My favorite part about cooking is the opportunity to experiment in the kitchen, however crazy the idea might sound, it's fun! Things generally never work on the first try when I'm trying out something new, my failed experiments generally involve a lot of scribbled notes on paper stained with food, there'll be asterisks to indicate what I should try to modify the next time round, basically it resembles a college student's chemistry lab notebook. Sometimes, the outcomes even up in trash can, yup it's happened. This recipe was no different but I enjoyed working on it.
I've been wanting to try a couple of chickpea flour recipes at home that I could hopefully bake in the oven. I took a bit of help from an Indian chickpea flour steamed savory dish, called dhokla and classic western baking techniques. Dhokla is a spongy bread like dish that uses yogurt for fermentation and sometimes a little bit of baking soda, I skipped the yogurt in favor of buttermilk and yeast. Buttermilk gives a sweeter flavor and the combined action of the yeast and yogurt bacteria helps to create little pockets of air that make the bread spongy.
Chickpea flour based breads have a distinct taste and if you like it, then this bread recipe is worth trying out. The crust is golden and soft when warm, the inner texture of the bread has lovely tiny holes that help create the soft texture. Serve it warm with a little salted butter or dice it up and serve it with some olive oil mixed with za'atar. You can store this bread in an airtight container but I recommend reheating it for a few seconds in the microwave and serving it warm.
yeasted chickpea parmesan herb bread
yields : 4-6 servings
2 cups (about 6 1/2 ounces) chickpea flour
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
2 cups whole buttermilk
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder (if you want it slightly hot, replace with 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1 teaspoon dried herbs (za'atar or oregano or basil or any other dried herb of your choice can be used here)
1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil for greasing the pan
1. In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients from the chickpea flour to the sea salt. Whisk until completely combined and smooth.
2. Grease a 9 inch square baking pan with the butter or oil. Pour the batter into the pan and cover loosely with a clean cloth and allow to rest in a warm spot for at 2 hours.
3. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Remove the cloth and sprinkle the dried herbs over the surface. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown and the center is firm to touch and a skewer when inserted comes out clean from the center.
4. Allow the baked bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool for another 10 minutes. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve warm with butter or olive oil mixed with a za'atar.