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Chickpea Starter Cretan Traditional Bread (Eftazimo) f

Chickpea Starter Cretan Traditional Bread (Eftazimo)

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!
Course Bread, Snack, Vegan
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword Bread, chickpea, eftazimo, starter
Prep Time 18 hours
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 18 hours 50 minutes
Servings 14
Calories 165 kcal
Author The Hungry Bites


  • 2 cups water, not chlorinated
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper kernels
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour or 1 cup coarsely ground dried chickpeas, organic

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (you may need some more)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) fine salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame
  • 1/2 teaspoon black sesame


  1. Make the starter: Bring to a boil 2 cups of water with the bay leaves, the pepper, and the sugar. Let it cool until you can dip your finger in it 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). 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.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups bread flour into the mixture (if using ground dried chickpeas instead fo chickpea flour, strain it first), and let it rise in a warm place until tripled in volume (about 2-4 hours).
  3. Make the bread: Add 1/2 cup of the scented water, 2 cups bread flour, the olive oil, and salt and knead until a pliable dough is formed. Make a long string and form a spiral like a snail. Or you can just put it in a loaf tin. Brush some water over the surface and sprinkle the whole sesame and the black sesame. Let it rise in a warm place until almost doubled in volume (about 2-3 hours).
  4. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 365°F (185°C)
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until done.
  6. Eat!