Monday, 14 March 2016

Bean and wholewheat rolls

There are dozens of books out there on innovation. I'll bet not one of them tells you that resignation can be a tool for new ideas. 

I was weighing out wholewheat flour for bread, and I thought, 'if I am going to end up with a dense loaf anyway, why not put in ingredients that I wouldn't normally have dreamt of adding (because it would make the loaf dense)?

And so I pulled out not one, but two ingredients - both local (yay) and incredibly tasty. 

The first was cowpea, which is not a cow-shaped pea, nor a pea-sized cow. It is good old chavli (in Maharashtra), or the bean called Vigna unguiculata. The second is the moth-bean, which seems like a baffling name until you realise it has nothing to do with flying insects. Moth (rhymes with both) is the Hindi name for a little brown bean called Vigna aconitifolia .

I mixed 25 grams of each bean and ground them together in my mixer to get 50 grams of coarse powder that looked like this. 

I added 450 grams of wholewheat flour to the mixed ground beans and set them to soak in 500 ml of water (100% hydration) for an hour. 

An hour later, I added 8 g of salt, 3 g of fresh yeast and kneaded the mess into a smooth dough. Kneading was surprisingly easy, in spite of the high levels of hydration and the coarseness of the bean mix. 

90 minutes later, I patted the dough out on a floured board and cut it into rough rectangles. I didn't even attempt complicated folding and shaping, since the dough was really really slack. 

30 minutes later, I scored the rectangles feebly, sprayed them with water and set them into an oven preheated to 250ºC.  After 8 minutes, I turned the temp down to 200ºC and let them bake for 10 more minutes.

After a cooling period short enough to give mini skirts an inferiority complex, one roll was put to the taste test. 

And then another. 

By the time butter made an appearance at the table, I knew there would be no leftovers of this experiment. And I was right!