Outback Bread

Here are two "secret recipes" for the wonderful "Honey Wheat Bushman Bread" or "Outback Bread" served by the Outback SteakhouseŽ restaurant chain.

Along with the entree at this rustic and popular steakhouse chain, comes a freshly baked loaf of dark, sweet bread, served on its own cutting board with soft whipped butter.

You'll note that it has a very distinctive feature: its color.  While you may notice the recipe includes instant coffee and cocoa, these ingredients will not give it its deep dark chocolate brown color - not even close.  Usually breads that are this dark contain caramel color, an ingredient often used in the industry to darken foods.  You can replace the caramel color from a mixture of three food colorings -- red, yellow and blue.  Be sure to get the coloring that comes with the little droppers so that you can count the drops as you measure.  That's very important to getting the color just right.  You may also opt to keep the color out.  The bread will certainly taste the same, but will look nothing like the real deal.



Combine the flours, cocoa, sugar, coffee and salt in large bowl.  Make a depression or "well" in the middle of the dry mixture.  Pour the warm water into this "well," then add the butter, honey and yeast.  Combine the food coloring drops (if used) with 1/4 cup of water and add that to the "well."  Slowly mix the ingredients with a spoon, drawing the dry ingredients into the wet.  

When you can handle the dough, begin to combine it by hand, kneading the dough thoroughly for at least ten minutes, until it is very smooth and has a consistent color.  Set the dough into a covered bowl in a warm place for an hour, to allow it to rise.

When the dough has risen to about double in size, punch it down and divide it into 8 even portions (divide dough in half, divide those halves in half, and then once more).  Form the portions into tubular shaped loaves about 8 inches long and 2 inches wide.  Sprinkle the entire surface of the loaves with cornmeal and place them on a cookie sheet, or two.  Cover the cookie sheet(s) with plastic wrap and let the dough rise once more for another hour in a warm location.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.  Uncover the dough and bake it for 20-24 minutes in the hot oven.  Loaves should begin to darken slightly on top when done.  Serve warm with a sharp bread knife and butter on the side.  If you want whipped butter, like you get at the restaurant, just use an electric mixer on high speed to whip some butter until it's fluffy.

Makes 8 small loaves. 


It is normal for this dough to be a bit tacky and to seem somewhat thin.  Just be sure to add plenty of flour to your hands and work surface when working with the dough to prevent sticking.

If you are able to find caramel color, you can use that with 1/4 cup of water in place of the food coloring formula described in the recipe.

Second recipe - try 'em both and let me know...


Soften yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.  Stir in sugar.  Let stand 6 minutes or until bubbly.  Meanwhile in large mixing bowl combine 1 cup warm water with molasses, salt, oil and rye flour.  Beat to smooth batter.  Then work in all-purpose flour until dough is smooth and no longer sticky, very pliable and elastic.  Knead a few minutes.  Let rise until doubled in greased bowl.  Punch down.

Shape into 2 large round loaves placed a few inches apart on greased and cornmeal dusted cookie sheet or fill 6 mini foil loaf pans, greased and dusted in cornmeal, with the dough, dividing it evenly between these little pans.  Either way let loaves rise until doubled in warm place.  Bake large loaves 375F about 30 minutes or until crust makes hollow sound when tapped with knuckles.

For tiny loaves place pans on dry ungreased cookie sheets, a few inches apart.  When doubled in size, bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until crust makes that hollow sound when tapped.  Bread freezes beautifully.