Dark Brown Sugar Artisan Bread

My little niece returned to Hong Kong for her Easter holiday in early April. During her stay, she talked about the “Dark Brown Sugar Bread” served in Outback Steakhouse and how delicious it is.

Rather than taking her to Outback, how about giving her a surprise? A loaf of freshly baked Dark Brown Sugar Bread sounds like a good idea.

Since I have not been to Outback before, I have no idea what their bread looks like. Even worst, I have not baked any Dark Brown Sugar Bread beforehand. Research work on the recipe is definitely required.


Issue number one – Since my niece is leaving soon and Dark Brown Sugar Bread is new to me, I need to find recipe that are relatively easy and fail safe.

I finally got this from a Taiwan blogger.

Dark Brown Sugar Bread recipe:

IngredientsGrams/mlBaker’s %
  Bread flour (for 33.3% pre-fermented)150100%
  Instant yeast10.3%
Main dough  
  Bread flour15033.3%
  Whole-wheat flour15033.3%
  Hot Water14565.5%
  Instant yeast3.50.8%
  Dark brown sugar8017.7%
  Unsalted butter4510%

I have also added a small amount of dried walnuts and cranberries to enrich the taste of the bread.


Here comes the second issue – What is “Dark Brown Sugar”?

There are products called “light brown sugar” and “dark brown sugar“. A little more research revealed that they are just refined “white sugar” with different amount of molasses added. Technically, molasses are removed during the sugar refinement process to obtain the “white sugar”, but is now added back to make the “brown sugar”. 😱

Light Muscovado Sugar
Light Muscovado Sugar

With a further study, I ended up using the “Light Muscovado Sugar” for its more complex flavor.

Unlike other brown sugar products, molasses is never removed from the Muscovado Sugar.


All issues settled and let proceed with the dough preparation.

Making of Starter

For this bread, I will make use of “Poolish” as a starter for the pre-fermentation. This will increase the dough’s extensibility and provide a more chewy texture to the final bread when combined with the main dough.

Simply mixed bread flour, water (1:1 ratio) and the instant yeast. Let it ferment for 30 minutes in room temperature and put it in the refrigerator for another 20 hours (in my case).

Poolish pre-fermented for 20 hours
Poolish pre-fermented for 20 hours

Main Dough

  1. Dissolve and mix the light muscovado sugar into the hot water. Let it cool down before use.
  2. Mix all the remaining ingredients except the unsalted butter into the starter.
  3. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  4. Add unsalted butter and continue kneading until the dough is non-sticky, smooth on outside and springs back when pressed.

Since starter is used, first fermentation is not necessary. Cut the dough into the required portions and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Dough Shaping

Since I have around 900 g of dough, I divide the dough into four portions. Two for the toast and one for each of the rest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After shaping, continue with the second fermentation for 60 minutes or double in size.


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, spray some water on the dough surface to make it a little bit crispy and bake for 20 minutes.


With some hard-working, the Dark Brown Sugar Breads are finally ready to be served. Slightly crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Dark Brown Sugar Artisan Bread
Dark Brown Sugar Artisan Bread

I tried one of the small bread roll. Despite the look is quite ugly (room for improvement!), the texture inside is not too bad. Strong smell of butter and wonderful taste of dark sugar.

Texture of the small bread roll
Texture of the small bread roll

Well, target achieved and my niece is delighted with my homemade dark brown sugar bread. 🤣🤣🤣

5 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.