Dark Loaves Colored with Non-flavored Caramel            I make a really nice dark pumpernickel rye bread. I use organic rye pumpernickel meal, bread flour, garlic, molasses and ground caraway. I grind my caraway in an electronic coffee grinder. If I make a regular rye I don't grind my caraway. Once you grind caraway the grinder is no good for coffee anymore. The caraway leaves a flavor that will ruin the coffee.

            Back to the rye bread - It is a dark colored loaf. The coloring does not come from the pumpernickel meal or the molasses. I add two table spoons of non flavored caramel coloring. That is the trick to dark bread - period. Non flavored caramel coloring is a food service product. I buy it in gallon jugs, like molasses. It comes in smaller containers also. It's something you will have to look for. It's not a typical grocery store item. Non flavored caramel coloring is a concentrated product. A little goes a long way.

            I read years ago about some special dark rye flour from Minnesota or North Dakota that you need to make a dark loaf. There is no dark rye flour out there that will give a dark loaf. The molasses won't give you a dark loaf either. I have added instant coffee among other things to color my loaves. Food service knows what they are doing. It's just food coloring. Industry also uses food coloring to make egg bread. A small amount of egg yellow food color goes a long way. It is also a concentrated product, just like non flavored caramel coloring. I buy it in a 32 ounce bottle. I use 1/4 tsp of egg yellow food coloring in a two pound batch of sweet rolls.

            If you have kids and want to have some fun. Buy some food coloring and let them add it to your next batch of bread. Red, green, blue, the kids will either love it or just not eat the bread. Just a fun thing to try.

            Learn more home bread baking basics on Video Bread 101 - Introduction to bread baking.

More Tips at the following links:

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Elusive Oven Spring or Oven Shoot

About Flour

Economics of Home Baking

Temperature and the Craft of Bread Baking

Pizza: Thick Crust vs. Thin Crust

Shaping Hot Dog/Hamburger Buns

A Brief Recent History of Sourdough

Artisan Breads

It's Always the Yeast

Using Enough Yeast?

Buying Yeast

Baking Issues & Stones

Active Dry vs. Instant Yeast

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