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Sourdough breads with pigeon pea flour

JonJ's picture

Sourdough breads with pigeon pea flour

Derek and Gavin have been baking very interesting breads with (sweet) lupin flour lately. The promise and attraction of these breads is, to put it in Derek's words, "..taste delicious not too overpowering very light in mouth and stomach afterwards..." and "completely devoured in no time!".

So, it was with these thoughts in mind that I made the impulse purchase of a bag of pigeon pea flour and found myself making a sourdough bread with it when I got home from the shops. The bag itself recommended using the flour for baking biscuits and crepes or pancakes. And I found a paper that said that "the bread from 10% pigeon pea flour blend with 2–3% vital gluten and 0.5% SSL had high loaf volume and loaf quality" so went for approximately that amount in the final dough:

pea flour formula


When mixing the dough there was a clear pea (vegetable) smell to the dough. Dough was a nice pale yellow colour, which carried through to an attractive golden appearance in both the crust and crumb of the final loaves. When the bread was first cut, I noticed only the very smallest amount some of that 'off' pea smell taste (far less than when working the dough), but that taste note was lost the next day when the sourdough flavour of the bread developed. The starter used was about 2-3 hours past peak (and it did have a small refresher feed, but nevertheless, the sourdough tang was present in the taste).

I'm not completely convinced that pea flour brought all that much to these breads other than the lovely yellow colour, and possibly an improved protein composition. Nevertheless, I've got plans to use it again, perhaps at 5% in a loaf together with semolina to bring out a strong yellow colour.

  • Method:

        1 h 15m autolyse

        Added levain using the dough hook for 1 minutes only (load shedding kicked in and had to stop there).  Completed this with 50 slap and folds

        30 minutes later added salt and bassinage of 52g of water that had been held back

        15 minutes later an additional 10 slap and folds to bring the dough together after the bassinage

        At 2 hours after adding levain, gave it a coil fold

        At 3 hours after adding levain pre-shaped into rounds

        20 minutes later final shape

        30 minutes later into fridge

        (next day, 9.5 hours later) remove from fridge while oven heats (for 45 minutes)

        Into freezer for 15 minutes

        Bake on baking steel together - 220°C for 20 minutes with steam, then 23 minutes without steam at 200°C.


Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

I've never used pea or lupin flour and had to google SSL. The chewy-soft looking crumb of this bread has me drooling and the nutritional profile of the flour has me thinking. I'm the only one around here who can stand the sight of a pea, so maybe I'll see if lupin flour or some other comparable variety is readily available in small quantities. 

All those seeds, too. Yum.

JonJ's picture


I'd probably also recommend the lupin flours as they seem to bring with them a flavour that is desired (rather than those pea/bean flavours).

The flour from Australia is made from Lupinus angustifolious which has been bred to be a sweet lupin from what I can tell. Not sure if a bag of generic lupin flour that you purchase will necessarily be the same - there are lots of "lupini" flours for sale on Amazon and they don't say what they're made from - they may bring with a bitter taste.


Isand66's picture

I’ve never used pea flour other than the flowers to turn the dough blue.  Another interesting flour to try.  I’ve used garbanzo bean flour in the past with mixed results and was never a fan.



JonJ's picture

I did have the thought to use chickpea flour, but thought that it would bring with it a sandy texture like you get when you make chickpea fudge. I could be wrong! With the blue pea flour the amount you use is very small, like teaspoon quantities, right?


Isand66's picture

It’s not flour but the actual dried flowers from the peas that you soak in your water.  A little does go a long way.

gavinc's picture

Very nice bake and write up; very helpful. My next test of the lupin flour will be a sourdough. I was going to go with replacing the 10% whole-wheat flour with 10% lupin flour. After seeing that you used 2-3% VWG, I'm considering that also. I'll have a few days to ponder it. I've noticed thus far at the lupin flour is thirsty.



JonJ's picture

Derek had Wallaby bread improver in his bread, didn't he? If you've got some to hand perhaps think of using that too, in addition to the VWG? (My googling says that it contains the Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL or E481) emulsifier that was mentioned in that article that I found).

I get the impression from both of your bakes that the "sweet" Australian lupin brings a lovely flavour on its own to the bread, a flavour that you want and that is quite a bit different to other legume flours like the pea I used (or soya) which I think may bring with them some unwanted vegetable/pea/bean/grassy flavour notes.



Benito's picture

Those are beauties Jon, really excellent especially for the first time using that lupin flour, well baked.