Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fourteen Bean, Grain, and Legume Bread (a meal in every slice)


I've posted this recipe some time ago but it is so easy to make and so delicious that I thought I would re-post it. This is really a variation of my Ezekiel Bread recipe (click here or here) but somewhat simplified in that you boil the beans all at once rather than in stages. And while I used 14 different beans and legumes nearly any can be used, or even just one (the recipe below reflects this).


What I find interesting about this bread is that while it adds tons of nutrition to the bread it also adds a soft texture. And interestingly, the beans mostly are mashed into the bread itself when kneaded. You can see in the image above there are just specs of beans in the finished slice. And if you are worried that this is a difficult bread to make, don't be...basically, after boiling the beans or grains you simply make this like you would any other whole wheat bread except you utilize the cooking liquid as the water and add the beans to the dough.


Whole Bean Bread
Makes 2 or 3 loaves
12 cups water
1 cup dried beans
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cooked beans and grains
½ cup cooking water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
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4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2 cups cooking liquid
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1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Boil the beans until very soft. As the beans cook add more water to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which is full of nutrients, will become part of the recipe (keeping a lid on the pot will slow it's evaporation). After the beans are cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature, refrigerating if necessary. After the beans are cooled drain them, squeezing them with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.

Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked and drained beans with ½ cup of the cooking liquid, 2 cups whole wheat flour, and 2 teaspoons instant yeast. Stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4 cups whole wheat flour, 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups cooking liquid; stir it just until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not to get yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at room temperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment will begin it's job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and the autolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.

After an hour or so, combine the ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3 teaspoons of yeast (add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover it loosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. Shape into loaves and place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until double in size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentation remains.

Bake the breads for about 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (either with ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every ten minutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and sound hollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.


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