly delicious! You can substitute it with maple syrup if you want it vegan.
Protip — Honey, and cocoa render a subtly sweet flavor and a delightful brown color.
Salt — This is used for lifting the flavor and seasoning the bread.
Oil — You can use olive oil, whereas canola oil or sunflower oil works just as well.
Butter — Softened butter is not an ingredient in the recipe. It is only used to brush atop the loaf before and after baking to add flavor and color.
Rolled Oats — These are used for garnishing our tempting loaves.
How to make Honey Wheat Brown bread
Prepare the Honey Wheat bread in 4 easy steps —
Make the dough —
- Honey wheat brown bread involves a beautiful process that begins with the “proofing of yeast” at a temperature that will activate it. This activation is significant for bread making.
- Once the yeast is bloomed, combine flour, cocoa powder, espresso coffee, honey, oil, salt, brown sugar, and activated yeast in a large mixing bowl.
- Add water to knead a soft, pliable dough.
Dough rise — You could do it two ways –
- The traditional way is – Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it go through a rising process that is completed in a warm place or an unheated oven for about an hour.
- Proofing the dough in the Instant Pot – Grease the Instant Pot insert. Transfer the dough to the Instant Pot. Cover it with a glass lid. Turn the Instant pot on by pressing the ‘Yogurt’ button. Adjust the pressure to ‘Less.’ Set the timer to 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, the dough will expand and double in size. Depending on the weather, the dough may take longer to rise.
Shape the dough —
- Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it again for a few more minutes.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.
- Take one piece and flatten the dough.
- Now fold both the long edges about 2/3 in the center and press.
- Bring the shorter ends in and fold them over too.
- Roll the dough like a log and pinch the edges to make it look like a log.
- Arrange the logs on a bread baking tray, cover them, and allow them to rise for another 30-40 minutes in a warm place.
Bake the Bread —
- Preheat the oven to @350°F.
- Once the loaves have risen, brush the top with butter.
- Sprinkle some rolled oats on top.
- Bake the Honey wheat bread loaves in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Cool the bread on the counter for 10 minutes.
- Slice a piece, put in some butter, and enjoy!
Expert Tips & Variations
» Measure your dry ingredients correctly, or it will throw the whole recipe off balance.
» Water temperature — Always remember to use lukewarm water when activating the yeast. The water temperature should be between 100- 110 degrees F (baby bottle temperature). A temperature above this will kill the yeast and make it ineffective in its purpose.
» Color — Cocoa powder renders your bread a subtle brown color. But if you want it darker, you can always add a food color. Get a rich brown color by mixing one teaspoon of blue with one teaspoon of yellow and one teaspoon of red color.
» Substitute — Though whole wheat flour and bread flour give an excellent texture to the bread, adding all-purpose flour will take it up a notch.
» Shape the dough into smaller loaves or buns, as this will assist them in being baked evenly.
» Warm place — Always allow the dough to rise in a warm spot in your kitchen. Cold areas will double the rising time.
» Extra flour — You can add a tablespoon of flour if the dough is too sticky, but beyond that, do not be tempted to add more flour to the recipe. The ratio of water to flour is accurate. Any ingredient alteration in any ingredient’s quantity will not give an accurate result.
» Line baking trays — I have made this honey wheat brown bread without parchment paper, and the result was good. But feel free to line your baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent the sticking of the loaf.
» Score bread — Always diagonally score or slash your unbaked bread loaves with a sharp knife so that they don’t crack during baking.
» Mittens — Use oven mittens to remove the hot baking trays from the oven.
» Slicing bread — A hot aromatic loaf is no doubt very tempting. But never slice the brown wheat bread when it is still hot. Let it cool down completely to ensure even cutting.
» To check whether your bread is completely baked or not, insert a toothpick or wooden skewer in the middle of the loaf. If it comes out dry, it means the bread is done.
» Vegan — If you want your bread completely vegan, you could swap honey with maple syrup, molasses, agave nectar, or date syrup. The resulting bread will be equally delicious. And replace butter with any plant-based butter to make this bread completely vegan.
