Whole Wheat Chickpea Bread

Recipe adapted from The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book

Being an experienced breadmaker is one of my goals! I’m taking steps toward that with this whole wheat and chickpea bread. It has a lot of added protein from the chickpeas and the increased nutrition of whole wheat flour. In the paper “Evaluation of the Nutritional and Sensory Quality of Functional Breads Produced from Whole Wheat and Soya Bean Flour Blends”, researchers found that, “legumes can complement cereals when blended at optimum ratio” (Ndife et al., 467). This is important “in regions where protein utilization is inadequate” (Ndife et al., 467). And chickpeas have a lot of protein. You can read more about them in my hummus post here.

In terms of whole wheat flour I found out so much information in the paper “Wheat Bran: Its Composition and Benefits to Health, a European Perspective”. There are a lot of different components involved in whole wheat flour, “The wheat grain or ‘caryopsis’, which is harvested for human nutrition, is composed of a number of different tissues: the germ (or embryo); the endosperm, which is packed with starch grains to provide energy for germination; the thick cell-walled aleurone layer, encasing the endosperm; and the pericarp” (Stevenson et al., 1001). Of all of these, the bran (“pericarp, testa, and hyaline and aleurone layers”) has the most nutritional benefits, “Bran is used in the production of brown and wholemeal flours, hence retaining some of the valuable nutritional components that are depleted when these fractions are further removed in the refinement of white flour” (Stevenson et al., 1002). Something I hadn’t learned that this paper illustrated was that whole wheat flour also contains a compound called phytase. This compound has been shown to decrease the uptake of certain compounds like “iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium” (Stevenson et al., 1003). This could be concerning for vegetarians who typically have a diet higher in phytase, “nevertheless, most studies of vegetarians indicate that iron and zinc status is adequate, and it appears that there may be some degree of physiological adaption of the gastrointestinal tract to increase absorption of trace elements and so overcome the presence of phytic acid” (Stevenson et al., 1004). Isn’t the human body amazing?! They also noted that this relationship with phytase varies person to person, so it’s important to know how your nutrition is affecting your body (Stevenson et al., 1004). This paper also highlighted the positive outcomes that consuming whole wheat flour can have, wheat bran has been shown to decrease colon cancer, as well as help with cardiovascular disease, obesity and digestive health (Stevenson et al., 1006-1008).

Try this bread recipe today!

Makes: 1 loaf


½ cup dry chickpeas + 2 cups water

1 tsp active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

2 ½ cups whole wheat flour

2 ½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp honey

Chickpea cooking liquid + cold water to make 1 cup (want it to be about 70 degrees F)

⅛ cup olive oil


1. Simmer the chickpeas for 3 hours or until soft. Drain (reserving the water) and mash the chickpeas.

2. Add the yeast to ¼ cup warm water and let sit. Add flour salt and mashed chickpeas in a bowl. Make a well and add the yeast mixture as well as the chickpea cooking liquid, olive oil and honey. Mix well and then knead for 20 minutes.

3. Add your dough ball to an oiled bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place for an hour and a half. Knock out the air and let rise for 45 minutes.

4. Add dough to a loaf pan and let rise once more. Bake 45 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Works Cited

Ndife, Joel, et al. “Evaluation of the Nutritional and Sensory Quality of Functional Breads Produced from Whole Wheat and Soya Bean Flour Blends.” African Journal of Food Science, vol. 5 no. 8, 2011, pp. 466-472.

“Mediterranean Garbanzo Bread.” The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: a Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking, by Laurel Robertson et al., Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003, pp. 159–159.

Stevenson, Leo, et al. “Wheat Bran: Its Composition and Benefits to Health, a European Perspective.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, vol. 63, no. 8, 2012, pp. 1001–1013.