The Fresh Loaf

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Chickpea sourdough rolls/kumru/nohut ekmeği

stevedrewking's picture

Chickpea sourdough rolls/kumru/nohut ekmeği



The other day I saw pictures of something that I think is called kumru - a Turkish sandwich that uses a chickpea sourdough roll. I've spent a few days reading and translating Turkish recipes (including turning cup measurements into grams), and testing the recipes but it fails every time.


Does anyone have a good recipe for the rolls? Or if anyone can see where I'm going wrong, here's my recipe:



500mL boiled water

4 bay leaves

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

190g dried chickpeas, cracked

3tbsp bread flour



160g bread flour



575g bread flour

80g besan/chickpea/gram flour

16g salt

2tsp sugar

2tbsp olive oil


Starter step: Sit aromatics in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove aromatics. Shake the cracked chickpeas up with the flour and pour in the infused boiling water. Leave somewhere warm for 16 hours. The mixture will separate and create a yeasty foam on top.


Levain step: Strain off the chickpea mixture reserving the liquid. Mix liquid 160g of bread flour. Leave to triple in size somewhere warm. (4ish hours)


Dough step Mix in dough ingredients and knead for 10 minutes until smooth. Rest dough for 2 hours to double it size. Knock back, cut into 50g pieces, shape and proof for 20 minutes.


Bake at 190 for 10-15 minutes.

It's at the dough step everything seems to stop working. The dough doesn't rise, and even when shaped the rolls end-up shapeless and oozing out.

Can anyone set me straight?

Sabina's picture

I didn't want to say anything because I don't actually know anything about this method, but I know how frustrating it is to not have anyone respond when you need help.

My first thought when reading your question is that you can't possibly get enough yeast activity just from boiling chickpeas and letting the water sit for a single day, but I Googled it, and there are other recipes which call for that, so it is something that is supposed to work.

You say the problem is at the dough stage. Does that mean you get the levain stage to work properly? It triples in size after 4 hours?

If the levain is rising, I would think the dough would rise afterwards too, unless you're doing something to kill or slow down the yeast. How are you warming the levain? Is it possible you're overheating it?

Also, after you make the dough, are you continuing to keep it warm? It's possible your dough is rising in a place which is too cold, in which case you could try finding a warmer place or just letting it rise for a lot longer. Although I know nothing about chickpea starters, two hours would be a very short rise time for a normal sourdough. You could try letting your dough sit for significantly longer, even up to a whole day. You might find it rises if you give it more time.

I can't think of anything else, assuming you are getting a rise in the levain step. If you aren't getting a rise in the levain step, there might be something wrong with your chickpeas.

I have to say that making bread this way seems difficult. You might have an easier time just using chickpea flour to build up a starter over several days.

stevedrewking's picture

Thank you so much for replying, I only just saw this otherwise I would have replied sooner.

The levain (which I've only just realised is called leaven - I'm an idiot) does triple in size. It's mixing it in with everything else that it seems to stop the growth and fermentation. I left the leaven to bubble up in my kitchen.

I've done a lot of reading up on the sourdough process since I posted this and have a few ideas to try. I will also try your suggestion of building a chickpea flour starter - seems obvious now you've mentioned it.

Thank you so much for your help!

Sabina's picture

I can't see why mixing your risen levain/leaven (I've seen both words used) with flour, water, oil, sugar, and salt would destroy its rising power. Have you tried finding a warmer place to let the dough rise? Have you tried leaving it to rise for a whole day? I can see why you're perplexed. I am too! Although I do think building up a chickpea flour starter would be easier, I am curious as to why your method is not working if the levain rises. Sorry I can't be of more help!