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Old 05-15-2017, 01:52 PM   #1
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Bushman Bread: An Outback Steakhouse Copy-cat bread

A while back, I came upon a bread recipe that is supposed to be similar to the dark bread served at Outback Steakhouse. Regardless of what you think of that particular chain, I do like their bread and thought it would be fun to try to re-create it at home.

I'll print the recipe as I copied it below:

3 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water (yes, an additional cup)
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups rye flour
2 1/2 Ė 3 cups bread flour

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Soften yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in the sugar and let stand 6 minutes or until itís bubbly. In large mixing bowl combine the yeast/water combo above along with 1 cup warm water with molasses, salt, oil and rye flour. Mix this until it makes a nice smooth batter.

Work in the bread flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. It should be very pliable and elastic. Knead the dough for a few minutes and then let it rise in a greased bowl until itís doubled.

Punch the dough down and shape into 2 large round loaves Place the loaves a few inches apart on a greased and cornmeal dusted cookie sheet. Sprinkle a bit of the cornmeal over the top of the loaves as well. Let loaves rise in a warm place until doubled. Bake loaves at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the crust makes hollow sound when tapped.


Now, each time i've made this recipe, the outside of the bread is a little too hard, the inside doesn't quite get done and the bread is a little too dense with too much .... "texture". (I don't know what other word to use, here).

I've tried a couple of variations: The first time I made it, the molasses flavor seemed a bit too strong. So I made it with half of the molasses called for in the recipe. That helped the flavor. I also decreased the oven temperature a bit and cooked it for a shorter period of time, but then let it sit for an hour before cutting into it. That helped the interior of the bread to finish cooking, while the outside wasn't quite as hard.

I think I need to allow it to raise a bit more after I've "punched it down" following the first raise, or else only let it rise once and not punch it down. What are your thoughts on this?

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Old 05-15-2017, 07:05 PM   #2
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I found some copykat recipes years ago and made this bread quite a few times, playing around with the different recipes, combining, etc. Haven't made the bread in years, we got tired of it. It's a handwritten recipe. I'll have to dig it out tomorrow and compare to yours. I got pretty darn close to it. I don't think there was that much rye flour though.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:09 PM   #3
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How is it that some of the worst restaurants make some of the best breads? Red Lobster biscuits, Olive Garden breadsticks, and Outback Steakhouse Bushman bread. Hmmmmm.

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Old 05-16-2017, 01:52 PM   #4
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Since the recipe you are using is almost 50/50 white flour and rye flour, it is going to be a heavy bread. Also, 30 minutes at 375 is nowhere near long enough to cook through to the center. Although 375F is my favorite bread-baking temp. some like to use a faster oven.

I'd try reducing the rye and increasing the white flour. I make rye bread anywhere from 80/20 white/rye to 100% rye and the differences are great. The 80/20 is more like a sandwich loaf or "New York Rye" and the 100% rye is a dense doorstop -- great sliced thin. If you are using Hodgson Mill rye flour from the supermarket, note that it's really 60/40 flour/whole meal so it ends up being a denser, coarser bread. What rye flour you use really does make a difference.

Some of the reason for restaurant or store breads being different are the flours they use, which are often only available in 50 lb. bags, and the dough enhancers they may include, etc. Oftentimes, they will contain more salt and sugar than a homemade bread. The ovens they use may have steam injection which affects the crust a good deal.

I run an instant-read thermometer into a loaf of bread to make sure it's done. You want somewhere between 195F and 210F internal temperature. No amount of knocking on the bottom will tell you the truth.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for this info. It's very helpful.

Yes, I'm using Hodgson Mill Rye flour. That's the only rye flour I can find locally. My white flour, however, is made by a local flour mill located about 20 miles south of where I live, using high quality, locally raised wheat. It's a very good flour. (Stafford County Flour Mills, if you're interested. It's not available nationally, but is a regional favorite).

Next time, I will try using less rye and more white four. I'll also bump the temp up a bit and see what that does.

