Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bamboo charcoal Bread with homemade kaya

Have you tasted Bamboo Charcoal Bread before? If you have been to Lavender bakery store in Malaysia, you will definitely know what I am talking about. The first time I encounter this bamboo charcoal bread, I was totally intrigued! Woah, edible charcoal added into delicious baked goods which has detoxification benefits....cool! I am sure some of you might be taken aback by the color and the thought of eating charcoal itself (don't we just use it for BBQ?!). But believe me, this is the "new trend" of bakery! Apparently, Japan, Taiwan and even China has been using bamboo charcoal in their food for quite sometime now. Come to think of it, there are so many new and interesting ingredients introduced to the baked goods nowadays... it's hard to keep track. I guess in this modern world , not even the sky is the limit! Interested to know more about Bamboo charcoal and their benefits? Click on this link to read more about it. :)

I studied the bamboo charcoal cheese loaf recipe (竹炭乳酪土司) that I have in 孟老师的100道面包. But I made some changes to it since I don't want any cheese in my loaf. and I want a bigger portion. So here is my version for my reference:

Ingredients for Bamboo Charcoal Bread Loaf:
Set A:
400g bread flour
55g caster sugar
tsp salt
5g instant yeast
35g milk powder
100ml of water
120ml fresh whipping cream
2.5 tsp bamboo charcoal powder

Set B:
35g unsalted butter, room temperature

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients in Set A and mix well till it comes together to form a soft dough.
  • Knead the dough till it is not sticky and add the butter in Set B and continue to knead. To test if dough is ready, stretch a small piece using the finger tips of both your hands. If you can pull the dough to almost see through texture without breaking it, it's probably done.
  • Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let proof for at least 80 minutes.
  • Punch out the air in the proofed dough. Divide the dough into 3 balls and let rest for 10 mins before shaping.
  • Roll the balls into flat ovals and then roll it up in to swiss roll form. Place in to loaf tin and repeat with the other 3 dough balls. Let proof till it fills 90% of the tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the surface with egg wash (optional).
  • Bake in the oven for 40minutes and remove from tin immediately after the bread is done.
  • Let cool before slicing. Enjoy!
My bread loaf turned out really soft! You can see from the above picture that it was kind of "dented" when I unmould it out from the bread tin! Really have to handle with care. :P But other then that, it was a really great loaf! Fragrant and soft..just like any other bread loaf I've baked...no, no charcoal burnt smell in case you are wondering about that! ;D Wondering what is that yellowish thing on the top of the loaf? It's just the egg wash...probably should have just omitted it. ;)
Apart from baking the bread, I have also made some pandan flavored kaya to go with it! Yummy! Nothing beats home made spreads. Thanks to EP for the kaya recipe. And since there is no evident taste of the charcoal in the bread, so it taste like any other bread that you bake. So eating it with butter and kaya is a good combo! but of course you can use any spread of your preference....just like my younger daughter..she only wants peanut butter. ;P BTW, I don't eat butter like that in the picture...just that I find it nicer to put a cube on the bread slice, haha!

Also wanted to mention in this post that I tried a new recipe for dinner, Braised Pork Ribs with Taro in Claypot...very yummy! Err...perhaps my picture cannot really justify the yumminess of this dish. But believe me, it's good. ;) A simple and easy recipe to make which goes really well with steam rice, and most importantly, everyone enjoys it. ;) Interested to try it out? Click on this link for the recipe. :) Thanks Jo, for the recipe.


Kitchen Corner said...

Oh.. I've not tried this recipe yet. You're brave enough to try it. The bread looks really soft, I wish to taste how it is.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Grace,
Actually there's no taste to the charcoal powder, just a wee bit sweet, that's all. It's good in general. Do try it out when you can find the bamboo charcoal powder. :)

cherry potato said...

Hi, the bread looks really soft!

Happy Homebaker said...

I saw the recipe from 孟老师的100道面包, but I didn't know it is available in Malaysia. Your bread looks so soft!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks cherry potato!

Hi Happy Homebaker,
Yes, they are selling this kind of bread in Malaysia. But I am sure soon it'll start surfacing in Singapore. ;) Thanks...do try it when u can get bamboo charcoal powder in Singapore. :)

Kitchen Corner said...

By the way, can I know where can I get the amboo charcoal powder? Can I get it from Bake with Yen?

Anonymous said...


I'm a frequent silent reader of your lovely blog. Can I know where to buy the bamboo charcoal powder from in Spore. Thanking you in advance. Have a nice day.


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Penang,

In Singapore, you can try Kitchen Capers in Kallang Bahru at the end of this month, that's what the owner told me.

tracieMoo said...

Arh, I'm curious of how it tastes like! I ate the mooncake sold in Baker's Cottage with this charcoal black skin too. It's my first time seeing a black bread. woah.. I'm amazed..

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi traciMoo,
Really? You should go to Pavilion, they have a Lavender Bakery there. You can find several bamboo charcoal bread in store....and "feed" that curiosity of yours, haha! ;)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Grace (Kitchen Corner),
Pls check your email....I replied your comment there. ;)

Skinnymum said...

can you please tell me where i can get the bamboo charcoal powder in kl? thank ALOT!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Skinnymum,
Actually I got it from BigBoysOven in PJ. Check out his website and perhaps he might arrange to sell you some.


Good luck!

Skinnymum said...

thanks for your prompt reply!

MH said...

The first time I saw this recipe in 孟老师的一百道面包, I was sort of taken aback too! Charcoal?! There's another recipe using "Squid" powder(墨鱼),Gosh!!! Thanks for telling us how's the taste like! :D

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi MH,
Imagine I saw the actual bread in store first before seeing it in the book! Looks like everyone is curious about this kind of bread....I better alert Gina and let her know the charcoal powder will be in high demand...thanks to me, haha! Perhaps I should ask her to source for squid ink powder too, haha!

