Chickpea starter based bread is a an almost forgotten element of Turkish cuisine. As it’s hard to deal with and risky and also as it’s easier to make bread with store bought yeasts, baking breads with chickpea starter is not as common as old times. So the information sources are limited. That’s why I wanted to comprise a wide spectrum chickpea starter information source.
Tips for Making Chickpea Starter
Let’s start with the chickpeas. You can use any chickpeas you can find. The type doesn’t affect the result. You can break the chickpeas with a nut cracker or use a food processor.
For chickpea starter the only and most important thing to watch out for is temperature. Chickpea starter’s favorite thing is high temperature. So summer is better for chickpea starter than winter. If you are going to do this in winter, use an oven.
Constant and high temperature will shorten the time to obtain the starter. For example, you can make the yeast ready in 6 hours instead of 16 by heating the oven to 40 degrees and turning it off and reheating to 40 degrees when it cools down. If you do not want to use the oven, you can add and mix hot water in between. You can keep the starter jar in a bowl full of hot water. These methods will be very useful, especially in winter. Of course, trying to keep the yeast warm and don’t kill it. Expose to a maximum temperature of 50 ° C while ideal temperature is 30-40 ° C.
Chickpea starter is not a slowly developing yeast like sourdough starter, but it suddenly rushes. At the 15. hour if you don’t see any activities, don’t thing it’s gone, just wait. The activity will probably begin after 15.5. hour and your starter will be ready at 16. hour.
Once your chickpea starter is ready, you should only use the foam. If you strain and use all the water inside, you would be using unactivated mixture which will cause an unwanted smell in your breads.
I’m preparing yeast in a 1-liter jar. When the foam on the mouth I take it with a spoon then I put in the oven pre-heated at 40 C degrees for 5 minutes and some more foam forms and I again take it with a spoon and strain. In this way, I obtain around 1 cup of starter. I add 1 cup of flour to 1 cup of starter and get pre-ferment. This pre ferment is enough to ferment 1 kg of flour. Probably more than enough, but since I don’t need to bake more, I’ve never tried with more flour.
Is it necessary to make a pre-ferment?
It might seem very tempting for a moment to dodge and save some time but unfortunately it doesn’t work. Using the starter directly causes your dough not to rise enough and you get flat breads.
Chickpea starter is not a yeast you can use forever as sourdough, it is a one-time thing. You prepare, you make your bread and it ends after you eat the bread. It is not a yeast that you can hide and use the next day. You should use it immediately after preparation.
Finally … Yes, I will share recipes that you can make with chickpea starter in the coming days. But if you have the experience of bread making, you can always use the chickpea starter instead of the yeast you use and make the breads you always make. You should only increase the fermentation period by 2-3 or even 4 times (especially in winter).
Enjoy the recipe…
- 1 cup of chickpeas, coarsely chopped, with a food processor,
- 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour,
- 2 cups of boiling water,
- Salt with the tip of the teaspoon,
- 1 cup all purpose flour for pre ferment.
- Take the chickpeas, flour and salt in a deep jar, shake and mix,
- Add the water and mix with a clean wooden spoon,
- Cover with a kitchen cloth and place in a warm place for 16 hours (wrap with a blanket in the cold season),
- Take the foam (the foam itself is the active starter) formed on the mixture with a spoon and strain it with a plastic strainer,
- For pre ferment add 1 cup of flour to 1 cup of foam and mix,
- Cover with a plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until it doubles or triples in size.