I have to admit I am still intimidated by bean flour. Using it is a new experience for me. Since 2016 is the International Year of the Pulse, I thought I would try my hand at experimenting with making homemade bean flour and baking with it.
Do you have old dried beans in your pantry and don’t want to throw them out but aren’t quite sure how to use them? Make some homemade bean flour! The dried beans don’t have to be old to make flour, it’s just a great way to use them! We will be on this journey together as I experiment with different types of beans and share how I’m using the flour I make. After all, cooking with bean flour is an easy way to add protein and nutrients to any dish. Not to mention gluten free!
I used two different blenders to make the flours. I recently purchased a Vitamix and am still learning all the ways it can pay for itself in my kitchen. It is a significant expense, but this thing is amazing! One thing you have to know when you use a blender to make bean flour: do not run it until the beans are finely ground. You do not want it to overheat! Run it for a minute, then let it rest.
Notice the difference in the different types of bean flour and the wheat flour for comparison.
Black Bean Flour
Pinto Bean Flour
Lima Bean Flour
Navy Bean Flour
Garbanzo Bean Flour
I found that if you run garbanzo beans on the lowest setting or just pulse them (no pun intended) they just bop around and are hard to grind. If you pulse them at the highest setting and then run the blender at the highest setting for a minute, let the machine cool, then repeat, you will get a fine flour. I used an Oster blender for the Lima beans and they pulverized quickly. I’m not sure how to use the Lima bean flour yet, except for maybe thickening soups and stews. If any of you have any experience with Lima bean flour, please let me know!
Here’s what I learned while experimenting:
These are approximate measurements.
1 cup of whole dried pintos = 1 cup flour
1 cup of whole dried garbanzos = 2 cups flour
1 cup of whole dried black beans = 1 1/3 cups flour
1 cup of whole dried navy beans = 1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup of whole dried lima beans = 1 cup flour
Experiment on your own with blenders or wheat grinders. Let me know what works best.
I tried three different recipes using three different flours. I used straight Lima bean flour to make biscuits … BIG mistake! If any of you need a hockey puck (or 12), let me know.
I used the black bean flour to make a bean dip based on a recipe from the Bob’s Red Mill website. I adapted it and added sour cream and a little lime juice, and it’s quite tasty!
The third recipe, garbanzo bean flour, was used to make Farinata Genovese. This dish turned out great! It’s a flatbread that you cook in a cast iron skillet in the oven. The batter has to sit for between 1-12 hours. I am impatient, so it was just 1 hour. I’ll have to try it again after it sits for 12 hours to see if time makes a difference.
Black Bean DIp
Black Bean Dip
Adapted from Bob’s Red Mill
3/4 cup black bean flour
1/4 tsp cumin (you might want to use less)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 lime, juiced
2 tbsp sour cream
- Boil the water in a saucepan on medium heat.
- Mix all the dry ingredients. Whisk dry ingredients into the water. Stir 1 minute cooking over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover saucepan and cook and cook an additional 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should have the consistency of pudding. If it doesn’t, cook longer.
- Cool a bit before adding the salsa, sour cream, and lime juice.
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s book The Best Recipes in the World
1 cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1 3/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
Fresh rosemary leaves
- Sift the 1 cup of garbanzo flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper. Slowly add the water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cover and let sit for 1 to 12 hours. The batter will thicken and should be the consistency of heavy cream.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a 10-inch skillet over medium heat on the stove top. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into the heated pan and swirl to cover pan completely. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onion and let it cook for one minute. Pour the batter into the skillet and sprinkle the top with rosemary leaves. (Use your judgement. If you like the taste of rosemary, add more; if not, use less.)
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and bake for 20-30 minutes or until it is no longer custardy in the middle and the edges are set. Turn on broiler and broil top until it takes on a golden brown color.
- Allow the Farinata to set for a few minutes and then carefully remove from pan to a cutting board using two spatulas. Allow to cool briefly. Best served warm but is good cold.
I would love for you to comment on how you use bean flour in your cooking and baking! Or take a photo of your flour and tag @californiabeans on Instagram.