Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brown Wheat Bread - Cheesecake Factory Style using TangZhong Method (湯種法)

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If you’ve been to Cheesecake Factory, you probably know about the Brown Wheat Bread that they serve before your order arrives.  They are addictive!  There were times I ate so much of this bread that I couldn’t even finish 1/3 of my entrée.  I’ve been searching high and low over the internet for the recipe, but with no luck.  As you know, I love baking bread at home especially with the TangZhang method (湯種法).  If you’re not familiar with the TangZhong method, please refer to my posts here, here and here. You’ll see why I love this method so much.  Lately, I’ve been experimenting this recipe to incorporate the TangZhang method for this brown wheat bread.  The result was Ah—mazing!

Chicago Metallic 17x9-in. Nonstick Professional Nonstick Perforated Baguette Pan
Product Picture from Amazon

I used this baking pan as shown from the picture above to make these baguettes.  They are perfect for this recipe.  The perforated pan keeps the bread baking evenly and the unique shape helps the loaves stay in their round shape.  For more details about this pan, please to go the “Equipment” tab above this post or simply click here.

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Just like how they'd serve it in Cheesecake Factory, a small tab of butter or margarine is all you need for this amazing brown wheat bread.  Its flavor is rich and complex.  You’ll taste a hint of molasses and rye in the background along with the cocoa.  The texture is smooth and soft (thanks to the TangZhong method, the bread stays soft and tender for a few days) with a bit of crunch from the oaks on top.  Hm…now, I can enjoy this wonderful bread anytime at home without the wait and the noise from Cheesecake Factory! 

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Brown Wheat Bread - Cheesecake Factory Style using TangZhong Method (湯種法):
Printable Recipe

Makes 3 (16 inch) loaves

Ingredients for TangZhong湯種:
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour

Ingredients for Brown Wheat Bread:
1 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons molasses
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1 cup rye flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

Ingredients for the top:
1 Egg
1/4 cup old fashion oaks

To Prepare the TangZhong湯種:
Place bread flour in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the bread flour and stir quickly with a fork to combine until no lumps.

When it’s slight cooled, wrap the mixture (it'll be a very wet dough) with plastic wrap, form dough in ball/round shape and leave in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight.


To Make The Bread:
1. Take out the TangZhong 湯種 from the fridge at least an hour before use (I usually leave it on countertop until it's room temperature).

2. In a bread machine, pour in ingredient in this order, warm milk, TangZhong 湯種, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, molasses, whole wheat flour, bread flour, rye flour, and yeast. Set bread machine to dough setting according to its user menu.

3. When dough is ready, spray baking pan and your hands with a little cooking spray.  Take dough out from bread machine and punch it a few times to deflate it. Divide dough into 3 equal portions and shape them into balls. Leave them in a warm place to rest for 15-20 minutes.

4. Knead each dough ball a few times and roll each into a 16 inch long log. Place them onto the 17x9x-inch baguette loaf pan. Let dough proof the 2nd round for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm and moist place.

5. Preheat oven 425°F. Brush egg wash on top, sprinkle oaks on top and bake for 20-22 minutes

Tips: When proofing the dough, make sure it's in a warm place and covered with a towel or plastic wrap so it won't dry out. I usually place it in the oven (uncover and off the heat) with a bowl of hot water.

Note: The dough setting on my bread machine kneads the dough for 27 minutes and keeps the dough warm to proof for 1 hour.  If you don’t have a bread machine and knead your dough by hand, make sure you knead the dough for 15 to 20 minutes (depends on your strength and speed) and proof it for a hour until the dough double in size before you move on to step 3 from above.)


***Update*** Due to different climate and humidity in different locations, if your dough is too sticky or too wet to handle, feel free to add up to 1/4 cup of bread flour during kneading.

This recipe is shared with:

Foodie Friday
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
On The Menu Monday

53 comments:

  1. Amy, I was wondering the other day while making bread with Tanzhong method whether I can substitute whole wheat and here is my answer, thanks for sharing this...this sure looks perfect and healthy.

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  2. Oh my Amy, the bread look truely awesome! I love the mixture of flour you've used on it. Amazing job!
    Hope you're having a great day.
    Kristy

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  3. That's my favorite bread at Cheesecake Factory too, Amy. Your version looks really good!..Christine

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  4. Oh, wow! These look absolutely divine! Your photos are stunning! LOVE THIS!

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  5. i am OBSESSED with the bread at cheesecake factory! OBSESSED! i am now making this. now. i don't know how to do that in my office during my break but, it's happening.... wow. going to a bread-crazy place... thanks for posting, as always i love your blog :)
    -meg
    @ http://clutzycooking.blogspot.com

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  6. This looks divine, beautiful presentation.

