Brimstone Bread

Posted October 19, 2017 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 4 Comments


I’ve been eager to share this recipe for weeks! When I first started planning my Phantom of the Opera menu, I came across this recipe, and it was just too perfect to pass up. The black and red color scheme and wicked theme made them just the side dish I needed!

They may look complicated, but they’re actually very easy to make. Just whip up your favorite bread dough (I used a basic bun recipe I developed for my cookbook) and create a black rice flour mix to go on top. Spread on the topper, bake, and you’re all set to enjoy some piping hot bits of brimstone! 🙂


Brimstone Bread

At that moment, at that identical moment, the terrible thing happened… Carlotta croaked like a toad:
There was consternation on Carlotta’s face and consternation on the faces of all the audience. The two managers in their box could not suppress an exclamation of horror. Every one felt that the thing was not natural, that there was witchcraft behind it. That toad smelt of brimstone. Poor, wretched, despairing, crushed Carlotta!

— The Phantom of the Opera



  • For the Red Buns
    • ¼ cup very warm water
    • ½ cup room temperature milk
    • 1 packet (7 grams) active dry yeast
    • ¼ cup butter, softened
    • 1 egg
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 8 drops red gel food coloring
    • 2¾ cups flour
  • For the Black Topping
    • 1½ cups rice flour
    • 1 packet active dry yeast
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 16 drops black gel food coloring


Makes 16 buns



    1. To make the red buns, first stir together the water and milk in the bowl of a standing mixer. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
    2. Add the butter, egg, salt, sugar, and red coloring to the bowl. Beat on medium-low speed with a paddle attachment for 30 seconds or until the butter is broken up into pieces. Gradually beat in the flour on medium speed until just combined.
    3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it is soft, mostly smooth, and only slightly sticky (approximately 5-8 minutes). You may need to periodically reflour the surface to keep the dough from sticking.
    4. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough inside, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen cloth and allow to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
    5. Punch down the dough and set aside. Line two baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper. Separate the dough into 16 balls of equal size, placing them an equal distance apart on the baking sheets. Cover and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.
    6. While you wait, start on the black topping by stirring together the rice flour, yeast, sugar, vegetable oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir the black coloring into the warm water and beat the water into the flour mix with a hand mixer on medium speed. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes (by the time it’s done, the red buns should be finished rising too).
    7. Preheat the oven to 350°. Scoop 2 spoonfuls of black mix over each bun.

      The recipe I used said to spread on the topping with your hands, but mine was too liquidy for that. It still cracked properly in the end, though, so I didn’t feel a need to change it.
    8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flipping and rotating the pans halfway through. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. If desired, trim the black edges where the topping slid to the bottom.
    9. Serve warm at the premiere of the Phantom’s latest operatic performance!


Check out our other bread recipes! 🙂


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