Yep, I jumped on the bread art bandwagon like so many this year and have been creating focaccia so delicious as well as beautiful.
What is black bread?
Black bread or carbon bread seems to be a thing in Italian bakeries. The only place I’ve ever experienced carbon bread is from an Italian restaurant in Nashville. It’s made from your favorite focaccia or bread dough recipe with the addition of organic activated charcoal or even squid (cuttlefish) ink.
Don’t be put off by the activated charcoal. It’s been used for ions for it’s adsorbative properties for getting rid of impurities and usually made from ashes from organic vegetables or coconuts. It’s available in capsules that people take on a daily basis for reducing impurities in the body and even for bloating.
From what I’ve read, this is why some Italian bakers put it in bread.
By adding a couple of teaspoonfuls to you favorite dough, it produces a dramatic black bread which makes it a perfect palette for decorating. Don’t worry, you can’t taste it. If you put too much, the bread may be slightly gritty so don’t use too much. I used 1 T in the same no knead dough I’ve used for my previous recipes Sunflowers and Grapes and The Best Focaccia with Paella.
Squid Ink food coloring is another way to add the dramatic black color to bread. There are several black ice cream recipes out there that use squid ink/cuttlefish ink in a regular vanilla ice cream recipe to make black ice cream. Don’t worry, you can’t taste that either. It’s just coloring. The same ink used for black paellas.
Decorate your focaccia!
Get creative and decorate your focaccia. It’s a great way to entertain the kids and impress your guests!