ReeseKitchen said...

Hey, the bread is great, its really soft..:) Will definetely try it out when i get the bamboo charcoal bread....Thanks alot for sharing!

Kathleen said...

Hi, I have just ordered the book 孟老师的100道面包 but have not arrived yet.

But I cannot help but admire your 'charcoal bread'. Looks really interesting and I would really love to give it a try. Perhaps scaring my family in the process ! LOL... but dono where to get this powder in Sarawak.... *sigh*

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hey Reese, don't mention it! You share all your bakes with me too! ;) BTW, feel free to get the bamboo charcoal powder from me...I still have some to spare, no problem. ;)

Hi Kathleen,
Oh yes, that book is a keeper. Mmm...not sure where you can get the powder in Sarawak. But no worries, there are so many good recipes in 孟老师的一百道面包 to keep you busy before you get hold of the charcoal powder. :) Good luck!

Gina Choong said...

Yes, the Bamboo Charcoal powder will be available at Kitchen Capers, hopefully by middle of next week. Thanks HoneyBS for letting me know of this. Actually, squid ink is easier to find and get here in Singapore than the Bamboo Charcoal. Reason is the French and Italians use it to make their pasta. The fine dining restaurants here in Singapore uses that alot in their cooking. here's the link to the shop http://www.kitchencapers.net/shopstore/KCRetailStore.htm

Anh said...

The bread looks really interesting!!!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Anh,
Welcome to my blog! Yes, the bread is not only interesting, it's tasty too. After 3 days and it's still soft...just finished the last slice this morning.;)

Anonymous said...

I bought a loaf last week from Lavender City SQ JB last week. I was intrigued by the pics I saw on someone's Flickr. It contained only 3 slices; I thought "How stingy?". Those 3 slices are good for a week.... I dare not eat more than one slice per day. Really good stuff to detox your system on the cheap! I'm a smoker, so I'm wondering if the effects vary from smoker to non-smoker? thanks.....

jade said...

hie there , enjoyed reading yr blog very much. i could feel the TLC in most of yr written entries. Keep up the good work. I've tried the black bread and is indeed nice, was wondering if ur are able to share yr kaya recipe..one of my fav jam too. My email jadewan1@gmail.com. Cheers

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Jade,
Glad that you've tried the Bamboo charcoal bread and liked it. ;) Sure, I can email you the kaya recipe tomorrow. ;) So happy that someone (like you) do read through my posts and loving it, haha! Thanks, will try my best to put up more interesting & yummy posts in the future. :)

Hee Joo said...

Hi! Happy Year of the Tiger to you!

Am really keen to try baking this bread with my bread machine. Would you have a recipe that is suited for baking this black bamboo charcoal bread with a bread machine?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Hee Joo,
Glad that you like this recipe. :) Actually I do not have the bread machine version recipe....in fact I have never used a bread machine before. ;P However I believe you can use your bread machine to knead the dough and then remove it after 1st proofing. You can then let proof in a normal bread loaf tin and bake in the oven as per instructed. Good luck and happy new year to you too!

Sharon said...

hi grace:
I would like to purchase charcoal powder from you but can i know how? wat is the price? do u have a detailed receipe for making the charcoal bread? i have not make any breads b4 and want to success in making, if not all my things i bought will b wasted. thanks in advance.

PS. i request to add u in facebook, pls accept me.do you have a class to teach making charcoal bread?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Sharon,
My name is not Grace, you can call me HoneyBeeSweets. :) It's good that you are taking interest in making this charcoal bread. However I do not sell the powder. Where are you living? I can recommend you where to purchase it. I would like to hold a class too, but at the moment I have other urgent matters to attend to, so no plans yet. Leave me your email address, I will look you up in your FB and will add you.

Sharon said...

i m living in woodlands area. my email is linjiahui_82@yahoo.com.sg. hope to see u soon.


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Sharon,
I saw your comment but I did not publish it because your email is on it. BTW, I searched your email on FB, but I can't fine it. So please send me the email that you register on FB or your ID on FB...thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Honey Bee Sweets

This is in reply to Kathleen on where to buy the Charcoal powder in Sarawak. I just bought a pkt from KKK in India Street, Kuching 2days ago.
Thanks for your recipe, I will try to bake in my bread machine and let you know the result.


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Reg,

It's nice of you to update Kathleen on where to buy the charcoal powder in Sarawak. Have fun baking it yourself. :)

Carol C. said...

Great looking bread. Would you know where I could buy some bamboo charcoal powder for baking? I live in Toronto, Canada. Thanks!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Carol C.,
Welcome to my blog. ;) Thanks, but unfortunately I do not know where in Toronto can you purchase edible charcoal powder for baking. Perhaps you can try some of the Asia bakery stores and see if they ship over seas. Kitchen capers in Singapore is one of them who carries this charcoal powder, good luck!

Anonymous said...


I juz bought a packet of bamboo charcoal powder, cant wait to try it cos Singapore doesnt sell this bread.

May I know which type of whipping cream did you use ? Non-diary or Diary ? What's the brand ?


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Ling, I only use dairy whipping cream for bread making. Any brand is fine.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your prompt reply.

Sorry again to ask, which type is considered diary cream ? Nestle or Emborg brand ?


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Ling, try asking the store person, they will know better then me. The brand I use in Malaysia differs with the ones here, can't really tell u.

MUHAMMAD IQBAL Abdullah said...

would you kindly email me where to find those bamboo charcoal powder please...hehe