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Ok it’s just bread which has charcoal powder put in.
Charcoal powder is used by some for its health benefits, buuut I’m pretty skeptical about its health benefits when baking with it. I use it just because the black colour looks cool.
Though activated charcoal was a Chinese medicine that I used to mix with water and drink when I had gastrointestinal upsets and it worked really well. So hey not putting it down.
The wholemeal flour used makes the bread soft and fluffy, and adds an earthy flavour. And it’s supposedly healthier than white flour as well.
You also get the ultra crunchy crust cultivated by lovingly spraying the oven with mist.
And look at that swirl how satisfying is that.
- 250g sourdough starter (mine was at 100% hydration, see notes)
- 125g strong white flour
- 250g wholemeal flour
- 225g water
- 8g salt
- 1/2 tbsp charcoal powder
- Mix the starter with the water in a large bowl until combined. Then add the flour and mix.
- Tip out onto a work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. It might be a bit sticky at first but just keep kneading and it will come together.
- Split the dough into two. In one half of the dough, add 1/2 tbsp of charcoal powder.
- Place the two balls of dough into separate bowls and cover. Let rise for about 5 hours until doubled in size.
- Split each ball of dough into two (so you have two balls of white and two balls of black dough).
- Mash the balls together until it reaches the swirliness you like. Then shape into one large ball. Don’t mix too much or you won’t get the distinct separation of colours.
- Place the dough into a well-floured banneton (of if you don’t have one just shape it well). Cover and let rise in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning, let the dough come back to room temperature
- Preheat your oven to 230°C, and place a tray half-filled with water at the bottom of the oven. This is to create a steam oven.
- Tip the dough out of the banneton onto a lined baking tray. Score the dough (if you want) and put into a preheated oven. Spray the oven liberally with water from a spray bottle.
- Bake at 230°C for 30 mins. Then turn down the heat to 200°C and bake for 15-20 mins.
- The bread is ready when you tap it and it sounds hollow. Let the bread cool on a cooling rack before cutting into it.
- A 100% hydration starter just means my starter was equal parts by weight flour and water. If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out my previous post on sourdough.
- This bread is a 50% wholemeal bread at 70% hydration.
- Letting the bread rise a second time in the fridge retards its growth, giving it a stronger flavour.