Sourdough Home

“Bread and water – these are the things nature requires. For such things no man is too poor, and whosoever can limit his desire to them alone can rival Jupiter for happiness.”

— Seneca

Black Bean and Chipotle Bread
Also known as
Mexicali Heat

This recipe was adapted from Mark Miller and Andrew Maclauchlan's "Flavored Breads - Recipes from the Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe"

I've never been to the Coyote Cafe, but I've heard only good things about it, Mexicali Heatand the flavored breads title got me interested. The book was being remaindered, so it was all the more attractive. It was worth full price. However, being a sourdough fan(atic), I didn't want to make this bread with a sponge, the way Mark Miller and Andrew Maclauchlan do. So, it's been converted to sourdough. It is a moist, well risen loaf, that is rich with black beans, and warmed by the chipotle peppers. Mark Miller says it's reminiscent of a black bean soup, and I have to agree, but it's the smoky pepper bite that really makes this pepper-belly happy. Makes 3 good-sized loaves or 2 large loaves.

When we were running our bakery, we had trouble giving this bread away. Until we changed the name to "Mexicali Heat", and then it flew off the shelves - it just goes to show you that a name does matter, William Shakespeare not withstanding. No matter what you call this bread, I think you'll like it.

Ingredients:

Volumetric Measure (Cups)IngredientGramsBaker's Percentage (4)
2 CupsCooked Black Beans (1)290 Grams44.6%
1 1/3 CupsReserved cooking liquid (2)330 Grams50.5%
1 CupActive Sourdough Starter260 Grams40%
3 2/3 CupsBread Flour570 Grams86%
2/3 CupWhole Wheat Flour92 Grams14%
1 TBSPSalt17.2 grams2.7%
3/4 tspGround Cumin (3)1.7 Grams.3%
3/4 tspDried oregano (3)
1.3 Grams.2%
5 eaChipotle peppers, stemmed and chopped (3)15.52.4%

  1. You can cook dried beans, preferably without salt.  This is the best option.  If you can't do this, or haven't the time, look for canned beans, again without salt if possible.
  2. Drain the beans through a colander, collecting the cooking liquid.  If you don't have enough, add water to get the amount of liquid called for.
  3. Spices are NOT all created equal.  We had this recipe nicely balanced and switched to a different vendor's cumin.  Suddenly, all we could taste was the cumin!  Peppers and oregano can also vary.  So, bake a batch and then adjust the seasoning to make you, and your customers, happy.

Method:
Pick over and clean the 2 cups of black beans, removing stones as well as foreign matter and broken, cracked and discolored beans. Cover with water an cook until done.  Add more water as needed.  Make sure the beans are fully cooked. I usually cover them with water overnight, then cook them for 2 to 3 hours. For this bread, I don't salt or season the beans. If you're in a hurry, you can use canned beans, when I have to do this, I prefer salt free beans.

Next drain the beans, reserving the called for quantity of the cooking liquid. If you don't have enough of the cooking liquid left, dilute the liquid with water to make the required amount of liquid.

Pour the reserved cooking liquid into a large mixing bowl.  Add the beans and sourdough starter to the cooled cooking liquid.

Remove and discard the stems from the peppers. Chop the chipotle peppers. This could be messy as many dried beans are brittle. Use all the pepper, and the seeds as well.  If you are weighing ingredients, weigh after you have de-stemmed and chopped the peppers.

Add and stir in the whole wheat flour, chipotle peppers, cumin, oregano, and salt.

If you are measuring by cups, stir, and add the bread flour a cup at a time, until the dough becomes too stiff to stir. Pour out the dough into a well floured surface.

If you are weighing your ingredients, measure the flour into the mixing bowl and stir until it comes together.  Then turn out the dough onto a floured surface.

Knead the dough, kneading in additional flour as needed, until the dough is fairly smooth and springy. You may need to add more flour than is called for above, depending on how liquid the beans are. Knead 5 minutes or so, let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead for another 5 minutes.Mexicali Heat Butrition Analysis The dough should be soft and lively.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn, and cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise in a warm place for 1 - 2 hours, or until approximately doubled in volume.

Punch the dough down, transfer to a well-floured surface, and cut into two or three equal pieces.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal (or spray with Baker's Joy).

Shape the dough into loaves. Mark and Andrew suggested round loaves, I made oval loaves instead.  I've also made these into pan loaves, which worked well.

Place the loaves on the baking sheet, cover with a moistened and wrung out linen cloth, and let rise again in a warm place until well risen, which will take about 1/2 as long as the first rise.

I suggest you use a baking stone or quarry tiles. Whether or not you use such, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

You may spay the loaves with water, and then lightly dust them with whole wheat flour. I didn't. However, you can get much the same effect with a banneton.

Make two or three diagonal slashes in the tops of the loaves with a razor blade to allow the dough to expand in the hot oven.

Put the bread in the oven, and put a cup of water into a pan on the bottom of your oven. (I use a disposable baking pan to hold the water.)

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is caramel brown, and the loaf is done. While some people like the "thump" test, I prefer to take the bread's temperature with a quick reading thermometer. At my altitude, I shoot for an internal temperature is 195F/90C. At sea level, I'd try for 205F/96C.

Cool the loaves on a rack.

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