Simple Black Sandwich Bread

Simple Black Sandwich Bread

Halloween is one of my very favorite times of year and I’m always lookin for new fun foods to add to the celebration. Some of you have might have noticed I began baking several months back (gasp!), so I decided to give some “creepy” Simple Black Sandwich Bread a go. I used my most tried and true dough recipe that I know by heart, and added a few twists to achieve the desired color. I’ve made things with activated charcoal before with fairly good success (it helps put a mean sear on a grilled steak!), and knew that would provide the darkness. Then, I was worried about dusting a board with white flour during kneading…of course that wouldn’t achieve the desired look. After conducting some research, I discovered oil can be added directly to bread dough to prevent sticking. This is what I came up with. Are you ready to go to the dark side? Lol.

Simple Black Sandwich Bread

Simple Black Sandwich Bread
Food safe activated charcoal.

Simple Black Sandwich Bread

Bread dark as night, perfect for ghoulish flare or when you just need a bite.
Course Snack
Cuisine Bread, Halloween
Keyword bakingbread, bread, Halloween, yeast
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cost $5


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large mixing spoon
  • Flour sifter if fine mesh colander


  • 4 cups bread flour non-bleached all purpose can be subbed; however, the bread will be much more dense
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp +1tsp activated charcoal *see facts and info about activated charcoal in notes section below
  • 3 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup bottled spring water at room temp unless your house is really cold - if so heat slightly staying under 100; your tap water might be fine; however, mine is very "hard" and not yeast friendly
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
  • Sift through or work through a fine mesh colander.
  • It is imperative that you combine the activated charcoal COMPLETELY; no white or darker streak. Take care when adding activated charcoal as it is very powdery and could go everywhere.
  • Make a sort of of well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
  • Pour 1 cup water into well. If mixture is too dry, add 1/4 cup water, and more if needed.
  • Using your hands, pull the dry ingredients into the water, turning the bowl until everything is well incorporated.
  • Push your fingers into the dough to create deep holes.
  • Pour vegetable oil onto/into dough holes in the bowl.
  • Combine into dough mixture evenly, using your fingers as "squeezing" tools.
  • The dough will feel slightly lumpy, but that's okay.
  • Form into ball. Cover with lose towel and let set at room temperature for one hour. [**See notes below on proofing times.]
  • After one hour, the dough should be about double in size. If not, let it sit a little longer.
  • When the dough has puffed up, poke it in the center with your finger. It will deflate.
  • Remove from dough and place on clean, dry. "working" surface (e.g., counter, cutting board, etc.).
  • Gently knead the dough for about five minutes. Twist and turn as you pull and fold...kind of like what a standard envelope would like if you made one.
  • When dough is smooth and shiny, shape in into a loaf.
  • Put loaf in a well oiled, or parchment lined, loaf pan seem side down. Push dough all the way down as evenly as possible.
  • Let sit at room temperature for one hour or until a "muffin top" has formed.
  • Lightly spritz, or brush on, top of loaf with water. This will result in a shinier finish after baked.
  • After one hour, place loaf pan in a pre-heated 400°F oven on the second to bottom rack.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
  • After bread has baked, remove from oven and pan and place on a cooling rack.
  • Allow bread to cool COMPLETELY before slicing with a serrated knife.


*There has been some debate for years about the safety of consuming activated charcoal in prepared foods. Most scientists and physicians agree that consuming small amounts does not cause adverse reactions or negative medical outcomes. As this Eater article stated, "don't over do it." You're not likely to consume every day or in copious amounts similar to what would be administered in a hospital to rid overdosed toxins. Food grade activated charcoal is now actually available to purchase. And some people have been taking activated charcoal supplements daily for the reported health benefits. Please use your own judgment. And, remember to always have fun in the kitchen! Cheers!
**Bread proofing times will vary depending of the temperature inside your home. If your home is warm or cool, the bread will rise faster and slower, respectively.    
Use flour sifter or fine wire mesh to help combine all dry ingredients.
Simple Black Sandwich Bread
Add water in “well.”
Simple Black Sandwich Bread
Add oil and combine thoroughly.
First rise in bowl for one hour (or more.)
Simple Black Sandwich Bread
Hand kneading dough until smooth; ~ 10 minutes. You can use a stand mixer, I didn’t feel like getting mine down and needed some exercise. Lol.
In oiled loaf pan; second rise for 1 hour (or more).

I really hope you enjoy Simple Black Sandwich Bread. Happy Halloween!

How I got here: I’ve always been a cook; however, I was NEVER I “baker.” I had baked a few birthday cakes for loved ones (somewhat begrudgingly; lol). Simply put, I don’t like to follow recipes and I don’t measure…until I opened my Instagram account a couple of years back and people would ask me how to make the food I was posting. So, I had to try to recreate the recipe, measuring everything, and taking copious notes. And then Covid happened. Like so many others, I began to experiment with baking bread. And to my huge surprise…I enjoyed it! I find it quite therapeutic and have learned A LOT over the last six months.

Related “spooky” recipes:
Creamy Creepy Brains
Vampire Burgers

Related links:
Purchase Activated Charcoal

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