» Perfect for gifting — Wrap the cooled bread in decorative plastic bags and gift out to your family and friends. This homemade bread will garner a lot of compliments and wows!
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
This version of the Copycat Cheesecake Factory Honey Wheat Bread is my family’s favorite too. Maybe due to the versatility of this bread or due to its terrific taste, we are so much in love with it.
Give it a try, and this Honey Wheat Brown Bread will soon establish its spot as a staple at your home. It is so addictive!
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
HUNGRY FOR MORE FAMILY-FAVORITE BREAD RECIPES? TRY THESE-
|This recipe was originally posted in 2019 and has been updated to improve reader experience.|
Honey wheat brown bread
- ¼ cup Honey
- 3 tablespoons Oil
- 1¼ cup Water (add an extra ¼ cup, if needed)
INGREDIENTS TO TOP THE BREAD
- – – Rolled Oats
- – – Butter softened
KNEADING THE DOUGH – BAKES 3 LOAVES
- Combine yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Add lukewarm water.
- Stir it with a spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved. Let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- Once the yeast activates (frothy and bubbly), go ahead with the recipe. If the yeast fails to do so, please discard and start over.
- Add the whole wheat flour, bread flour, and baking powder to the mixing bowl of the stand mixer.
- Add salt.
- Cocoa powder + espresso coffee powder.
- Brown sugar.
- Stir in liquids – honey and oil.
- Pour in the activated yeast and water.
- Using the dough hook, mix the ingredients at medium speed.
- Mix until it forms a smooth dough.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and set it in a warm place. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- The dough will double in size.
- Choose a big bowl for the dough. 🙂
SHAPING THE DOUGH
- After the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead it again.
- Knead the dough by hand for 4-5 minutes until it looks smooth and non-sticky. Keep dusting it with flour if necessary. Be sure to brush your hands with flour, too, so that the dough doesn't stick to them.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.
- Take one piece and use the rolling pin to flatten the dough.
- Now fold both the long edges about 2/3 in the center and press it down (image 1). Bring the shorter ends in and fold them over too (image 2). Starting from the left side, roll the dough into a loaf-like shape (pictures 3&4). The dough will look like a jelly roll.
- Pinch all the seams with your fingers. If you are having problems sealing the dough – slightly wet the edges with water and pinch them together. Repeat this fold and pinch process on the horizontal and vertical end of the loaf too.
- Roll on the surface and make it look like a loaf of bread or a log.
- Repeat the same process with the other two dough pieces too.
- Place the rolled loaves in a grease pan or tray and cover them with a clean towel. Let them rise for 30 -40 minutes until doubled in size.
- Once the rising time has elapsed, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, make deep cuts (score) into the bread. These cuts will allow the bread to expand during baking.
- Brush the top with butter, sprinkle some rolled oats and bake in a preheated for 30-40 minutes. Once done, remove the bread from the oven and let them cool for 10-20 minutes over the counter. Brush the tops with butter and enjoy.
- If you don't have a log tray, you can wrap each loaf in foil and place it in a warm place to rise. Since the dough was wrapped in foil, it will maintain its loaf shape.
- Arrange the loaves on a baking tray.
- Brush with butter and sprinkle rolled oats on top. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Once done, remove the bread from the oven and let them cool for 10-20 minutes over the counter. Brush the tops with butter.
- Serve hot with your favorite soup or pasta.
- Slather it with butter and enjoy!
Frequently Asked QuestionsCan I make this bread using a bread machine? Yes, you indeed can. Using a bread machine will allow you to put less effort while kneading by hand will demand more. However, in both ways, the result is going to be equally good. Why is my bread dense? If your bread doesn’t feel light but is dense instead, there might be the possibility of any of these reasons:
- You might have kneaded the dough more than required; over kneading leads to denser bread.
- Your dough did not get a warm place to rise. Make sure to keep the dough in a warm spot that helps in better rising.
- Over-proofing the dough makes the bread dense, as the dough gets over aerated and the gluten gets collapsed during baking. So, avoid over-proofing.
- You may have added expired yeast that is no longer helping the dough to rise. So, always check for the expiry date.