In the first episode of our brand-new Total War Bake Off series we got the studio’s budding bakers to make some Ancient Roman libum, which we then got the unfortunate Grace and Wheels to sample.
For Halloween, we decided to make something a little spookier: Sylvanian black bread.
“Black bread” generally refers to bread made with a significant proportion of rye flour, which gives it its eponymous dark colour.
However, the black bread made by the Haunted Mill in Total War: WARHAMMER is slightly different:
At night, the mill by the blood-clotted streams begins to turn, mixing grains with grinded bone… The black bread of Sylvania is an acquired taste. Its loaves are black and lumpen; the flour coming from the haunted mills, whose weed-swaddled water wheels turn at night to produce a course meal of grain and ground bone. The bread tastes abominably sour. Nevertheless, the loaves are sold and consumed by the hungry populace.
Sounds tasty, right?
Obviously we couldn’t exactly give our taste testers bread filled with ground bone and blood clots (this time, anyway), so we instead gathered together a selection of recipes for our bakers to draw inspiration from. These included:
- My Daily Sourdough Bread’s charcoal powder sourdough bread
- Scratch Eat’s Charcoal black sesame sourdough
- Bake Street’s sourdough charcoal bread
Traditional black breads
- Curious Cuisinière’s Russian black bread
- Smitten Kitchen’s black bread
- The Telegraph’s black bread
- The Guardian’s “perfect rye bread”
Celebrity black breads
We also asked each baker to add a mystery (but edible) ingredient to their bake (either into the dough or as decoration) that was not included in the recipe they ended up using.
Once again it fell to Grace and Wheels to be our hapless guinea pigs, and we’re pleased to report that they did manage to survive the taste testing process (just about).
Congratulations to our “winner”, and tune in next time for another Total War Bake Off!