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  7. Great picture. The bread just looks fantastic. Come over and visit us. We have a delicious Southern favorite today.

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  8. Oooh, I love their bread too. In fact I like that bread better than their meals, LOL! This looks just like it too. YUM!!! Beautiful Pictures, Amy!

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  9. had to laugh at the GREAT series of photos... take em fast before the butter melts and I think this bread sounds amazing. Beautiful look

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  10. I can't leave this bread alone when we go to the Cheesecake Factory. I never thought I would have the recipe so I could make it at home. Many thanks, Amy.

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  11. I love that kind of dark bread too... Beautiful photos too!

    Good Rule: Keep Cool
    ~Rainey @ The Project Table~

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  12. Oh man! I wish I had that warm and on my desk right now (along with a slab of butter.) Yum!

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  13. My gosh, your bread look delicious! I will have to read through your posts and learn this method.

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  14. I always love your presentation! it makes whatever you cook more delish!

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  15. You definitely hit the mark with this brown wheat bread:) Add some butter and I would be happy with this as my entree!

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  16. Wow this looks really really good and I can't believe I've never thought about adding some cocoa into my bread to make it chocolatey and oh so gorgeous! Love the oat topping too!

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  17. You have a very different TangZhong bread here, and I believe it is both soft and smooth.

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  18. Oh Amy, I love Cheesecakes brown bread too!
    Yours looks even better,,,it probably is!
    Your photo is inticing! Have a blessed week-end my friend. I'll be checking out your other posts about the TangZhong method...

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  19. Yummy, this looks delicious! This is my favorite type of bread from there. I will have to give this a try.
    Holy Cannoli Recipes

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  20. I've never heard of this method, but I'm very intrigued. I'll have to try it.

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  21. What a GREAT recipe! I would love it if you came over to Cast Party Wednesday tomorrow and shared this and other recipes with us! :)
    Thanks,
    I hope to see you there!

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  22. This looks so good!! I can't wait to try this with some honey butter... yummy!
    -Ami

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  23. Amy,

    I can't wait to try this recipe! I'm also your newest follower.

    -Jillian @ Food, Folks, and Fun

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  24. I love the sweet earthniess of brown bread. So good with butter, too. Mmm, your loaves look totally divine.

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  25. This is what I look forward to every time I got to the Cheese Cake Factory. Now I can bring the experience home.

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  26. Aaaahh! That Cheesecake factory bread is my FAVORITE! I don't care much for the oats but when it's warm and has butter on it I could probably eat a whole loaf to myself! I cannot wait to make this!

    -Rosie

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  27. Hi Amy, im looking for cheesecake brown bread and come across your site, i am trying it out now and am waiting for the result. There s one thing i would like to ask. I follow your recipe exactly and the dough comes out really wet, it keeps sticking to my finger and i have to wet my hand to roll it. I did add 1/2 cup bread flour to make it easier in the end. But is it supposed to be that wet? Thank you. Hannah.

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    1. Hi Hannah, first of all, thank you for trying my recipe. :) Also, I really appreciate your feedback on the result. When I make this bread, my dough wan't really wet and it was pretty easy to handle. But then I live in Southern California and the humidity could be very low and dry. That could contribute to the different texture that we experienced. I've made it once on a rainy day and the dough was more wet. I'll add a note on the recipe so other readers can adjust the flour accordingly. Again, thank you so much for leaving me your comment and share your feedback. Hope you'll be back soon and try out some other recipes.

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  28. I don't have a clue what TangZhong is. Can I use that recipe for the bread machine too??

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    1. Thank you for your question. Yes, this recipe is written for the bread machine. As explained in this post, you can learn more about what TangZhong is in details. Basically it's a method to make the bread stay soft and fluffy for days. So, please refer to these posts for additional information:

      http://utry.it/2010/09/loaf-of-white-bread-with-tangzhong.html
      http://utry.it/2010/10/prosciutto-di-parma-with-smoke-gouda.html
      http://utry.it/2011/02/philly-friendship-braided-bread.html


      This link below includes a step-by-step pictorial on how to make the TangZhong:

      http://utry.it/2012/01/hong-kong-bakery-style-sausage-bun.html

      Hope it helps answer your questions. Feel free to leave me another message if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful weekend and happy baking!

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  29. Hi Amy! Can i use regular mixer instead of bread machine?

