Whole-Wheat Chickpea-Turmeric Bread, an interesting Ezekiel Bread variation...sort of

Beautiful, isn't it? This is just another example that you can make bread out of nearly anything you like. I happen to like chickpeas, and try to put turmeric in a lot of things because of the yellow hue it offers, but mostly because turmeric is so good for you. While the dough looks really yellow when it is raw, most of the color cooks out when it bakes. And the chickpeas add a really interesting sort of softness to the bread's texture. I mention that this is a variation of Ezekiel Bread because I used the same method as when making that bread but simply substituted the grains, legumes, and beans with chickpeas. As someone who eats a lot of bread I am always trying different ways to make it healthy. This is a nice variation. The recipe is below, but if you'd like to see how to make my recipe for Ezekiel Bread, click here. And if you'd like to read about my views on Ezekiel Bread, click here.

Whole Wheat Chickpea-Turmeric Bread
Makes 2 or 3 loaves
12 cups water
1 cup dried chickpeas
cooked beans
½ cup cooking water
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast

4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 cups cooking liquid

¼ cup honey
¼ cup olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher
3 teaspoons instant yeast

Boil the beans in the water for 60-90 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked. As the bean 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 grains are cooled drain them, squeezing them with your hands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid. Mash the chickpeas a little with a kitchen mallet or a heavy whisk.

Place two bowls side-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. In one bowl combine the cooked, drained, and mashed 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, one tablespoon turmeric 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.

Urban Simplicity.