Making Powdered Caramel Color for Baking?


One of my bread recipes calls for caramel color. They said I can buy it, but its made from caramelized sugar. What do you do with it to make it into the powder form?


By patty from Merrimack, NH

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 138 Feedbacks
May 7, 20100 found this helpful

I don't think the home kitchen is equipped to do this. The caramel color gives a dark color to the baked product. You can leave it out or substitute a bit of molasses.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 147 Feedbacks
May 7, 20100 found this helpful

The following rye bread mimics Westphalian rye, but is prepared in a less time-consuming manner. Don't be discouraged while preparing the dough; it's very heavy and sticky, more like mortar than bread dough. In fact, be warned: it's no doubt the heaviest, most clay-like dough you'll ever handle. And that's OK; it's supposed to be like that.


Notice the difference in color between the dough and the finished loaf; the long bake promotes caramelization of the flour's natural sugars, and this deepens the loaf's color to a rich chocolate brown. Serve this bread sliced extra-thin; prosciutto is probably the ham that most clearly mimics Westphalian, if you can't obtain the authentic article.

Ingredients View by: Volume Weight
3 cups boiling water
1 cup cracked wheat
1/2 cup malted wheat flakes or old-fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 teaspoons caramel color; or burnt sugar (see step #1 below)
4 cups pumpernickel flour
1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, organic preferred
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
24 ounces boiling water5 ounces cracked wheat2 ounces malted wheat flakes of 1 3/4 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats2 1/2 teaspoons caramel color; or burnt sugar (see step #1 below)15 ounces pumpernickel flour4 ounces King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, organic preferred1/4 teaspoon instant yeast2 1/2 teaspoons salt7/8 ounce vegetable oil


1) If you don't have any powdered caramel color, make the following substitute: Place 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar melts. Continue cooking the sugar until it turns dark brown and begins to smoke. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved, reheating briefly if necessary. Use this water for 1 cup of the boiling water called for in the recipe.

2) Put the cracked wheat and malted wheat flakes or oats in a large mixing bowl, and pour in the boiling water. Stir in the burnt sugar or caramel color. Allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm, which will take about 1 hour.

3) Stir in the pumpernickel flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, salt and vegetable oil. If you're looking for a typical yeast dough here, forget it; the mixture will be sticky and have about as much life as a lump of clay.


4) Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm place (70-75°F) for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours.

5) After the mellowing/rising period is complete, grease two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans, or two long, narrow 12 1/2" x 3" x 2 1/2" pans, if you've happened to acquire such pans in the past. Or, try our three-channel pan, using just two of the channels.

6) Stir the dough in the bowl a bit, to bring it together. Divide it in half, and press each half into one of the pans, smoothing the surface with your wet fingers. This dough is exceedingly sticky/slimy; but if you keep your hands wet, all will be well.

7) Let the loaves sit, covered, for 1 1/2 hours; they'll rise just slightly. Grease two pieces of aluminum foil, then cover the pans tightly with the foil, greased-side down.


8) Preheat the oven to 225°F. Place the covered pans in the oven. Bake the bread for 2 hours. Remove the foil from the pans, and check to see that the bread is firm and looks set it should register about 205°F to 207°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a loaf. Its top crust will look very moist; that's OK. Also, it doesn't make a difference which size pan(s) you've baked the bread in; the loaves will bake for the same amount of time.

9) Remove the bread from the oven. Let it cool in the pans for 15 minutes to firm. Remove it from the pans and allow to cool to lukewarm before wrapping in plastic wrap or a dishtowel. Cool completely before slicing. If bread is to be stored longer than a couple of days, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate.


Yield: 2 loaves.

good luck.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 172 Posts
May 9, 20100 found this helpful

kffrmw88, thank you so much for the instructions on how to make caramel coloring. I tried to make it according to the directions on King Arthur's site and it did not work. It did not say, unless I read wrong, to add the boiling water. That worked for me. Now I can add it to my rye bread that I make from the book "Bread in 5 minutes a Day". I would also like to make the bread you posted. Was this taken from the book "Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a Day"? Thanks.

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