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    1. Yes, most definitely. In fact, I've been making all my bread and buns in my stand mixer with dough hook these days because my bread machine broke down a while ago. Just make sure your mixer knead the dough for 15 to 20 minutes, and then you turn out the dough and form it into a ball. Place it a greased bowl and flip it once (to make sure the top is also greased. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm place to proof before you continue with "step 3" from the recipe above.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

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  30. Hi Amy ! More questions... still confused. Sorry.
    TangZhong method 5 to 1
    Maybe I am wrong, but I will like to double check with you.
    3/4 Cup of Water is aprox. 180 gr
    1/4 Cup of Bread Flour plus 2 Tbsp is aprox. 68 gr
    Another question... for the Brown Wheat Bread the sugar is white or brown ?
    Last one... I tried the recipe last week and I noticed the baguette was little crunch... three day ago a went to Cheesecake Factory and the bread was too soft. What do you think ? What am I doing wrong ?

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    1. No problem at all. I'm more than happy to answer your questions.

      Sorry your baguette turns out crunchy. My first guess could be because of oven temperature? Do you have a simple oven thermometer with you? My experience is that each oven could be different. The oven temperature from my old house and the new one was 10 degree F different, which is a lot. I have to make adjustment accordingly. So, if possible, just double check to make sure your oven is accurate and that's not an issue. Also, pre-heat your oven for at least 15 minutes might help as well. As most oven need the time to stabilized to get to the temperature you set. (let me know if that make sense to you).

      About the ratio and ingredient. When using the Tang Zhong method, the 5 to 1 ratio is by weight. I weight out the ingredient to get the 3/4 cups water (180 gram) and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour (36 gram), which is the 5 to 1 ratio. I always fluff up the bread flour before measuring. If your flour is packed, you're using too much. So, it might be better if you have the kitchen scale. Simply weight out your ingredients. I use cup measure because it's easy and convenience for U.S Readers.

      For the sugar in this recipe, I used white sugar. The molasses in the recipe is sufficient as the flavor and texture enhancer. :) I hope that helps and hope your next batch of bread will come out nice and soft.

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  31. Thanks a lot Amy ! Now it is clear for me about Tang Zhong method... yes, I have a scale and I can mesure all ingredients and also have a thermometer that I use in the oven to make sure everything is correct.
    Do you have a video for this recipe ? Does exist any "special" method to create a baguette ?
    Thanks again Amy for all your help.

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    1. You're most welcome. Good you have the digital scale and thermometer. :) That will take the "guess" work out of the equation.

      I don't have a video for this particular recipe. Otherwise, I would have included it on this post. The method to create the baguette is rather simple compared to making buns (such as these: http://utry.it/2012/04/pastrami-and-muenster-cheese-blossom.html). So I didn't include a video for this recipe. When forming the log, just make sure the dough is smooth all around and your baguette will proof up nicely. :) Hope that helps.

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  32. One more question... how do you know how much bread flour do you need to use for Tang Zhong method in this particular recipe ?
    Exist a formula that can apply in other recipes ?
    Thanks Amy

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    1. In this recipe, you should get about 130 grams of Tang Zhong and it's approxmitely 30% of the totoal flour used (by weight). I tested out the recipe many times and this seems to be a nice ratio for soft bread/loaf. I have quite a few other Tang Zhong recipes on my blog. These days,I'm making more breads and buns, I changed the method of making the tang zhong (don't want to confuse you but here's the link to that post that I explained more: http://utry.it/2012/01/hong-kong-bakery-style-sausage-bun.html).

      You can use either way of method to make tang zhong, just weight out what you need at the end when you're ready to make the bread. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm always here to help.

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  33. Amy, thanks for the recipe - i can't wait to try it. One question. Can whole wheat bread flour be substituted for the plain bread flour in the recipe?

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    1. You can, of course. But then it won't be a wheat bread recipe anymore. And the whole wheat adds a toasty/nutty flavor that plain bread flour don't have.

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  34. Amy, have to tried to bake this in your bread machine instead of in a separate pan in the oven?

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    1. I only made this bread with the pan shown on this post. Especially now that my bread machine broke, I even make the dough in the stand mixer. :)

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  35. Hello!
    I am excited to give this recipe a try, and got the bread pan you have a picture of. I have never baked bread before (wish me luck!), but I wanted to surprise my boyfriend with this since it's his all time favorite bread. Good thing I found your recipe!

    I just wanted to double check with you: When you say "milk" in the ingredients, this means whole milk. Correct?

    Also, thanks so much for posting this recipe. Your instructions are clear and basic, and the pictures look professional and delicious. Hopefully I will be able to account for the Florida humidity, and it will come out looking as good as yours!

