Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf

Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

The bread recipe with root vegetable as an additive is so versatile that I continue to experiment with additional ingredients like dry fruits or nuts.  They all come out great, soft and fluffy.  But sometimes, it is nice to go back to basic plain potato bread.

I added the bamboo charcoal powder to the regular recipe because I realise that it is expiring in 4 months.  I need to make a lot more charcoal bread this month to use up the bottle.  Who knew a 40-gram bottle could last so long?

The charcoal powder imparts no flavourings at all to the bread.  So if one eats it with eyes closed, he won’t be able to tell it apart from plain white bread.  But I eat with my eyes wide open, so I turn these black bread slices into a pretty sandwich by teaming them with grilled vegetarian cheese, red lettuce, sweet basil and cherry tomatoes.

With all these vibrant colors from the ingredients, definitely a feast for my eyes.

Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf // Mono+Co

Basic Bamboo Charcoal Potato Bread Loaf

220g plain flour
1/2 tablespoon edible charcoal powder
1/2 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar
125g mashed potatoes
40g potato water **
1/2 egg ***
30g cold unsalted butter,cubed

** Potato water refers to the water that is left behind after cooking the potatoes with.  Cool it down to room temperature before using.

*** I use large eggs that weigh above 70g with shell, if you have smaller eggs, simply weigh out 35g for this recipe.

In a mixer bowl, stir plain flour, charcoal powder, yeast, sea salt, raw sugar with a hand whisk to mix these dry ingredients uniformly.  Next, add mashed potatoes, potato water, and egg, then knead using an electric mixer with dough hook on the lowest speed (KA 1) until the ingredients come into a ball.  Continue to knead this for about 3 minutes, then stop the mixer and leave this dough to stand for 15 minutes.

Turn on the mixer again on its lowest speed and knead the dough for another 1 minute.  After that, add butter cubes one by one carefully with the mixer running, keep kneading until no visible traces of butter can be seen in the bowl and the dough has reached window pane stage.  The dough should be extremely soft and pliable now, stop the mixer and leave the dough in the bowl, covered.  Proof this for 60 minutes.

The dough will double in volume after its first proof.  Punch down to deflate it and transfer to a clean work top.  Dust hands and worktop with a little flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.  Flatten dough either with palms or rolling pin to push out any gases trapped inside the dough.  Shape the dough and place it in the bread tin, seam side downwards.

If making a square loaf, check on the dough 50 minutes after proofing, the dough should rise to cover about 90% of the height of the tin.  Slide over the cover to enclose the bread and continue to proof for another 10 minutes before baking.  Bake the bread covered in a preheated oven at 200C for 30 minutes.

If making a dome-shaped bread loaf, proof it for 60 minutes.  If the dough has risen above the bread tin, proceed to bake.  If not, give it another 10-15 minutes to rise.  However, do not extend the proof time further than 90minutes, as this will run the risk of over-proofing the dough.  Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30 minutes.

Remove bread from tin immediately after baking and leave it to cool completely on a rack before slicing.







Make Them Softer : Mini Walnut Bread Rolls

Walnut Mini Rolls // Mono+Co Mini Walnut Bread Rolls // Mono+Co Make Them Softer: Mini Walnut Bread Rolls // Mono+Co Make Them Softer : Mini Walnut Bread Rolls // Mono+Co

For the past few months, I have been on a bread baking spree converting a few bread recipes to include mashed potatoes as an additive.  This walnut roll’s  original recipe is from a Japanese baker/author Backe Akiko, whose backyard garage cafe I really envy.  Her recipes requires only basic ingredients, but I wish they have a more “squishable” bite.

Enter the mashed potatoes.

I halved the original recipe, tweaked the flour and water amount with added potato and the end result is a softer bun.  As the dough is quite wet, I suspect I might have used easily another 2-3 grams of butter when oiling my hands and work top to make the handling of the dough easier without sticking.

I served them with Japanese curry for breakfast and thought they made a perfect match, although the bread rolls can also be great on their own too, or simply add a spread of butter for a quick on the go snack.

~ Enjoy!


largely adapted from Backe's book here

60g mashed potatoes**
100g bread flour
 1/2 tablespoon sugar
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon instant yeast
 40g water***
 2g chilled butter
 25g walnuts, chopped

** Potatoes are boiled, mashed and cooled to room temperature before use.
*** You may like to use the starchy water left behind from boiling the potatoes with, cooled to room temperature.

In a mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast with a hand whisk to mix well the dry ingredients together.  Add mashed potatoes, and start the mixer running with a dough hook on the lowest speed.

Slowly drizzle the cooled potato water into the mixture with a pouring cup, or spoon by spoon, and when the mixture gathers into a ball, stop adding water.  As the quantity of ingredient is really quite small for the dough hook to reach in the big mixer bowl, halfway through the liquid addition, it will be a good idea to stop the mixer and use a spoon to manually incorporate the wet and dry ingredients together, otherwise you may end up adding too much water. Add butter and knead the dough till window pane stage.

Pour all the 25g chopped walnuts into the mixer to incorporate the nuts into the dough.  The dough will be wet and sticky, but still manageable with oiled hands/fingers.  Stop the mixer, and place dough in a greased bowl for its first proof, around 45 minutes.

The dough would have risen to about twice its original size after 45 minutes, punch down the dough to deflate it, and transfer the dough to a clean work top.  Grease the work top if the dough is too sticky.  Divide the dough into 3 portions, roughly roll them into balls, place on work top, cover and let the dough relax for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, deflate to squeeze out any air bubbles trapped in the dough balls, and then shape them into balls again, and arrange them in a greased 8″x3.5″x3″ rectangular cake tin.  Let it go through its final proof before baking, covered and placed in a draft free place, around 45 minutes.

When ready to bake, make sure that the oven has been preheated to 190C.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, till the bread are golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool on rack before serving.  If you want a soft crust, brush melted butter over the bread now while they are fresh hot out of the oven.

If not eaten immediately, store in an airtight container to keep the bread rolls soft after they have cooled down.