I made a pot of this ham, potato, and corn chowder (incidentally, I made it without ham – and no one missed it, because bacon), and my initial plan was to make a batch of no-knead bread to go with it. When I was getting out the ingredients, though, I noticed a box of vital wheat gluten that I bought like 6 months ago when Mel from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (<–one of my favorite food blogs!!) posted this recipe for a similar-to-Outback sweet molasses bread. (Actually, I noticed it the other day when our one-year-old raided that cabinet and ripped the box open. She also wandered by me with a pilfered tortilla chip recently. The natives are restless and they’re getting bolder.)
So, I decided it was time to try the bread! The dough has a few more ingredients than my go-to no-knead, but I had them all on hand (thanks to my excellent “advance planning” with the wheat gluten). My four-year-old was happy to help dump things into the mixer bowl, and she was very enthused about the chocolate (cocoa powder) in the dough!
I had to add extra flour to get my dough the right consistency (i.e., not too sticky to handle), so I think next time I’ll hold back on the water a bit to see if I need it all, but then it was easy to shape and it baked beautifully, even with both my big sheet pans in my oven to accommodate all three loaves.
The bread has that good, deep molasses flavor and is soft, chewy, and delightfully dense. We love it! I’ve eaten a lot of Outback bread in my day, and this is even better than the original. I’ve been enjoying loaf #2 for breakfast with eggs on the side, and I still got to stick a loaf in the freezer (y’all know that’s my love language).
Totally worth trying: Mel’s copycat Outback sweet molasses bread!0