I love making brimstone bread. Between the dark crunchy topping and the soft inner core, it’s perfect for everything from sandwiches, to burgers, to just slathering with butter and eating warm from the oven.
Rumor has it, when demons in Hell make this bread, they roll the dough in the deep pits of sulfur and soul dust and cook them in the hot brimstone vents. Unfortunately, as you are mortal and have neither access to soul dust or brimstone vents, I’ve had to make a few adjustments to the recipe for you.
While these rolls aren’t actually “Hell Authentic,” they’re close enough to get the job done.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
To make your own brimstone bread you will need:
- 1 box instant bread mix
- 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (between 105/115F)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 Cups rice flour
- Black food coloring or activated charcoal*
- Red food coloring
*Activated charcoal can present problems for anyone who is on certain medications. While the activated charcoal does turn food a fantastically dark black color, it's better to be safe than sorry. For more information on charcoal and how it interacts with medication, check out this link. When in doubt, use a black liquid or gel food coloring.
Step 2: Get the Dough Ball Rolling
Start by first making your boxed bread mix according to the directions. Add enough red food coloring to the dough to bring it to a deep dark blood red.
Divide your dough into 12 small balls. Place the balls onto a cookie sheet and cover with a damp towel.
Allow to rise for as long as the directions on your box mix indicate.
Step 3: Brimstone Black Topping Is the Secret to This Bread
While your bread balls are rising, it’s time to make the topping. In your mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, oil, salt and rice flour. Mix your black food coloring in with your water and add that to the mix. You want your topping to be as black as you can make it, so feel free to be liberal with the food coloring. You can also augment the blackness with activated charcoal if you have that, but I wouldn’t add more than three capsules as that can change the flavor of the bread later on (please see the disclaimer in step 1 if you plan on using charcoal and are on any medications).
The topping should be thick and sticky, but still fluid enough to slowly ooze and drip off the end of your whisk.
Cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Take a big old wad of your black topping and smear it all over the top and sides of your red dough balls. Don’t worry about it being too thick, you’re better off erring on the side of too much than not enough. If the topping is too thin, it won’t crackle the way you want it to. You could do this with a knife or a spoon, but trust me when I say it’s so much easier to just use your (clean, washed and dried) hands.
Let stand, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. This allows the topping to really adhere to your dough balls.
Step 4: Mmm...disgustingly Delicious!
Cook your bread according to the directions on your box mix, making sure that the pan is on the center rack of your oven.
As it cooks, your topping will crisp up and shrink back, creating the deep cracks and fissures that make brimstone bread so distinctive.
Once they’re done cooking, allow to cool until they are comfortable to handle. Once you can touch them without burning yourself, crack one open, slab on a fat slice of butter, and enjoy your brimstone bread!