Steakhouse Brown Bread

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Looking for a new bread machine recipe to try in your bread maker? This delicious Steakhouse Brown Bread, from The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook, will remind you of your favorite treat from the bread basket at your local steak restaurant. Serve with whipped honey butter!

The steakhouse brown bread sits in a dish covered by a napkin with a knife on the side.

As much as we love warm white bread from the bread machine, sometimes it is fun to mix things up with something a little darker.

Not everyone loves whole wheat or rye breads, so if you want to branch out with a new flavor, this steakhouse brown bread is the perfect fix!

Sweetened with a touch of honey and molasses with a hint of cocoa powder for a richer color, this bread has the perfect soft chew.

But, I promise it is savory enough to be enjoyed with your favorite dinner recipe!

This is one of my husband's favorite recipes from The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook and we're so excited to share it with you.

P.S. If you make the 2-pound size, be sure to save some to make these amazing homemade croutons with the leftovers!

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Why This is the Best Recipe

I love each one of these amazing bread machine recipes but I think this is the best brown bread recipe because:

  1. Deeply Flavorful: That gorgeous brown color comes from very flavorful ingredients. You'll love smoothing a pat of butter over a warm slice.
  2. Easy Ingredients: Keep a few specific things on hand and you'll be ready to bake this bread in no time.
  3. Dump and Bake: There is so little hands on effort required for this easy brown bread, the bread machine does all the work!


This simple bread machine recipe has just a few easy ingredients:

The ingredients for the steakhouse brown bread sit on a kitchen counter.
  • Bread flour
  • Whole wheat flour: Be sure to check out our favorite whole wheat rolls to take advantage of this ingredient in your kitchen.
  • Molasses
  • Honey
  • Canola oil
  • Unsweetened Cocoa: just for color, I promise it isn't a chocolatey tasting bread
  • Yeast: Instant or Bread Machine Yeast

See recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Brown Bread in a Bread Maker

The steakhouse brown bread starts just like all other bread machine recipes:

First, decide which size bread loaf you want to make based on the size of your bread machine. I've included both a 1 1/2-pound and a 2-pound version of this recipe.

Follow the ingredient quantities in the recipe card according to the loaf size you chose.

Then, add the liquid ingredients to your bread pan fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add the Wet Ingredients

Pour in the water, molasses, honey, and cooking oil.

The wet ingredients for the brown bread have been put in the bottom of the bread machine bread pan with the paddle attachment.

HINT: If you measure the oil first, then measure the molasses and honey, the oil will help them slide right out of the spoon.

Add the Dry Ingredients

Next, add the dry ingredients to your bread pan:

The wet ingredients for the brown bread have been put in the bottom of the bread machine bread pan on top of the wet.

Add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, salt, and yeast right on top of the wet ingredients.

It is a best practice to sprinkle the salt around the perimeter of the bread pan so you can keep it away from the yeast until just the right time.

Use a spoon to make a well in the center of the flour, place the yeast in the well.

Baking Instructions

Place the bread pan back inside the bread machine and then:

  1. Select the WHITE or BASIC program (depending on your machine's settings.)
  2. Select the coordinating loaf size (1 1/2-pound or 2-pound)
  3. Press START

Note: Some machines also have a Crust Color setting, I usually use Light or Medium. You'll want to select this before hitting START.

The machine will knead together the ingredients to form a firm ball of dough.

Let the machine progress through:

  • the kneading phase
  • the first rise
  • the brief second kneading

At this point, if you want you could remove the paddle from the bread pan so it doesn't bake into your loaf.

The ball of dough for the steakhouse brown bread is in the bread machine pan ready for the first rise.

Simply nudge the dough ball back into place. It will be a fairly sticky dough so don't attempt to take it fully out of the bread pan to get the paddle.

Most of the bread makers we tested will take about 3 1/2 hours or so from start to finish to bake the bread.

