Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bamboo Charcoal Bread - My Black Beauty. Almost a success. Almost a disaster.

My Black Beauty baked on Black Friday

Ta-da! My virgin bamboo charcoal bread. What a coincidence that I made this on Black Friday. Yes, the universe conspires with your passion. I remember making guacamole on the last National Guacamole Day, completely by chance. 

I first wrote about bamboo charcoal here. I also ate bamboo charcoal crepe at the Culinary Institute of America in Singapore. After researching several sites on this interesting ingredient, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a go on a basic soft butter loaf recipe. 

It has detox and many other health benefits.
I added 2 tsp of charcoal powder to my regular mix 
Have you seen grey flour before??
Stark black before proofing
Dark grey after 2nd proof
I decided to throw in some pecan and walnut for added colour and crunch.

Is this gorgeous or what? Do you think Rebecca Black will like this? Or maybe King Kong?

I'm going to cut them into cubes and steam them and see how gastronomically adventurous my guests are tonight. I am having my next Living Room talk tonight - which will also be my next post!

The Morning After
My black bread got nicknamed the Chewing Gum Bread 'cos it turned out to be rather chewy in the middle! In all the blogs I read on baking with Bamboo Charcoal powder, no one mentioned these  important observations which I have now made:

1. Recipes that say "bake till golden brown" is not applicable to black breads since you can't see any change in colour. Which means you have to be sure of the baking timing. In my case, my bread was actually not completely baked yet after 12 minutes but I had no way of knowing till I cut it. As it turns out, the inside was too chewy for a bread texture. So while the taste was good, the colour and texture felt odd.

2. The charcoal powder may stain your cloth or utensil, or at best, it's not easily washed off. So, do be careful when handling it.

3. You won't know when it's gone stale just by looking at it.

So, my overall verdict on this baking feat? Almost a success, almost a disaster.

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