Tag Archives: chickpea flour

Low Carb Chickpea Bread

21 Mar

Yep, I’m still looking for the perfect low carb bread. I’ve tried 4 recipes, some with different combinations of ingredients and must say that of all of them, this recipe is by far the best. I’ve called this bread Low Carb Chickpea Bread just to distinguish it from the others. It is a misnomer because the bread is not made wholly of chickpeas nor are chickpeas the main ingredient. However, there are chickpeas in the bread.

After purchasing gluten on-line, I set out looking for bread recipes and printed out a few. It is interesting what can be used to replace flour – there were recipes with almond meal, wheat bran, whole wheat flour, flaxseeds, chickpea flour, oat bran and, and, and…  Well, over the course of 4 weeks, we’ve been having good and bad bread. One thing I’ve learnt though, is that gluten is stringy and will give your bread a gummy, rubbery bite. It seems you have to live with it. If and when I find the ultimate recipe and bake a low carb bread that really tastes like regular bread, I’ll be sure to post it!

I found the recipe for Low Carb Chickpea Bread on Monya’s Vegetarisch Rezepte blog in German. Luckily, she also has this recipe in English here.

The day I saw the recipe, I found that I had all the ingredients on hand and immediately started out to make the bread. I measured everything into my bread machine until I came to the gluten. I had quite a bit of gluten but it is so light that I really needed a lot of it to make up the 250 gr called for – 2 full cups to be exact. As luck would have it, I didn’t have 250 gr. My weighing scale said 195 gr!! Well, I couldn’t postpone the baking – the dry ingredients were sitting in the liquid. Just too bad I thought – I’ll just see what happens with less gluten.

Look what came out of the oven!

Low Carb Chickpea Bread

I’ve never baked such a fantastic looking loaf of bread with any kind of wheat flour. I’m not sure if this was a fluke or not. On tasting, the bread had that gummy texture but it was pretty good. We then tried toasting it. The gummy texture was less noticeable. So from then on, we had toast every morning and really enjoyed it.

Well, I just had to know what the bread would be like if I had used 250gr gluten so I baked it again two days ago. This time I thought the dough did not come together as well as it did with just 200 gr gluten. It also did not rise as beautifully in my oven as the first loaf. The end result was a much compacter loaf of bread – more like the dense German breads.

Second try with 250 gr gluten - didn't rise so much

The gummy texture was less noticeable. Check out the two close-ups.

Bread made with 200 gr gluten

Bread made with 250 gr gluten

Look at the grain. The bread with 200 gr gluten was lighter with more air pockets.

I think the lighter bread tasted better toasted while the heavier one was better eaten untoasted.

If you would like to try out these breads, do visit the link above and just make the change to the gluten. I did add about 50 ml extra water while the bread machine was churning. The bread I made with 200 gr gluten was only baked for 45 min while the other one was baked 45 min, taken out of the pan and baked another 10 min. on the rack.

Good luck!

Spaetzle

16 Mar spaetzle

Spaetzle means little sparrow in German but no, these are not little sparrows to be eaten, thank goodness! Spaetzle is the name given to a kind of homemade noodle which the southern Germans serve as an accompaniment to their meat dishes and with gravy. The noodle can also be served as a main course. In this case, it is topped with melted cheese and roasted onions and is called Käsespätzle (cheese spaetzle) or when there is leftover spaetzle from a previous meal, the leftovers are stir-fried with some meat, veggies and egg or whatever is left in the pantry. This little noodle has crossed borders and is also served as an accompaniment in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, in the Alsace region of France which borders Germany and in the northern part of Italy which borders Austria.

When I came to Germany, I fell in love with spaetzle, bought myself a spaetzle press and re-created these at home. There is absolutely no comparison between homemade spaetzle and the dried packaged version. Just doesn’t taste the same. If I had a choice between having spaetzle or potatoes with my meal, I would invariably choose Spaetzle.

