Dutch Oven BLACK Bread

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Introduction: Dutch Oven BLACK Bread

About: Hobbyist wood worker, builder, tinkerer of all things.

This is a super easy, 5 ingredient, no-knead bread. It's a fun variation to ordinary white and brown bread. It looks great served on a platter as tartines (open faced sandwiches). You can get creative with colorful toppings and ingredient mixes. Please note, while many people make health claims about Activated Charcoal Bread, they're un-proven. We are only using this addition as a fun way to play with color!

Step 1: ​Ingredients+Equipment

Ingredients:

Equipment:

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

Measure the flour then add to your mixing bowl. It's best to keep your yeast separate from the salt and other ingredients until it's all mixed up. To do this we make a little volcano shape with the flour, add the 1 tsp of yeast to the hole in the top. Then put the 2 tsps of salt and 1tbsp of activated charcoal around the base. Measure out the 1 1/2 cups of warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees F) and pour this around the outside of the mound.

If you're using a Kitchen Aid or stand mixer, switch the attachment to a dough hook. Mix on low for a couple of minuets until everything comes together. OR If you're using a bowl and wooden spoon, add the ingredients using the same method as above, keeping the salt and yeast separate until everything is added . Now stir the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and the charcoal powder is evenly distributed.

You should have a loose, slightly sticky dough. If it seems very dry or stiff then add a little extra warm water, if it is too wet and runny then add a little extra flour.

Remember this is a no-knead bread, once the dough has come together stop mixing.

Step 3: Rising the Dough

Cover the mixing bowl with saran wrap using a rubber band to hold it securely. Place the mixing bowl in a warm area (around 75°F-80°F) for 8-12 hours or until the dough is a bit over double it's original size. This is the "Bulk Fermentation" Stage.

Alternatively, place the dough in the refrigerator to allow it more time to rise. This will result in a bread with a more complex flavor and is referred to as "cold fermentation" I find 24 hours to be optimal for this recipe but you can experiment with longer times.

Step 4: Shaping the Dough

Preheat your oven to 450°F

Flour your work surface and your hands, unwrap the mixing bowl. Transfer the risen dough onto the floured surface.

We're going to remove some of the gas that was created in the bulk fermentation by "punching down" the dough.Take the edges on the dough, fold them into the center and press down lightly. Do this a few times until the dough has reduced in size. Pick up the dough and perform the same task, pinching the edges together in the center. This will help to form a tight ball. The pinched side will be the bottom of your loaf. Transfer the dough to a floured sheet of parchment paper, sprinkle the top lightly with more flour. Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Now score the top of the bread with a sharp knife, a new exact-o blade or razor blade is best. You can score whatever pattern you like!

Immediately after shaping your dough, place an empty dutch oven, with lid, on a center rack in the middle of your oven. The extremely hot dutch oven traps steam and gives the roll a delicious crust!

Step 5: Bake the Loaf

After half an hour of resting the dough and pre heating the pot we're ready to bake. VERY carefully remove the dutch oven and place it on a heatproof surface or trivet. Use extra caution because the heavy cookware pot should, by this time, be piping hot! Uncover your dough and place it next to your dutch oven. With an oven glove, carefully remove the lid of your pot and place it to one side. Then, quickly lift the dough by the parchment paper and transfer it to the pot. Replace the lid and return the whole thing back to the middle of the oven.

Set your timer for half an hour.

When the timer goes off your house will be filled with the perfect smell of baking bread. Carefully remove the pot from your oven. To check if it's done, lift the roll out of the pot and tap it on the bottom. If it makes a hollow noise then it's done. If it makes a quiet, dull thud then it need a more cooking. If it needs more time, it is ok to return it to the oven without the lid at this stage. Keep checking every couple minutes until you get that nice hollow sound.


Then place it on wire cooling rack on your kitchen counter and cover with a clean kitchen cloth. We know it's very hard... but let it sit at least 20-45 minutes before cutting into it!

Step 6: Toppings!

This is where you can get creative. The toping and flavor combinations are endless.

Check out our main image featuring these combos:

  • goat cheese with crushed blueberries, crushed pecans, drizzle with honey
  • cream cheese topped with slices of cucumber and mint leaves
  • cream cheese with prosciutto, sliced heirloom tomatoes, topped with micro greens
  • goats cheese topped with fresh strawberries and then drizzled with balsamic glaze
  • cream cheese topped with finely sliced watermelon-radishes and a soft boiled egg
  • and the classic, cream cheese with smoked salmon and dill

Let us know if you come up with any delicious combinations.

