So, about two years we went to dinner at a Steakhouse in Draper, and they served us these enchanting little brown bread loaves. They were a little sweet, a little on the dense side, and a perfect pairing with butter. Since then, I’ve been trying to recreate them, basing my experiments on a recipe from King Arthur’s Whole Grain Baking book. This is what I’ve come up with; I have to admit that I can’t really remember what the original tasted like, but these look about the same and I imagine they taste comparably good :). They do take longer than most yeast bread to rise (does cocoa powder slow yeast?), so make sure to plan accordingly.
Mini Brown Bread Loaves
1 c. warm water
6 T. butter, melted
1/3 c. honey
4 1/2 c. flour (you can substitute half for whole wheat flour, if you want)
scant T. salt
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. dutch-process cocoa
2 1/2 t. yeast
Stir yeast and warm water together and let foam, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine butter, honey, salt, sugar, cocoa, egg, and 1 1/2 c. flour in a standing mixer. Mix with the dough hook for one minute, add the yeast, and combine for another minute. Then, add the flour, 1/2 c. at a time, until the dough comes together, and pulls from the side of the bowl. Continue to knead in the mixer for another 5-7 minutes.
Turn the dough onto the counter and knead by hand for about 30 seconds. Place in a deep, greased container, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 2 hours (it will look poofy, but might not fully double in size).
Turn the dough onto the counter and divide into 8-10 pieces. Shape each piece into long, oval rolls (about 5″ x 2″) and place on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise another 1 1/2-2 hours. Again, they might not fully double in size, but will definitely have grown.
Half an hour before baking, preheat your oven to 350. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes (they will be slightly brown on the bottom or read 200 degrees F). Slice like sandwich bread and serve with soft butter.