After falling love with the bread at our Anniversary dinner at the Outback Restaurant, I just HAD to have the recipe! I found the basics on the Copy Cat Recipes site in August 2006 and set about to experimenting and revising. Belive me, it was definitely all worth it---this is outstanding bread! Here is my latest version as of 11/10/07.
Yields 4 medium loaves or 8 small loaves.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bread flour (up to 2-1/2 cups if needed)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon caramel color *
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups warm water

MIXER METHOD: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the bread flour with the cocoa, sugar, coffee, caramel color, yeast and salt. Add the butter, honey and water.. With the mixer set on low speed, mix with the dough hook for 3 minutes, using a spatula to keep scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients. Tunr the mixer speed to medium and mix 2-3 minutes or until the dough begins to come together to form a ball, adding more flour if necessary up to the additional 1/2 cup. The dough will be very wet and sticky, but try not to add too much flour or else the bread will be very dry and crumbly.

BREAD MACHINE METHOD: Add all of the ingredients for the dough in the exact order listed into the pan of your machine. Set it on "knead" and after the dough is created, let it rest to rise for an hour or so. Then remove it from the pan and go to kneading and finishing for fermentation.

MANUALLY MIXING: Begin to combine all the ingredients by hand, kneading the dough thoroughly for at least ten minutes.

Liberally flour the work surface and turn the dough out onto the flour. Loosely cover the dough and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Gently knead the dough until it barely comes together into a soft tacky ball. Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the cover, punch down the dough, and gently stretch and fold the dough (do this right in the bowl). Replace the plastivc wrap cover and let the dough finish rising until almost doubled, about 45-60 minutes.

When the dough has risen to about double in size, punch it down, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it briefly. The dough should be soft and pliable, slightly springy. Divide the dough into 4 even portions, by dividing dough in half and then dividing those halves in half (and then once more if 8 smaller loaves are desired.).

Form the portions into tubular shaped loaves and place the loaves on a parchment-lined large baking sheet. Cover the loaves with a proof box or lossely with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise once more for 45-50 minutes.

While the loaves proof, peheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the loaves have almost doubled in sizze again, uncover and slash the tops lengthwise if desired. Bake it for 23-25 minutes. Loaves should begin to darken slightly on top when done, and internal temperature should reach 185-190 degress F. on an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a loaf (easier if this is done at the bottom of a loaf). Cool on a wire rack until still just barely warm. Serve with a sharp bread knife and butter on the side.
* If caramel color is not available, the following substitutions can be made for a single batch:
- 3 TBS sugar; 1 TBS water; 1/4 cup boiling water; Pinch of cream of tartar
Melt the sugar with the 1 Tbs of water, over low heat, in a small, heavy saucepan. Increase the heat to medium-high, cover the pan, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and continue to boil, uncovered, until the sugar is almost black in color. Remove the pan from the heat, the sugar will continue to cook and darken. Allow it to begin to cool. Using extreme care, add the boiling water(the sugar will boil up and may spatter). Stir to dissolve, then let come to room temperature. I keep the syrup in a covered jar, at room temp, keeps forever.
Food coloring by adding to the warm water:
75 drops red food coloring; 45 drops blue food coloring; 30 drops yellow food coloring

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NOTES : Along with an entree at this popular steakhouse chain, comes a freshly baked loaf of this dark, sweet bread, served on it's own cutting board with soft whipped butter. One distinctive feature of the bread is its color. How does the bread get so dark? While you may notice the recipe includes instant coffee and cocoa, these ingredients will not give it it's deep dark chocolate brown color - not even close. Usually breads that are this dark -- such as pumpernickel or dark bran muffins -- contain caramel color, an ingredient often used in the industry to darken foods. I strongly advise you to obtain and use the caramel color! The Baker's Catalogue has it...Click here.

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