Chickpea Starter Cretan Traditional Bread (Eftazimo)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This bread has no yeast, no baking powder or soda, and no sourdough starter. It rises solely with the power of bacteria found in chickpeas!
Recipe type: Bread / Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: about 14
  • 2 cups water (not chlorinated)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper kernels
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup chickpea flour (or 1 cup coarsely ground dried chickpeas), organic
  • 3½ cups bread flour (you may need some more)
  • 1½ teaspoons fine salt (7 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame
  • ½ teaspoon black sesame
  1. Bring to a boil 2 cups of water with the bay leaves, pepper, and sugar.
  2. Let it cool until you can dip your finger for ten seconds or more. Strain, discard the bay leaves and pepper and mix 1 cup of the water with the chickpea flour (or ground chickpeas).
  3. Let it rest in a warm place for 12-16 hours until foamy. You will probably not see any action before the 10 first hours, so it is best to do this overnight.
  4. Add 1½ cups bread flour into the mixture (if using ground dried chickpeas strain it first), and let it rise in a warm place until tripled in volume (about 2-4 hours).
  5. Add ½ cup of the scented water, 2 cups bread flour, the olive oil, and salt and knead until a pliable dough is formed.
  6. Make a long string and form a spiral like a snail. Or you can just put it in a loaf tin.
  7. Brush some water over the surface and sprinkle the whole sesame and the black sesame.
  8. Let it rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume (about 2-3 hours).
  9. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 365°F (185°C)
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until done.
  11. Eat!
Recipe by The Hungry Bites at