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    22 Comments

    0
    jeanniel1
    jeanniel1

    1 year ago

    You're right! That is BLACK bread! You can even make GREY bread for 50 shades worth I'm sure. And WHAT induced you to use charcoal in the bread? At first I thought black squid ink... which would have given a flavor.

    0
    Microbe
    Microbe

    1 year ago

    Any particular composed for the "20-45 minuets"? ;o)

    0
    CraigFrancis
    CraigFrancis

    Reply 1 year ago

    Bread carries on cooking after it comes out. If you ask some bakers they'll tell you to let it cool all the way down before you eat it but we can barely wait until 20 minuets! We love it fresh out the oven still warm.

    So....
    45 if you're patient and want it technically correct.
    20 if you're impatient and like that fresh out the oven taste! ; )

    0
    Microbe
    Microbe

    Reply 1 year ago

    Sorry...I was gently teasing. It should be "minutes" not "minuets" which is a type of dance :P

    0
    CraigFrancis
    CraigFrancis

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks. I missed that. twice. Updated.

    0
    Chuck1938
    Chuck1938

    Question 1 year ago on Step 6

    Does the parchment paper go into the Dutch oven?

    0
    CraigFrancis
    CraigFrancis

    Answer 1 year ago

    Yes, use it to transfer the dough over to your pot and bake it in there. You can leave the edges of the paper Poking out under the lid or trim them quickly! This is this last nights white loaf coming out of the pot. Same recipe but minus the activated charcoal.

    39A81BA6-2F4E-4228-B960-B7404751ABC6.jpeg
    0
    Chuck1938
    Chuck1938

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks a bunch

    0
    jjmcgaffey
    jjmcgaffey

    Answer 1 year ago

    Yes. That's why you use parchment paper not wax paper - it's designed for baking on.

    0
    Chuck1938
    Chuck1938

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks a bunch.

    0
    Gadget93
    Gadget93

    1 year ago

    Will this work in a real oven? I don't actually know what a Dutch oven is much less own one. Is it anything like a pizza oven?

    1
    CraigFrancis
    CraigFrancis

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey Gadget, a Dutch oven is just a heavy cast iron pot. You bake the loaf in an oven in the pot which gives it an extra delicious crust.

    You could absolutely bake it on a tray in an oven. Same temperature. You should add a pan of hot water to the bottom shelf of the oven 10 minuets before you bake the bread. The extra steam will make things better.

    0
    Gadget93
    Gadget93

    Reply 1 year ago

    Cool. Thank you very much. I just happen to have some activated charcoal. This will be a great project for today.

    0
    shalnachywyt
    shalnachywyt

    1 year ago

    While this looks interesting, I'd suggest people read the WebMD article on it BEFORE you attempt to make this because there are some medications that interact with Activated Charcoal plus, there might be other risks that you would be unaware of.
    https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/activated-charcoal-uses-risks#1
    To mitigate any possible medical problems, why not just use food coloring instead? Real Russian Blackbread is basically a rye bread, but some folks add chocolate to the mix to make the bread darker.

    0
    38ren
    38ren

    1 year ago

    I surprisingly have activated charcoal on hand from a previous craft project. I'll have to give this a try! Love your open faced toast ideas :)

    0
    CraigFrancis
    CraigFrancis

    Reply 1 year ago

    Me too. I brought a giant bag of it for a soap project. That’s where this project came from, I wanted to find other ways to use it! #quarantinefun

    0
    JustineM32
    JustineM32

    1 year ago

    This looks funky and weirdly delicious!
    Your photos are stunning as well!

    0
    CraigFrancis
    CraigFrancis

    Reply 1 year ago

    Awe thank you! I highly recommend any combination that includes honey and goats cheese. This is now the official food of our 2020 quarantine! 😄

    1
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    1 year ago

    Dang! That main photo is beyond gorgeous. Great contrast :D

    0
    CraigFrancis
    CraigFrancis

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks Jessy. Found some nice light in the kitchen. : )

    41C5ADC3-DA64-47A0-B570-898731CE7422.jpeg