Spaetzle can look quite different depending on the spaetzle press you use. It could come out in strips about 4 cm (about 1 1/2 inches) long …

…or in little knobs or buttons.

In the latter case, they are called Knoepfle which means little buttons. I have both types of presses but have had more success using the ‘button’ press.

Like all pasta and other types of noodles, the main ingredient is some kind of flour, whether it be wheat, spelt, buckwheat, rice or durum wheat, all of which spell out loud – CARBS! If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I discovered Shirataki noodles some time ago. I  ordered a huge box containing 30 packets and am by now a bit Shirataki-ed out. So when I found this recipe which said Low Carb Spaetzle here in German and found I possessed all the ingredients to make it, I immediately printed out the recipe and whipped  this up. There was no nutritional information given. Only after I made the spaetzle did I realize that it couldn’t be so low-carb when the recipe called for 200gr of chickpea flour. I put the ingredient list through the nutritional calculator on Spark Nutrition which I use frequently and to my dismay, saw that one portion contained 19.9gr carbs! So really, this recipe has no place here on my blog.  I then checked out the nutritional information for my normal spaetzle recipe and one portion has 49.2gr carbs.

But … I am still going to post this recipe because it turned out really well, tasted good and well, once in a while you’ve got to give yourself a treat,so why not a treat which already has less than half the carbs in a normal spaetzle portion? Besides, I tried a spaetzle recipe using soy flour and it was a flop – so it’s back to this spaetzle recipe for me.

This recipe is a translation taken from the forum linked above. The author says the recipe makes enough for 3-4 persons when served as an accompaniment but for my family, it looked like it could serve 5-6. I’ve calculated nutritional information based on 6 servings. I’ve also just noticed that the liquid used is milk but I didn’t see that and used water instead, so you can try both.

For this recipe you will need a spaetzle press. It is also possible to make spaetzle without a press but it seems a laborious job to me and is probably for those who know how. I used a spaeztle press which looks like this. I think I read somewhere on the German forum that it didn’t work so well with the other type of press.

Chickpea Flour Spaetzle (serves 6)

2 Eggs, beaten and topped up with milk to 250 ml

1 Tsp salt

50gr gluten

200gr chickpea flour (also called gram or besan flour)

2 Tbsp olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add some olive oil and salt to the water.

Now start preparing your batter. Mix everything in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

You should get a relatively thick, sticky, gluey dough which adheres to your wooden spoon.

When your water is boiling, put the spaetzle maker over the pot and working quickly, put in as much of the dough as you can into the container.

Start pushing the container back and forth over the sieve and the batter will drop into the water in little drops. They will rise to the surface when cooked. This happens really quickly. If your pot is not big enough or if you can’t work quickly enough, stop and scoop out the cooked spaetzle before proceeding with the rest of the batter. I find this batter much easier to work with than the normal spaetzle batter containing flour.

And voila, one part of dinner is ready.

Enjoy!

Nutritional Facts – per serving if recipe serves 6

Total cal – 229.8 kcal; Fat – 9.1 gr; Carbohydrates – 19.9 gr; Protein – 16.3 gr.

As a comparison, my normal spaetzle recipe which uses 400gr flour, 4 eggs, salt and water and also serves 6, has per serving:

Total cal – 279.3 kcal; Fat – 4.3 gr; Carbohydrates – 49.2 gr; Protein – 11 gr.

Update 25/09/2011 – I just made Spaetzle today and instead of using 200 gr chickpea flour, I used 150gr chickpea flour and 50gr soy flour. It worked and tasted so good with my Hungarian Gulasch. If the whole recipe serves 6, then it works out to 13.9gr net carbs and if it serves 4, then its 20.8 gr net carbs. Next time, I’ll try 100 gr chickpea flour and 100 gr soy flour. 

Note: the alteration above does not appear on the link below so make the adjustment if you wish to use soy flour.

Print this recipe – Chickpea Flour Spaetzle

%d bloggers like this: