After the success of making black lemonade and introducing some of you to the magical world of activated charcoal, it was only fair we did a follow up – this time, attempting to make black bread! Which actually turned out way better than I thought, the dough was more a dark grey colour, but once sliced it was super dark like coal – tasting exactly the same! We also re-used the bread to make black toast (without burning it – that’s the easy way!), black grilled cheese… plus a black charcoal effect pizza! Super fun… remember to read up on activated charcoal before deciding to use it or not.
Either way, here is the recipe for the bread I made in the video.
500g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
1 sachet fast active yeast
325ml warm water, plus extra as needed
1.5tbsp activated charcoal (optional)
In a bowl add your flour, charcoal (if using) salt and sugar then mix together briefly until a consistent colour. Meanwhile add half of the warm water, then tip in the yeast, then slowly pour in the rest of the water as you bring the ingredients together in a bowl, keep kneading away and if it is too sticky add more flour, you want it more tacky than sticky, so if it’s too dry add only small amounts of water and keep kneading away until smooth in your bowl or a floured surface.
Oil a large bowl and place the dough into it once happy, cover with cling film and allow to rise for at least 2 hours or longer to help flavours develop and air bubbles to form. After a couple of hours take the dough out onto a floured surface and knead again for a few minutes. It should feel super nice! Shape it into a sausage shape the length of your tin.
Lightly oil a loaf tin and place the dough into it, ideally you want the dough to take up about 4/5ths of the tin evenly, including the height. Cover with cling film and give it an hour to rise up in a warm place.
Remove the cling film after an hour, if it has bulged over the tin too much trim the sides a little bit like I did in the video. Then lightly flour the top, run a sharp knife along the top of the dough all the way along to help it cook and prevent cracking in strange places then bake. The oven needs to be Gas7/220c/200fan and baked for around 20 minutes. After which, turn down the heat to Gas6/200c/180fan and bake for a further 15 minutes or so. It is hard to tell if you have used the charcoal how well the crust is done, but once this time is up, carefully remove the bread from the tin, tip the bread out onto a chopping board and tap the bottom, if it is hollow, it is ready. If not put back in the oven for 5 minutes upside down to cook the bottom. It may sound odd, but this is quite common with bread, you think it’s hollow, you slice in and it is soggy, so please try to avoid this and perhaps if not sure give it 5 minutes upside down anyway. It won’t effect the shape. Allow to cool on a wire rack but best served still warmed from the oven, so, so good with a super yummy crust. Just remember charcoal optional, maybe good for Halloween, but it’ll taste identical!