Velvety Bean Bread | BBB

Second bake: one large and one mini loaf with egg wash


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.

Quick tips:

  • 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.


First bake on the left, second bake on the right

White bean puree

First bake: Two equal-size loaves


Velvety Bean Bread

Print Recipe
Serves: one large loaf or two small loaves


  • 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.

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  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Gorgeous crumb.
    Yes, I’d agree I think bread flour might get us a stronger rise. I forgot to slash my loaves and I’m thinking that was good luck on my part.
    Great to have you bake with us!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2017 at 4:49 am

      I slashed the loaf the first time and it didn’t do much. So I decided not to slash the second time.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 4:17 am

    How wonderful you’re baking with us again… and quick at it too! Fantastic loaves, love that airy crumb you have! I must say the first bake looks good too, I would eat that anyday. Great job!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Wow, what a dramatic difference between the two bakes! And how interesting that the loaf rose so beautifully without being scored. But even the so-called failure has a lovely crumb.

    I’m curious, could you taste the chives?

    Many thanks for baking with us!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Not scoring was the last-minute decision out of fear of a negative outcome. I can’t taste the chives I put in the second bake. However, the rosemary and thyme were very present in the first bake. I’d recommend that.

  • Reply
    July 21, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Love both your outcomes! The second almost reminds me of an English Muffin bread crumb. Lovely colour as well. I wonder if doing some extra folds before shaping might help with structure, it’s something I do with more slack dough, but neglected to do this time. Thanks again for baking with us!

    • Reply
      July 21, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Good idea, Kelly! Extra folds would certainly help. I used bread flour in the first bake and did the extra folds, the dough was much stronger. So the happier medium is somewhere in between that and all-purpose flour with no fold as in the second round.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    How beautiful!! I love the loft you got on the 2nd bake. But the 1st bake looks equally delicious.

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