Whole Wheat Black Bean Raisin Bread

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Sounds weird, I know, but you cannot taste the beans at all. Great for toast, keeps well, good boost of protein from the beans.

Preparation time: 2.5 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 6-8

Dietary guidance: v 

Tags: bread ยท


1 can low-sodium black beans (should be a scant 2 cups worth -- 14 oz can, I think)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons oil
4 teaspoons active dry yeast (that's 2 little packets)
1/4 cup warm water
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup raisins


Put the 1/4 cup warm water into a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Set aside and let it soften.

Put flour into a large bowl and set aside.

Put the milk, molasses, oil, salt, and beans into a blender and blend until it's thoroughly mixed. Add the yeast mixture, and blend for a few more seconds.

Pour the liquid into the bowl of flour. Add the raisins. Stir until you have one big sticky mess of dough. Sprinkle a healthy amount of flour on your counter or table (wherever you're going to knead the bread), dump the dough out, sprinkle more flour over the dough, and start to knead. And knead and knead and knead and knead. You need to knead for about 15 - 20 minutes (longer is better). Continue to sprinkle flour on the counter and the bread as needed, to keep it from sticking to the counter or to your hands.

When you're done kneading, shape the dough into a round, put it in a lightly greased large bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let it rise for about 45 minutes - 1 hour.

When it has risen, poke a finger into it - if it doesn't fill back in, you can punch it down, press it flat, and reshape back into a round, put in the bowl, cover and let rise. The second rise should only take about 20-25 minutes.

After the second rise, punch it down again, divide it and shape into two rounds. Let rest, covered, just until they get soft -- about 5 minutes.

After the 'rest' either form into round 'hearth' loaves, or put into regular loaf pains. Let rise about 30 minutes, then bake in a pre-heated 350 F oven for about 1 hour.

Remove from pans, let cool on a rack.

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