Updated: May 30, 2020
A DARK, MOIST, SOFT INTERIOR....of a bread. Ooooh yeah baby. Black-like-my-heart series, ft. Charcoal bread. But this is a bread which my traditional Asian dad will frown upon if he sees it, the color will terrify him, and how he thinks this equates to a charred bread and all the terrible downsides to it.
BUT THIS IS NOT. There are numerous articles about the benefits of activated charcoal although also the downside to it. But, there are all those articles on coffee or on having wine every night. WHO CARES. ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE GOOD PEOPLE. NO NEGATIVITY IN LIFE. SO I HAVE MY WINE EVERY NIGHT. Plus the charcoal will help block potential toxins. I'm on a health roll baby! BAM BAM BAM! (btw, I'm not thedoctorslust so follow my lifestyle at your own risk. lol.)
Don't you find the intense black fascinating? I am so drawn to it. I first made charcoal pizza dough a few years back together with a batch of a normal pizza dough. I found that the texture of the charcoal pizza was much softer and slightly chewier. I don't know what's the effect is has on bread but I've been in love with that since.
So there I go, hunting for a recipe and I dismissed recipes which will require me to use the Tangzhong method (just because I'm lazy to cook it in a pot and wash it). Also, dismissed recipes that have to use milk powder because I don't believe in anybody having milk powder UNLESS you have a baby. ELSE WHY WOULD YOU HAVE AN ENTIRE TUB OF MILK POWDER SITTING AROUND. (Although you can buy them in loose form from your bulkstores, but i rarely use milk powder so I don't bother.) I found this beautiful recipe from bakewithpaws which used milk and the Yudane method (which didn't require cooking!!!).
I was skeptical of the bread when it was baking because it didn't rise much and the top sounded hard when I tapped on it. But oh my, when I let it cool and break it apart...it was perfectly soft, moist and fragrant. I couldn't stop myself from eating it although I already hit my daily quota on bread. I have no idea how to describe the taste but it was really unique, there was a lovely nutty taste to it?!
I'm going to make a sandwich out of this for my breakfast tomorrow! I can't wait to wake up tomorrow!!!!
[EDIT: I MADE MY SANDWICH WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL BREAD. HEH HEH]
Steps availabile in the post/highlights of my ig @thebakerslust
Recipe adapted from bakewithpaws
4 hours before or the night before
60g bread flour
60g boiling water
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over bread flour and stir till well-incorporated. Place a cling wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
15g brown sugar
240g bread flour
5 tsp charcoal powder
1 tsp salt
8" x 5" x 3" loaf tin
1. In a small bowl, warm milk with the sugar in the microwave. (Make sure it's not too scalding hot, just warm if not you'll kill the yeast!! ) Then add in the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
2. In a stand mixer with a dough hook, add all of the ingredients together including the Yudane. Let the machine work for about 10-15 minutes until it comes together nicely and is not too sticky. Form it into a round and let it sit in the bowl covered with a cling wrap for about 1 hr or until it doubles in size.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl and dump it onto your countertop (I din't have to flour mine because I like that it sticks just so slightly to the table and helps when I roll it out). Punch it down and then divide it into two.
4. Using your hands, roll each dough into a log. With a roller, flatten out the log and elongate it. Then roll the dough up from one end so that it ends up looking like a swiss roll. Repeat with your other log and now you have two of these.
5. Place the two rolls into the tin, cover the tin with a clingwrap and let it proof for an hour or until double in size.
6. 15 minutes before baking, preheat over to 190'c. Line the base of your tin with a parchment paper.
7. Once your oven is ready, bake it for 30 minutes or until brown (if you get see the brown, lol.).
8. Let it cool completely, using a thin knife, run it along the sides of the pan to release the bread.