I haven’t forgotten about the bamboo charcoal powder. It is sitting on the table next to my hot water flask, creating an eyesore, just to remind me to use it. I almost wanted to put a tablespoon of it into my banana smoothie after stumbling upon this idea here. Then I realized bamboo charcoal might not be activated charcoal. I will only do this on the last day of its expiry out of desperation if there is still any left.
To do something different this time, I baked a 2 color bread by adding the charcoal powder to half of the dough, that’s why you don’t see an all black loaf here.
I divided the dough into 4 portions and layered them in alternating colors, here’s how the loaf look after slicing. Pretty huh?
I also did something different with the potatoes, I steamed them instead of boiling it in water. The potatoes were not overly wet compared to the boiling method but surprisingly, I added less water.
As a general rule to adding water to bread dough, never pour the water level stated in the recipes all at once (yes, including mine.) In fact, the water required vary slightly with each occasion I bake. This difference could due to the water content of the potatoes, the brand of flour, or even the size of the egg. I’ll even blame the weather! Too hot, too cold, too wet …..
Therefore, always pour half the liquid amount stated first, then with the mixer running, add the balance bit by bit, giving the ingredients a few moment in between to absorb the water properly. Only if the dough doesn’t gather into one ball, then add a bit more liquid. Once a dough ball is formed, stop adding.
The texture of the bread with steamed potatoes remains soft, as with other bread loaves that I have been baking with root vegetables.
Two more things to note. Firstly, store homemade bread in an airtight container if you are not finishing it immediately. Otherwise, the bread will harden. I noticed a layer of crust forming on my sliced bread after leaving them overnight on the counter in a paper bag. Not that nice, as I am the kind who like to sink my teeth into pillowy bread. If that sort of thing unfortunately happened, simply heat them up in a toaster for a few minutes; warm toast with butter is my next favorite way to eat bread. And secondly, consume them within 2 days, or else keep in the freezer. I realize that homemade bread do not keep well, especially recipes with potatoes, maybe due to it’s higher moisture content. And if the bread comes with natural colorings added, mold might not be easily spotted on stale bread.
Black N White Bread Loaf
200g bread flour 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast, about 3g 2 tablespoon raw sugar 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 100g potato, steamed + mashed 1 large egg 20-30g water 30g cold unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon bamboo charcoal powder
In a mixer bowl, combine bread flour, yeast, raw sugar and sea salt with a hand whisk. Add mashed potatoes, beaten egg, half the amount of water and start the mixer to knead with a dough hook, at its lowest speed. Add remaining water in a slow trickle, stop once the ingredients come into a ball. Leave this aside for 15 minutes.
Turn the mixer on again to run for 1 minute, still on its lowest speed, before adding cubed butter one by one into the bowl with the mixer running. Knead this until window pane stage. Remove dough from bowl and divide it into two equal portions. Return one dough back into the mixer and knead bamboo charcoal powder into the dough. Place doughs in separate bowls and bulk rise for 1 hour.
Both doughs would rise to double their volume, punch down to deflate and transfer to a clean work top. Slightly flour the surface if the doughs are too sticky to handle.
Divide each color dough into 2 balls again, so you end up with 2 plain balls and 2 charcoal balls . With a rolling pin, flatten each ball into oval shape dough, making sure they are about same size. To assemble, place the 4 flattened doughs on top of each other, in alternate colours.
With palms, gently pressing all the layers together, and roll it up tightly from the long end so that you end up with a football shape dough. Place it in a bread tin, proof this for 50-60 minutes.
Once the dough has risen higher than the bake tin, bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 170C. Mist the top slightly before placing it in the oven.
When done, remove the bread immediately from the tin and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.