Baking & Pastry Project #1 - Millet White Bean Bread
This is the first recipe of my Baking & Pastry Project – Lean White Bread. It is a wonderful recipe to start out with as it is fairly easy yet offers a mental challenge. Usually, I select gluten free flours based on flavor or texture for any given recipe. This was the first time I had ever chosen flours based on protein content and other factors considered later.
My challenge was to make this bread using higher protein content gluten free flours, but a blended flour combination that make gluten free baked goods taste better. However, that also lowers the overall protein content, so it required a some playing with the individual flour amounts.
The highest protein containing gluten free “grain” flour is quinoa, but it can taste a bit grassy. Other high protein options are nut, seed or bean flours. Of the bean flours, white bean is considered the mildest of the beans and is also high in protein. I purchased my white bean flour, but you can grind your own using a coffee grinder. With white bean flour as the main source of protein, the other flours were chosen based not only on protein content, but by mildness in flavor and color (white). I used chia seed meal not only as a binder, but also as an additional source of protein.
I created an Excel spreadsheet with some handy little calculations built into the cells, so I could easily manipulate the flour amounts in order to get the same protein content as bread flour. By using the spreadsheet I could easily play with the amounts of the flour until I had the right amount for this bread.
With gluten free recipes that don’t contain any sweetener, I have found that I always need to do a taste test to make sure that there isn’t a bitter after taste. With the quantity of bean flour that I used, there was a slight after taste so I added the agave syrup to take care of it.
The final loaf had a lovely crust and a nice brown color. Although my family felt like it needed other foods served with it rather than eat it alone. My daughter liked eating it with strawberry jam and butter, I liked it served toasted with butter and fig preserves and my husband like his in a bacon and baby greens sandwich with a dollop of wasabi mayonnaise.
Total Protein: 36.46 g
60 g brown rice flour (5.4 g protein)
30 g sweet rice flour (1.8 g protein)
30 g arrowroot starch (0.09 g protein)
52 g millet flour (5.98 g protein)
102 g white bean flour (21.93 g protein) *
6 g chia seed meal (1.26 g protein) **
3 g instant yeast
6 g sea salt
32 ml agave syrup
178 ml water
Lay out a sheet of parchment paper. Then in a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. Pour in the agave syrup and water and stir together. Sprinkle the parchment paper with sweet rice flour and place the bread dough in the center of the paper. Shape into a round ball and score a semi circle on the top of the dough. Cover and allow to rise for 1 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven at the same time on a shelf in the top third of the oven. Gather an oven proof bowl that can hold water, a stone or brick, and a squirt bottle filled with water for steaming your bread. Allow the stone or brick to warm in the oven.
Remove the stone or brick from the oven and slide the parchment paper with the boule onto the baking stone. Place the water bowl on a shelf in the bottom third of the oven. Then place the brick or stone into the pan of water. Squirt the sides of the oven with water and the top of the bread. Bake for 3 minutes then squirt the sides of the oven and top of bread with water. Repeat this step twice more. Then continue to bake for another 11 minutes. Prop open the door of the oven and allow the bread to cook for 10 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven, then let the bread cool about 1 ½ hours before cutting.
* White Bean Flour – You can purchase white bean flour from Barry Farm or you can grind your own using a coffee grinder. Make sure to sift your bean flour before using to make sure any bits that weren’t ground are removed
** Chia Seed Meal – You can purchase chia seeds from Barry Farm and use a coffee grinder to turn them into meal.