Does making a smaller loaf help? The first batch I made, I split into two loaves. They were quite large. The second batch I split into 3 smaller loaves and it cooked much better.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:47 PM   #6
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Re: size. You can take the same dough and make anything from a big single loaf to slider buns. Yes, you will need to adjust the time -- and sometimes even the temp -- accordingly but a lot of this depends on your oven. That's why I find using a thermometer to measure internal temperature is the way to go. I now have a cute red digital thermometer (thank you, Santa) but for years I just used the $3-$4 ones they have at the supermarket. They work fine for this purpose.

I tend to cook bread at 375F whereas the original no-knead bread recipe in the NYTimes that started the craze recommended 450F. Too dark a crust for me! Of course, I like pale toast, too. But from this you can see that baking temp is a matter of personal preferences.

I envy you your local flour. I use a couple of sources to get online what I can't get locally. Bob's Red Mill is a good one but if you really want to see "flour porn" go to nybakers.com. Stan, the proprietor, gets those flours that can only be bought in bulk and sells them in consumer sizes. Stan also wrote the book on rye bread -- literally.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixamnis View Post
A while back, I came upon a bread recipe that is supposed to be similar to the dark bread served at Outback Steakhouse. Regardless of what you think of that particular chain, I do like their bread and thought it would be fun to try to re-create it at home.

I'll print the recipe as I copied it below:

3 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water (yes, an additional cup)
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups rye flour
2 1/2 Ė 3 cups bread flour

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Soften yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in the sugar and let stand 6 minutes or until itís bubbly. In large mixing bowl combine the yeast/water combo above along with 1 cup warm water with molasses, salt, oil and rye flour. Mix this until it makes a nice smooth batter.

Work in the bread flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. It should be very pliable and elastic. Knead the dough for a few minutes and then let it rise in a greased bowl until itís doubled.

Punch the dough down and shape into 2 large round loaves Place the loaves a few inches apart on a greased and cornmeal dusted cookie sheet. Sprinkle a bit of the cornmeal over the top of the loaves as well. Let loaves rise in a warm place until doubled. Bake loaves at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the crust makes hollow sound when tapped.


Now, each time i've made this recipe, the outside of the bread is a little too hard, the inside doesn't quite get done and the bread is a little too dense with too much .... "texture". (I don't know what other word to use, here).

I've tried a couple of variations: The first time I made it, the molasses flavor seemed a bit too strong. So I made it with half of the molasses called for in the recipe. That helped the flavor. I also decreased the oven temperature a bit and cooked it for a shorter period of time, but then let it sit for an hour before cutting into it. That helped the interior of the bread to finish cooking, while the outside wasn't quite as hard.

I think I need to allow it to raise a bit more after I've "punched it down" following the first raise, or else only let it rise once and not punch it down. What are your thoughts on this?
Do you put a tray of boiling water in the base of the oven when baking your bread? It gives a steamy atmosphere which helps with the crust an the texture of the bread.

I used to think this was an old wife's tale but since I've been doing it I've found it works.

(50 years a bread baker + 2 years with the above steam bath method).

Incidentally, in my experience (and Elizabeth David's) a longer slow rise gives better results (texture & flavour) than a quick warmer one. I suppose it depends on your weather and, of course, beggars can't be choosers if you are in a hurry.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:33 AM   #8
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Incidentally, that amount of yeast seems an awful lot for that amount of flour. Too much yeast can make a dry loaf. I find a sachet of dried yeast (7grams - approx 1/4 oz) is ample for 1lb (pound) of flour (approx 4 cups) and will work with more flour if you allow a long rise. (I live in England so our climate is rarely extreme in either direction).

Also how long are you kneading the dough? I give mine 5 minutes in the stand mixer followed 5 minutes by hand - I find it very therapeutic when I've had a bad day! Under-kneading can result in poor texture. It's always better with kneading, left to rise and then punching down. After shaping the loaf allow it to double in size before baking it
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:11 PM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to incorporate these ideas into my next batch and see if I can improve things a bit.
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