TikTok's Unexpected Ingredient In Cheesecake Factory's Copycat Brown Bread

Especially in the United States, many restaurants serve free bread to diners as they wait for their food to come out, and this is done for a few reasons. According to the Los Angeles Times, many restaurants give diners free bread simply as a hospitable way of welcoming guests to the restaurant, or as a generous way of hoping diners reciprocate by leaving generous tips for the servers. Another reason could be to just keep diners occupied while they wait for their food to be ready and keep them from getting hangry.

A few popular restaurants that serve free bread include Red Lobster with its cheddar bay biscuits, Texas Roadhouse with its rolls, Olive Garden with its breadsticks, and Cheesecake Factory with its brown bread, per WSLS. Luckily, a few TikTokers shared their copycat recipes for Cheesecake Factory's brown bread, which is perfect for when those carb cravings hit. Cheesecake Factory's brown bread is made with wheat flour, water, whole wheat flour, oats, yeast, brown sugar, sugar, rye flakes, caramel color, among other ingredients, according to the Cheesecake Factory's At Home line of packaged brown bread that's sold at Walmart and other grocery stores. 

Interestingly, there are a few secret ingredients in the copycat TikTok recipes that are kind of unexpected in a typical bread recipe.

Cocoa and espresso powders are the secret ingredients

TikTok user @thecountrycook.com shared their copycat version of Cheesecake Factory's famous brown bread, and the recipe starts like a usual bread recipe with active dry yeast, warm water, and sugar, which is left to activate for five minutes. Then, whole wheat flour and the two secret ingredients come into play, coffee powder and cocoa powder. Next, honey, molasses, and melted butter are added, as well as bread flour. The dough is kneaded, risen once, formed into loaves, risen again, sprayed with cooking oil, and topped with a sprinkling of rolled oats before being baked. One person in the comments wondered if neutral oils such as olive or avocado could be used instead of cooking spray, and the original poster said that would be a fine ingredient swap. So, there is some flexibility with the recipe, but the cocoa and espresso powders are a must.

TikTok user @melaniekerr makes their Cheesecake Factory brown bread copycat recipe a little bit differently; however, the initial ingredients are the same: yeast, sugar, water, bread flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and cocoa and espresso powders — the two secret ingredients. They then go through the same proofing process as the above TikTok, but @melaniekerr coats her loaves with cornmeal on the bottoms before topping them with rolled oats, so that's another customizable option if you're interested. 

Many of the commenters enjoyed the recipe, with one writing "Lots of work but they look so good."