Mamta's Kitchen

Easy No Knead Bread Loaf With Besan (Bengal Gram Flour)

Easy Besan Bread

Mamta Gupta

This bread is made by incorporating 25% besan (chickpea or Bengal gram) flour to 75% strong white flour (bread flour). I think more will make the bread dense. Chickpea flour gives it a slightly nutty taste. Try adding other flours like sorghum, maze (corn meal) etc., in place of besan. The technique I have used here the ‘no knead’ method that is popular these days. Many master bakers use slight modifications of this method and there are many recipes on the web. This one is based on a technique by Master baker Dan Lepard. Makes 1 large loaf or 1 small loaf and 2 bread roll.

Ingredients

  • 400 gm. strong* white flour or use maida white flour.

  • 100 gm. besan or Bengal gram/chickpea flour

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 320 ml. lukewarm water

  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil

  • *Strong flour has more gluten in it. Flour from wheat grown in hot sun of India should normally have higher gluten.

  • Optional extras: a handful of mixed seeds, linseed powder, whole yellow mustard seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, herbs of choice, like rosemary, oregano etc.

Instructions

  1. Instant yeast can be added directly to the flour. For other types of yeast, measure water in a jug and stir in yeast until it is dissolved. Keep aside for 15 minutes, until it begins to froth.

  2. Add and stir in oil into the yeasted water.

  3. Meanwhile, measure all other dry ingredients.

  4. Place flour and salt in a large bowl, fold it all in using as much water/oil mix as needed from your jug, making a soft dough. No kneading is required and the dough needs to be really soft, almost sloppy. Do not be afraid to use a little more or a little less than the amount of water given.

  5. Cover** and leave in the kitchen overnight or for 8-10 hours. It should be well risen, bubbly. If it is too warm in your kitchen, leave it in the fridge.

  6. Flour your worktop and hands liberally. Turn the dough out using a spatula or your fingers.

  7. Make a rough round and then flatten it with palms, stretching it out.

  8. Now fold in from both sides to the centre, overlapping one end over the other.

  9. Turn the whole thing over, rotating it a right angle, so the seam is now horizontal.

  10. Flatten it out again and fold again from both sides, overlapping in the middle.

  11. Lift it out and place seam side down into a bread tin or for a free-form bread, onto a baking tray.

  12. Let it rise until it gets double in size and feels springy to gentle touch.

  13. Turn the oven on to 210°C or 420°F.

  14. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Check by tapping on it (hollow sound), and the colour is brown all over. If necessary, bake it for another 5-10 minutes. I find that in fan oven, 22 minutes is usually adequate.

  15. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

  16. ** I use plastic shower caps that are given in hotel bathrooms. They make excellent covers for all kinds of bowls and plates. All my family and friends collect them for me!

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