I developed this recipe to get rid of the many cans of beans I had sitting in my fridge, drained of their precious aquafaba. The beans up the protein content of the bread and enrich the dough, giving it a wonderfully soft texture and more delicate crumb. Although the sponge does smell rather "beany," the chickpeas are indistinguishable in the final loaf. I always make a double recipe (in two separate bowls) and bake four loaves, or two loaves and a dozen buns. (And I apologize for my idiosyncratic measurements. That's just how I roll.)
Makes 2 loaves or 12 buns
- 1lb 1oz flour (see note below*)
- heaping tbsp instant yeast
- 1/2 can unsalted chickpeas + warm water to make 20oz
- all the sponge
- 11oz flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 3oz oil
- 2 1/4 tsp salt
1. Make the Sponge: Whisk together flour and yeast. Place your blender container on your scale, add the chickpeas, then the water to make 20oz. Blend until very smooth. Add to the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until blended. It will take a little elbow grease. Cover and let sit for an hour.
2. Make the Dough: add the remaining ingredients to the sponge and bring into a dough. Knead for 5-7 mins, or until smooth.
3. Let rise in a lightly oiled bowl for an hour, or until doubled in size.
4. Punch dough down. If Making Bread: divide into two, shape into loaves, and let rise in 1.5 lb loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 38-40 mins. If Making Buns: divide into 12 pieces and shape into boules. Flatten into pucks and let rise on a large baking sheet (or two) lined with parchment paper. Brush with soy milk and bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
*NOTE: You can use hard baking flour, all purpose flour, or a mix of the two. All purpose flour gives the bread a "country loaf" feel and is perfect for hamburger and hotdog buns (and makes a great loaf too). When I use hard flour, I usually slash the tops of the loaves (and the hamburger buns) before baking (as you can see in the picture). You can also use whole wheat flour but may have to add more water to the final dough.