The velvety bean bread is hosted by Kelly of A Messy Kitchen at Bread Baking Babes. This is how she describes this bread: “a unique little loaf that is high in protein but a little lower in gluten than normal,” I was sold. This is a yeast bread that can be put together in a few hours, not a multi-day process.
Don’t remember the last time I baked a bread like this. This is a healthful and soft bread made with a straight dough that pairs well with the vegetable soup I’ve been making lately. Both use the nutrient rich and creamy Great Northern white beans.
Kelly also provides a link on: Four types of white beans, what are the differences? Navy, Great Northern, Cannellini, and baby lima beans, ranked in the order from the smallest to the largest, can be used interchangeably in most recipes whenever white beans are called for. Traditionally, navy beans are used in Boston baked beans, and in Louisiana-Style rice and bean dishes. Great Northern beans are commonly found in French cassoulets as well as, one of my favorites, soupe au pistou. Cannellini are widely used in Italian Minestrone. Baby Lima beans, or “butterbeans” are starchier than other beans and are used in succotash and casseroles. So far so good.
The white bean puree is among the first ingredients to add when the dough is mixed. Alas, I didn’t read the recipe carefully enough when I started making the bread. Messed up the order at which the ingredients should be incorporated and ended up with a stiff and rough ball of dough. The amount of dough was not quite enough to fill two large loaf pans. The moral of the story is: You need to have the process under control, or else, face the consequence. The resulting bread was underwhelming. The bread tasted great. Nonetheless, they were rejects or seconds, in my opinion. Although, this is supposedly home-baking, I should embrace the imperfections and all that they entail.
I baked the recipe the second time. It was more successful.
The dough rises quickly, and surprisingly, given the energetic enzyme activity of the white beans. Be watchful to avoid overripening at each fermentation stage. The first rise took me about two hours. The second rise took less than 30 minutes, with an indoor ambient temperature of 77°F. I’d reduce the amount of dry yeast to 1 teaspoon or 4 grams.
I made two loaves in the first bake and one large and one mini loaves in the second round. It might have been easier to make one large (9×5 inch) loaf, in retrospect.
The dough deflates just as fast as it rises in the second round. Did not slash the loaf due to concern of deflating the air bubbles in the dough. I could see the dough bubbling from under. I did apply an egg wash for some extra color and shine. I’d suggest using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour to build a stronger gluten structure.
Velvety Bean BreadPrint Recipe
- 7 g or 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 250 g lukewarm water
- 200 g drained cooked or canned white beans, room temp (I used Great Northern)
- 130 g or 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 14 g or 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 g or 1 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoon chopped chives
- about 320 g or 2 cups bread flour (depending on moisture level of the beans)
Mix the dough: Dissolve yeast in water. Process beans until smooth, transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer. Stir yeast mixture into beans. Add the whole wheat flour and stir for one minute, in one direction, to develop the dough. Add the oil, salt and chives and stir them in. Add 120 g of the bread flour and stir in. Add the remaining flour and knead in with a dough hook, or work in and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, until smooth.
Bulk Ferment: Place dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for 2-3 hours, or until almost doubled in volume.
Divide & Shape: Turn out dough and divide in half. Butter loaf pans. Form dough into a loaf and place seam side down in the pans.
Proof: Cover with lightly greased plastic and let the dough rise. Check at 1 hour and continue to proof if needed.
Bake: Preheat oven to 400ºF, have a spray bottle or small cup of water ready for steam. Slash each loaf lengthwise, place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, adding steam at the start of the baking. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for 25 minutes until rich brown with a matte finish. Check for doneness or internal temperature reaching 210°F. Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.
Adapted from "HomeBaking" by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid
Here is the link to the roundup summarized by Kelly of A Messy Kitchen.