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    1. Hi Rebecca, first of all, thank you for your questions and comment. :) This bread is my family's favorite as well. I am sure your boyfriend will love it especially that you put your time and love to make this bread for him. The milk I used was whole milk. Since you mentioned you're in FL with higher humidity, you can also substitute with evaporated milk (make sure NOT sweetened condense milk), that can give you better structure. Also, you can add up to 1/4 cup of bread flour during kneading if the dough is too sticky. That certainly helps with humid weather. Just make sure to add 1 tablespoon at a time, because you can always add more, but can't take it back. ;) Hope these tips help. Let me know how your bread turns out. Take care.

      Amy

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  36. Amy, thank you so much for writing this recipe up! The bread turned out very delicious and similar to the Cheesecake Factory bread. ^^

    Hime

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    1. Hi Hime, Thank You so much for letting me know your bread turned out great. :) Yes, they are very similar to the Cheesecake Factory ones. Glad you enjoyed them. Have fun baking.

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  37. Hi Amy,
    I have been searching the web for this recipe and people have come up with all sorts of ingredients. I also read that Cheesecake Factory gets their bread from Maple Leaf Company and the loaf on their website gives a description for a whole wheat bread and states it gets it's flavor from brown sugar and molasses. If indeed CCF buys their unbaked baguettes from Maple Leaf then I am wondering if the recipe should only use whole wheat instead of rye or any other flours you have listed? Also should there be brown sugar in the recipe? And my last question is if I needed to make the recipe now and couldn't not wait till overnight for the method you described. How would one go about making this bread without the method? I actually need to make this right now which is why I'm asking. You've probably experimented a bunch of times so I am pretty sure you have the answers. Thanks!

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    1. Hi There,

      Thank you for your questions. First of all, I'm not familiar with Maple Leaf's products and wouldn't be able to tell you what exactly are in their recipe. If (base on your research) in deed that Cheesecake Factory order their wheat bread from Maple Leaf, I wouldn't know if that's the same bread recipe that Maple Lead sell under their own brand nor what goes into the recipe mix. What I can answer you would be things related to my recipe and my preference. :)

      1) I added Rye and bread flour in my recipe for both flavor and texture. The rye gives the bread extra nutty flavor and the bread flour keeps the bread nice and soft. If you use all whole wheat flour, I can tell you that your loaf will come out denser and not as soft.
      2) If you don't have time to wait till tomorrow for the Tang Zhong to rest, make it the same day is okay. Just make it's completely cooled before adding it to the rest of the dough for kneading.
      3) Brown sugar is actually white sugar with molasses. Since I already adding the needed amount of molasses in my recipe, I used white sugar instead so I know exactly how much is going into my recipe. If you substitute the white sugar with brown sugar, your dough will come out more sticky and harder to knead. But you can certainly experiment with that if you like.

      :) Hope my answers help. Let me know if you have any other questions. Have fun baking!

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    2. By the way, more information about my answer #2 above: Ever since I started using the Tang Zhong method, I've never go back not using it. That's because the Tang Zhong would help keep your bread soft and fluffy, even after a few days (if your bread last that long around your house). So, I really recommend that you to use this method. That's why I said that even you don't have time to rest the Tang Zhong overnight, a couple of hours is still better than not having it at all. :) I look forward to hearing from you on how your bread turns out.

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  38. Hey Amy,
    So I tried your recipe and my bread appears just like yours and the texture is smooth and soft. However, in terms of the taste, this bread does not taste like the cheesecake factory. At first I thought I was the only one who thought it didn't taste like CCF, but when some friends tried it they agreed that it was yummy bread, however just not CCF brown bread. In the end, the bread is still delicious but lacking a sweetness that is in the CCF bread. The good thing is it still turned out to taste good on its own and I learned the tangzhong method along the way. Luckily I had time to prepare it using the tangzhong method overnight. Anyways, thanks for all your help!

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    1. First of all, thank you for trying the recipe and taking the time to write your feedback. I truly appreciate it. Sorry the bread didn't turn out as close to the CCF ones as you expected. I'm glad to know you still enjoy the smooth texture and taste of this bread. Somehow, I personally thought it's pretty close. But because of your comment, I think I'll spend a bit more time to experiment with this recipe to get it as closed to the CCF one as possible. I'll post my updates on this post when they are available. ;)

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  39. Amy, you've just enabled me in the best and worst way possible--I hope that I get a chance to try this and impress the folks who come to Cheesecake Factory with me all of the time. Thanks for sharing!

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