After a whole lot of thought and a wee bit of experimenting, I’ve decided that for the most part I prefer to cook dried beans without presoaking. That said, I will definitely use the brining method for certain beans and in certain situations. For example, I’m guessing that larger beans, such as cranberry beans, will benefit from brining. Also probably black beans. But chickpeas? No. At least mostly no.
Normally, I cook dried chickpeas in the crock pot for 10 hours, on low. It is much faster to cook them on the stove but I love the efficiency of the crock pot. So today, even though I anticipated a much shorter cook time, I decided to use the crock pot so the beans could cook while I was out erranding. My cooker’s minimum time choice is 4 hours, on high, so I set it for that with the idea that the beans would probably be done in a couple of hours. Not so. In fact, the beans cooked on high for 6 hours. Too long for my dinner plan but not long enough for a work day. I also noticed no improvement in either taste and texture. Therefore I see no reason to bother soaking in the future unless I will be home to cook the beans on the stove.
I’m not posting a recipe today because the chickpeas took so long that I wound up eating a frozen pizza. Followed by an obscene amount of those Danish Butter Cookies, the kind from the blue tin. Ugh. I feel terrible! Thankfully tomorrow will be better. I have cooked, salted chickpeas in the fridge, ready to transform into a gratin tomorrow evening when I get home. Plus I marinated a couple of cups of chickpeas with diced red onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and honey, to snack on and throw in salads for the next few days. The rest of the cooked beans are in the freezer, in 2-cup containers, ready for quick meals in the weeks to come. Who needs canned beans when you have a freezer!