Chipotle Black Bean Bread
Today I decided to try my hand at a new recipe, a Whole Wheat Chipotle Black Bean bread. The idea for the recipe, along with the majority of the ingredient list, is taken from the Sourdough Home recipe. I tweaked a number of ingredients and amounts, but my main changes were to convert the recipe to all whole wheat flour and to change it from sourdough-leavened to commercial yeast-leavened. The first change was because I generally prefer whole wheat breads, while the second change was mainly to eliminate a possible point of failure (I'm still quite new to sourdough baking). With these changes, my ingredients for a single loaf were as follows:
- 360g whole wheat flour
- 150g dried black beans, cooked and mashed
- 3/4 cup (approximately) water, including cooking liquid from beans
- 3.5 g yeast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp chile oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 1 can chipotles, lightly rinsed and coarsely chopped
I soaked the beans overnight on Friday, then cooked them for around 90 minutes first thing Saturday morning. I blended them, using around 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, until mostly smooth. Afterwards, I spread them on a plate and placed them in the fridge to cool them to room temperature more quickly. Meanwhile, I rinsed and chopped the chipotles (I used canned chipotles and wanted to get rid of some of the excess adobo sauce).
I borrowed the basic procedure for preparing this bread from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. I followed a normal mixing/kneading procedure except that I added the chipotles in at the end of the kneading. Canned chipotles are quite soft, so I basically treated them like very plump raisins. The dough had an unusual feel, presumably because of the beans, and took quite some time to pass the windowpane test. However, it smelled terrific, so I didn't mind the extra kneading too much.
After finishing the kneading, I let the bread rise once for around two hours, then a second time for around one hour. Both rises were higher than I'd expected, given the ingredients. After completing the rising, I formed a single round loaf and allowed it to proof for around an hour (the loaf is shown below before proofing). In retrospect, I probably should have proofed in a bowl or basket - the loaf spread more during proofing than I was expecting. Just the same, it was a very pretty dough. The photos unfortunately do not show the flecks from pepper seeds and larger pieces of beans.
I baked this loaf at 350 (with steam) for around 50 minutes. I was considering a hotter bake, but I was baking a loaf from another recipe at the same and that one called for a lower temperature. Due to spreading during proofing and a complete lack of oven spring, I ended up with a much wider, flatter loaf than I had planned. On the bright side, it smelled incredible while cooking and darkened to a very nice deep brown.
As you can see, the crumb was not very open. However, it was probably the softest of any bread I've ever made - in fact, the texture was much more cakelike than breadlike. The chipotles lent a smoky aroma to the entire loaf as well as a bit of a bite whenever you got a piece. The entire crumb had a slight tang, thanks primarily to the chile oil I suspect. Not a bread I'll be making every day by any means, but very flavorful and an excellent complement to other Mexican dishes.