Chickpea Cob Loaf

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Who doesn’t love a loaf of freshly baked bread! I like most people used to associate making my own bread with being cumbersome and time consuming and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the actual time spent on working on it was not more than 20-30mins, and its only the proofing or letting the loaf rise is what takes time. Its so ridiculously simple, specially if you have a kneading machine (theres a no-knead version as well out there in which I still need to try) that I am surprised that more people don’t do this at home! It has to be some kind of bread maker conspiracy.

I got inspired to try baking my own bread on one of my recent trips to gorgeous Bruny Island. The cottage where we were staying used to provide us with a breakfast basket with freshly baked Ciabatta and croissants with spreads, left right outside our door in the morning. It was a delight waking up on cold mornings and opening the door to fresh bread straight out of the oven. I knew I had to try it at home to mop up all those soups and gravy dishes that you have to make in Autumn.

The fun part about home made bread is that you can play with the ingredients, stuff it with cheese, olives, herbs, garlic or top it with seeds. You can absolutely do your own thing. And just think of the expression on your friends and families faces when they look at the wonder you have created .

This recipe uses chickpea flour which gives it a yellow colour and crumbly earthy taste which is perfect for mopping up sauces and soups. I made this recipe as is from ‘How to bake’ series, in the Guardian, by Dan Lepard, and the results were great.

Here’s the step by step guide on how to bake the chickpea cob loaf. Do remember that the success of any bread is in giving it sufficient time to rise as you might notice that it would rise quickly in summer months but might take a lot longer in winter months.

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Ingredients                                                                    Yields : 1 loaf

  • 50gm Unsalted butter
  • 500gm white all purpose flour plus more for dusting and shaping the loaf
  • 175gm chickpea flour
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 300 ml warm water or more for kneading the dough

Recipe:

  1. Add yeast and water and let bubbles form on the surface (this would 3-5 mins). This will help in activating the yeast. Do not use hot or cold water as that will kill the yeast. Use lukewarm water for best results.
  2. Rub the butter through the two flours and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the yeast mix to the bowl and mix to form  smooth dough, do not knead at this point. Add more water as required. Leave it for an hour covered with a tea towel.
  4. Now lightly knead the dough for for around 10-20 seconds only and leave it for another 30mins.
  5. Flour a tea towel and a clean workbench and tip the dough onto the workbench. Pull the edges to the centre six or seven times to make a giant Kaiser roll shape.
  6. Place the dough seamside up on the cloth and gently lift it into the bowl. Cover with the tea towel and leave it to rise for at least 1-2hours in a warm place.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced).
  8. Prepare a baking tray / pizza stone by lightly flouring the surface. Carefully roll out the dough seamside up on the baking tray.
  9. Bake for 20mins, then reduce the heat to 200C (180C fan forced) and bake for 25mins more until done.

*The way to check the doneness of the bread is by knocking on the base and a hollow sound should come out. That means the bread is ready to be pulled out of the oven. Cool it before slicing it up and serving with some extra virgin olive oil and parsley butter!

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