Okay, first thing’s first – the original recipe from which this stemmed is all over the place in various forms. It’s popular in slimming circles because of its low carbohydrate/high protein makeup, and also because it’s stupidly cheap and easy to make. Me being me, I fiddled with the recipe a fair bit when I made it — and I was pretty psyched with the results.
It is not, however, a complete bread substitute. My love affair with sourdough isn’t going anywhere — this is just a really filling and healthy option for when you want a bit of variation.
It doesn’t take the place of bread in my life — an unthinkable thing. It is, on the other hand, completely gluten-free, easily customise-able, and tasty in its own right. It also cuts really nicely, and doesn’t disintegrate when you dunk it in soup, which is a big deal if you ask me. It barely leaves a crumb behind! I hate soup with crumbs in. Gross.
You can customise it any way you like – I’ve seen people make cheese & tomato versions which sound lush. I’ve given the basic recipe I used here, as well as what you’ll need to make a slightly more Mediterranean-style roasted tomato & olive bread, but the choice is yours, my friend.
Chickpea Bread (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
1 loaf = 10 slices
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Food processor; whisk (I used electric to save my poor arms); colander; spatula; large mixing bowl; loaf tin/pan (mine is 29x12cm); greaseproof paper.
- 2 x 400g tins chickpeas
- 6 eggs, separated
- 2 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
- 3-4 tsp dried herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, and a bit of oregano)
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 3 tbsp sweetener
For the Mediterranean version: halve 200g of cherry tomatoes and toss with 1 tsp each olive/vegetable oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast for 25-30 minutes until soft & caramelised. Reduce the herbs used by half, and stir the tomatoes through the batter at the end of step 2, along with a handful of halved black olives.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then remove some of the moisture with a paper towel and add to your food processor, along with the egg yolks, baking powder, garlic salt, pepper and sweetener. Blitz until smooth.
- Add the whites to your mixing bowl and whisk for a minute or so until frothy and almost stiff – they’ll pretty much triple in size, which is legit magic. Add half of the chickpea mixture to the egg whites and fold in gently until almost combined; add the other half, along with the dried herbs, and carefully continue to fold everything together until it’s completely combined. The aim here is to make sure everything is mixed well without knocking the air out of your egg whites.
- Line the loaf tin with greaseproof paper, coming up all four sides so that it’s easy to lift out once it’s cooked. Pour in the batter, flattening the top, then place in the middle of the oven for around 40 minutes. The bread is cooked when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean – it might feel (or sound) a little damp when you press down on the top, but it will be cooked.
- Leave to cool for at least 30 minutes before lifting out of the tin. You can slice it while warm and spread it with butter (mmmmm), and the cut loaf will last in or out of the fridge for 3-5 days. Tasty with cream cheese & black pepper, or with peanut butter as a pre-workout snack.
The tomato and olive version is pretty excellent, I have to say. I’ll be trying an Indian-inspired one next, with curry powder and Nigella seeds, and will probably need to start my own chickpea farm by the end of 2019. It’s good to have goals, I guess?