Dipping my hands in flour felt like dipping my toes in soft sands on a beach after a very long winter. When I was a kid, I could barely wait to take my shoes off and sink my feet in sand when we finally got to the summer house in Bandirma every June. Feeling the grit of sand under my feet meant so much to my child-brain.
Yes, that is how I felt when I finally felt the flour on my hands again. I opened the book, Sultan’s Kitchen, to try what had been on my list for so long : Bread with Chickpeas… The original recipe is like a sourdough recipe, the overnight chickpea starter was supposed to ferment and provide me with bunch of little bubbles in the bowl.
Next day, I did not see many bubbles, just some wanna-bees floating around. I was a little bit disappointed of course. But I have never had any luck with sourdough starters before, so I was not shocked greatly. I would like to think that I keep my house so clean there is no bacteria left in the air to give me a successful sourdough starter!
Decided to go on. The recipe calls for barley flour, so the barley pearls I had, had to go into a coffee grinder which I use for nuts and spices. So they did. It grinded alright, along with all the black plastic ring that was supposed to be around the perimeter of the insides. So now, my barley flour had black plastic speckles in it.
Well, a bread with plastic in it was not on my to-do list. At this point, I was about to throw everything into the trash, head to the couch and watch another episode of Agents of Shield.
Then I remembered someone saying something about how people give up easily in the face of small failures and that more people need to be just fearless and kick the failure’s butt in the kitchen. (looking at you Jenni! :))
If I had left the kitchen at that moment, I was going to waste the starter and I knew I was not going to try this bread ever again! So I adjusted the recipe to my mood and moved on with the bread making disregarding the original recipe. I added little bit yeast to force more bubbles and omitted the barley. Just went on with the starter and added more flour, called it a day.
It became one hearty, dense, not your typical bread with the subtle nuttiness from chickpea flour.
Later on, we called it “open faced sardine sandwiches”.
Moving on always seems like a better approach.
Bread with Chickpeas (Nohutlu Ekmek)
- 1/2 cup of whole dried chickpeas
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
- 4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water
- 1-1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Black caraway seeds, sesame seeds for topping
For baking, I followed the instructions on Le Creuset’s website for baking bread. Here is the link.
1. Grind half of chickpeas to make a coarse flour. Combine all of the ingredients in the starter in a bowl. Cover with a cheesecloth and leave it at a warm location overnight.
2. Next day, combine the flour, salt and yeast in a big mixing bowl or in your stand-mixer bowl. Add the starter and start kneading. Gradually add more warm water until you have a nice, dense dough which does not stick to the sides of the bowl.
3. Place it in a oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until it doubles in volume.
4. Lightly oil inside of a cast iron dutch oven (medium size, about 9 inch in diameter), shape the bread into a ball and place in the middle of the dutch oven.
5. Leave it uncovered until it rises again. Slash the top with a sharp knife, brush some olive oil on top and sprinkle with black caraway seeds, sesame seeds or anything you want.
6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover the dutch oven and place it in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, then remove the cover and reduce the temperature to 375. Bake until a thermometer inserted reads 200 degrees – or until it is brown and sounds hollow when tapped.