Black Crisp Breads

August 24, 2019 Published by Dina


I mentioned on my Instagram feed (@oliveoilandlemons) that I became intrigued by activated charcoal as an ingredient to make breads black. The look of the black bread is so dramatic and would make a beautiful background to colourful toppings.

In terms of what it is and whether it’s safe to consume I read a couple fo articles but do not claim any particular knowledge of the product so do your own research if you are concerned:

I plan to try it in a couple fo different recipes but thought i’d try it first with this simple crisp bread that was the subject of my last post. I tried to sandwich herbs and flowers between two thin layers of dough but it was too dark and opaque to show through as it did in the white crisp bread. Instead, I pressed the flowers and herbs onto the dough ribbons and ran it a couple fo time on the last setting I used, to embed the leaves into the dough.

The charcoal does not add flavour to the bread, onl;y colour. The flavour comes from the herbs and salt that i sprinkle on top.

Let me know what you think.



1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup fine cornmeal (or use all flour)
2 teaspoons activated charcoal culinary grade
3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

A handful of edible flowers, leaves and herbs (nasturtiums, thyme, sage, callendula, chive blossoms, whatever you have access to).

Olive oil for brushing

Additional coarse salt for sprinkling (Maldon or Fleur de Sel)


Combine flour, cornmeal, charcoal powder, water and salt in a bread mixer and knead for 7 minutes until dough is elastic. Remove from mixer, knead briefly into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest about 30 minutes to relax the gluten.

Line two baking sheets with silpat liners or foil. You can brush the foil lightly with oil.

Divide dough into 4 pieces and work with one piece at a time.

Set up a pasta machine for rolling sheets of pasta.

Dust the work surface with flour, pat ball of dough in the flour so it is not too sticky.

Roll the dough on the thickest setting first, much like you would when making pasta.

Keep rolling at thinner setting until the dough is fine but does not fall apart.

Cut the ribbon of dough into the length of your baking sheet or another desired size.

Lay the ribbon of dough on the floured surface.

Press flowers and leaves over the dough gently, patting with your hand without pressing too hard.

Dial the pasta setting back one notch and gently lift the dough ribbon to the pasta machine, doing your best to keep the leaves from moving. No particular worry though, the crisp bread police will not show up in your kitchen. Roll the dough through the setting a couple of times to embed the herbs and flowers into the dough.

Roll it to desired thickness, being careful not to roll it too much as this will stretch the leaves and flowers pressed inside the dough.

When done, trim the sides and ends of the ribbon of dough with a pizza roller or a knife.

Finish with remaining dough pieces. If you get tired of it, you can just roll the remaining dough and then sprinkle chopped herbs and salt on each sheet before baking.

Before baking brush a little olive oil on each ribbon of flowered dough and sprinkle with salt.

Bake the crisps in a 400℉ oven until they become crisp, about 7-8 min but check them as they bake.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

Serve with dips, soups etc.



Mid week market run.


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