Tools You'll Need

This is a bread machine recipe and will require a bread maker to make it. If you don't have one, read our thoughts on whether a bread maker is worth it here.

Want to get a bread machine? Here are the reviews we did of the bread machines we tested while writing the best bread machine cookbook:

How to Store the Fresh Bread

This bread is best served the day it has been baked, warm out of the bread machine.

However, it will keep for 3 - 4 days in a bread box or plastic bag at room temperature.

You can also freeze the bread, just be sure to cool it completely before freezing and thaw it with the bag open to let moisture escape and prevent soggy bread.

The steakhouse brown bread has been sliced and served in a dish with a towel covering it to keep it warm. A slice has been buttered on a plate and has a bite out of it.

Serving Suggestions

This bread machine recipe is perfect served warm with whipped honey butter just like you find in a steakhouse. Why not serve it with a cast iron steak?

But you don't need a fancy steak dinner to have an excuse to bake it, though. We love to serve it with our favorite soups as a simple side dish in a bread basket.

More Bread Machine Recipes

Love baking with your bread machine? You won't want to miss these other awesome bread maker recipes:

📖 Recipe

The steakhouse brown bread sits in a dish covered by a napkin with a knife on the side.

Steakhouse Brown Bread

4.57 from 23 votes
Deep brown and utterly delicious with whipped honey butter, this loaf is so good it's no wonder why your local steak joint serves it up before dinner. No need to be fussy; serve it on a wooden cutting board with a bread knife and let everyone at the table cut chunks of bread to share. This recipe is featured in The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Tiffany Dahle.
TOTAL TIME 3 hours 5 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 3 hours
YIELD 1 (1 1/2-pound or 2-pound) loaf


For a 1 1/2-pound Loaf

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cups (274 g) bread flour
  • 1 cup (137 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

For a 2-pound Loaf

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 2/3 cups (365 g) bread flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (183 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast


  • Add the ingredients to your bread machine's baking pan in the order listed, from water to yeast.
  • Choose the BASIC/WHITE program setting based on your machine's options. Select the coordinating setting for your loaf size on your machine and press Start.
  • When the loaf is done, remove it from the bread pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

Recipe Notes

To avoid the bread machine paddle being baked into your bread, you can remove the paddle after the kneading cycle but before the first rise.
COURSEBread Machine

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The steakhouse brown bread has been sliced and served in a dish with a towel covering it to keep it warm. A slice has been buttered on a plate and has a bite out of it.


  1. 4 stars
    I liked the ingredients in this recipe and had to give it a try. It came out perfect and it was tasty. I did eat it hot out of the bread maker so I’m not sure if that makes a difference in taste or not. There isn’t a strong flavored taste more like a hint of the flavors of the honey & molasses but it was still very good and tasty. This recipe is a keeper! This is first time I’ve ever tried anything other than white bread in my maker. Thank you for the recipe!

  2. I prefer to use 100% wheat flour when bread baking. How can i modify this recipe when using only wheat flour?

  3. Bread machines matter!
    I couldn't remove the paddle w/o interrupting the third rise, or the three kneading cycles.
    Smelling and waiting for this loaf to finish baking.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this bread yesterday, just as written. It came out perfectly! My husband said this bread is his favorite so far! Thank you for such a great recipe.

  5. I made the 2 lb. loaf today. I didn't have whole wheat flour so I used rye and I also chose sandwich mode and medium crust. It turned out great. We had it with bison burgers as our burger buns tonight hot & fresh out of the machine. Yummy!! Thank you for this recipe.

  6. I just bought your book after seeing so many glowing reviews on the Zojirushi Bread Machine Facebook group. I made a 2# loaf for my guests, who are fans of the steakhouse bread, and it was declared WAY better. It makes a beautiful delicious loaf. The only change I made was to use black cocoa for a little darker color.

  7. In the instructions (below the actual recipe) you say:
    "Select the coordinating setting for your LIFE size on your machine and press Start." (Caps added)
    Did you possibly mean "LOAF" size?

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