Decorative Bread with Black Bean Filling

I wanted to try out some new combination patterns on bread. Pinterest is full of designs and I really loved the mix and match patterns. I figured out what I wanted to do and was waiting for my daughter to come back home from school. The first two weeks she was home she was not interested in any new recipes. Now she is back to her normal self. And I cannot wait to try out everything in my wish list before she is off to college in fall. This is my first attempt putting a decorative element on the bread. These decorations are supposed to be baked in a different color. It is just flour and water without any yeast. I have some breads with more complex decorations in my wish list and this was a good start for me.

This bread is put together in two distinct parts. The first is a round stuffed bread roll. And the other is a stuffed long roll. The long roll is covered in a lattice pattern and every thing is baked together.

I needed a filling and asked my daughter what she would like. Together we chose each ingredient and came up with this black bean, broccoli and carrot filling. It is mildly spiced and cooked without any oil. When done it is lightly mashed so it stays together and does not fall out when the bread is cut. You can adjust the spice and heat level based on your preference.

The bean stuffing and the whole wheat made this a very wholesome meal. A small portion goes a long way.

You will need
For the dough
50 gm starter 100% hydration
20 gm sugar
10 gm oil
160 gm flour
4 gm salt
70 gm water

For the Filling
1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked or canned
1 small carrot
5-6 florets broccoli
1 tsp. cumin coriander powder
1 tsp. cayenne powder, adjust to taste
1 tsp. turmeric powder
black pepper and salt to taste

For the decorative flower
2 tbsp. flour
water as needed

2 tbsp. cornstarch mixed in water

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl. Form a ball, it will be sticky, cover and keep aside. After half an hour moisten your hand with water and fold the dough twice. Cover and keep aside. For the next two hours fold the dough with moistened hands every half hour. The sticky dough will give way to a shiny elastic ball of dough. This is the no-knead and stretch-fold method. Bulk ferment covered for another 3-4 hours.

While the dough ferments prepare the black bean filling. Heat about 1/4 cup water in a pan. Add the black beans and the rest of the ingredients. Let it cook until the vegetables can be mashed. Do not overcook, you do not want a paste. Cool and keep aside until needed.

Divide the dough. Place one small portion aside. Divide the remaining dough into equal portions. Roll out the larger portions into long rectangular sheets. Flatten the small portion and stuff with the cooled filling. Pull up the sides of the dough and close the top to form a ball.

Stuff one of the large rectangles, fold the short sides first and then the long sides to form a stuffed rope.

Adjust the length of this rope such that it fits around the small ball of dough.

Place the rope on the second large sheet and ensure its length is a little longer than the rope.

Cut the sheet with a knife, a pizza cutter or a bench scraper as shown in the figure below. Make sure you cut at an angle.

Starting from one end fold the cut strips over the rope. Before you begin seal in the edge folding the dough over the rope.

When done place the small ball of dough on baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. Place the rope around the ball. Place the baking sheet covered in wrap in the refrigerator overnight to proof. If you want to decorate it as I have done, follow the next step before refrigerating it.

Mix the flour and water for the decorations to made a soft dough. Divide into four parts. Roll one of the portions into a ball. Roll out the three portions into small discs about 3 inches in diameter. Cut each disc along the diameter to form half circles. Bring the flat end of the circle together to form a petal. Repeat for each half circle to form six petals. Place then under the small ball of dough and place the flower on the bread. Place some parchment paper under the petals so they do not stick to the main part of the bread as it rises.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Take the baking sheet out of the refrigerator and wash with cornstarch wash. Bake for 40-45 minutes.



  1. Omg, how pretty this bread looks. Simply stunning, if i bake these sort of decorative breads i wont let anyone to touch. Fantastic job.

  2. hats off Varada on your skill in working with the dough to create these artisinal breads,...u surely have magical hands...
    m sure your daughter enjoyed the bread as well.

  3. Awesome Varada, just reading through the instructions my head was reeling. hhehe..hats off to your creativity!..

  4. Very very pretty. I am sure it is an easy one for expert bakers like you. The sourdough genre itself is foreign to me. I am not sure when I can take the baby steps :)

  5. That is one beautiful bread Varada. Love how patiently you've shaped it to perfection. Tasty filling.

  6. I am so in love with your stuffed breads this week. This one is so so beautiful and with the beans and carrot, it must be so tasty as well.

  7. Wow.. so.sinful.. no words foryour art.. its amazing.. so delicious.

  8. The bread looks very pretty especially with that flower. You have explained the steps so well.

  9. OMG Varada! That just looks so good. How patiently you have decorated the bread and love the beautiful little flower that you have placed on it. That will be a great centerpiece for a party or a hostess gift.

  10. you are just beyond compare with your beautifully shaped breads - cant even concentrate on filling or anything else I am just blown away by how beautiful the bread looks

  11. Another awesome bread, love the way you have shaped the bread and the filling is just awesome, makes it a complete meal.

  12. Oh, what a beautiful Bread is this! Varada, you simply rock with your creations..this filling is my husband's fav too!

  13. I am at awe at your skills Varada! The bread looks so good. I actually did not read the ingredients but went straight to your step by step pics and you have explained it so well and so beautifully executed! If ever I get the skill to bake like you , will definitely try this one.


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