The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Corn Garbanzo Sourdough - the bread that went, "meh."

wassisname's picture

Corn Garbanzo Sourdough - the bread that went, "meh."

     This is a bread that came from having too many different flours in the house at once.  I went to the freezer intending to make another bread altogether but saw these flours and thought, "beans and corn, classic!" Beans and corn and chiles?  Even more classic!  This was to be my sourdough salute to the American southwest, except... the bread never really worked like I wanted it to.  It's not a bad loaf, it just isn't making me as happy as I thought it would.  Hmmm... maybe therapy is what I need.  I could analyze this bread all day, but here are the highlights:

What I like about it - The color contrast between the yellow tinted crumb and the reddish paprika tinted crust gives it a nice look.  The flavor works for me - a nice "something different" - particularly good when very fresh with butter and honey.  It looks better in photos than it actually is... maybe that's not such a good thing.

What I don't like - Stales very quickly, though the up-side to this is it makes very tasty melba toast-style crisp bread.  The corn flour seems to wreck the structure of the dough, which leads to this problem:  as you reduce the corn flour and the structure improves, the flavor goes bland; when there's enough corn flour for a nice balance of flavors the crumb starts to go flat, weak and crumbly - and stale even faster.  The dough is slack, sticky and feels like it is broken down almost immediately after mixing.  Worst of all?  I keep thinking, "Maybe it's me...?"  But, no other dough I make behaves this way so I don't think it's just me.

 The Final Attempt

The formula - This is the final formula I used to try to improve the structure.  It is not the one that produced the best flavor.  For better flavor the corn flour should be about 15-17% and the garbanzo (potent stuff, by the way) should be about 8-9%.  The WW comes from my starter and would not otherwise be necessary.  I tried this with a little more WW but it just got in the way of the other flavors.

A retrospective:

     A promising start



Even when they looked good there was just something missing.

  The tendency to go flat.

     Pretty, but...

Where to go from here - In a word:  Polenta.  I have a good feeling about polenta.  Forget the fine corn flour.  Otherwise, this dough as it is could make a good roll, or flatbread, or even a full loaf if it will be eaten very fresh.





ananda's picture

Hi Marcus,

I've made quite a bit of gluten-free bread over the years.

Maize grits were a good discovery, just a bit coarser than polenta.   Corn flour is no good in regular bread.  Please tell us more about garbanzo flour.

Your loaves have a lovely internal colour to them.

Best wishes


wassisname's picture

Good to know I'm not going crazy.  Yes, the color was the one thing that worked even better than I had imagined. 

The garbanzo bean (a.k.a. chickpea) flour is also finely ground and may impact the dough structure as well, but I wouldn't think the effect would be severe given the small amount.  The flavor is really strong, basically concentrated hummus without the garlic, so a little goes a long way.  I'll eventually be trying it again with the polenta, so we'll see.

In the case of both flours I was hoping the fine grind would allow me to insinuate the flavors into a simple sourdough without changing the basic feel of the bread.  Learned my lesson there!


ananda's picture


You are way too high with any bean flour at that level.   2% on flour, maximum.

Have you ever heard of using Chick Pea flour as a starter culture?   And you thought rye fermented easily!!!!

See Calvel for his views on the role of bean flour in the bread improver formulation!   He didn't like it very much!

I use soya flour as a filler if I have to devise these concoctions; lways knowing there are much better ways.   However this is a rich source of protein, no doubt at all.



wassisname's picture


I guess I should have checked on that first.   Another lesson learned.   I was really only in it for the flavor, nutrition I can get from eating actual beans, so perhaps a more subtle approach.   Thank you for your patient replies!   I'll find a use for those flours yet!


Salilah's picture

You can probably do a gram flour flatbread (not sure if it is the same - yellow chickpea flour - called gram or besan)

130g gram flour
1/2 tsp carom seeds, lightly pounded (optional)
1 heaped tsp dried pomegranate powder (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch red chilli powder
1/2 onion, finely chopped (optional)
about 5oml water cold to bind

Roughly (don't want to break copyright) - mix together with enough water to get a soft but not sticky dough.  divide into 4-5 lumps, roll out on floured surface
Heat frying pan (nonstick) and put bread in pan - cook until the bottom has gone gold / brown (about 30s) - turn over cook other side
You can then drip a bit of oil on or not - repeat turning 2-3 times at 20s
Keep covered and repeat with rest

Yummy with curry, good protein, fine for those who can't handle wheat

Many thanks to Anjum Anand, "Indian Every day" which is a great cookbook for indian food done light and healthily!

wassisname's picture

Yes, that sounds like the same kind of flour.  Thanks for the recipe, that does sound tasty!  Might have to try that tonight.