Lobiani (Bean Bread)

Makes two large breads, enough to serve 12

10 tablespoons or 1 1/4 sticks of butter, softened
2 eggs
2 cups of sour cream
4 cups of unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda, divided into 4 parts


1 pound of dried kidney beans covered with water and soaked overnight
3 or 4 medium onions, peeled
2/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg yolk

Cream the butter. Beat in the eggs and sour cream. Mix in the flour to make soft dough.

On a floured board roll the dough to a 15 x 18-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/ 4 teaspoon of baking soda. Fold the dough in half, then in half again, and roll out once more to a 15 x 18-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining soda. Repeat the folding process. Perform the process 4 times, until all of the baking soda has been incorporated into the dough. After folding the dough the last time, place it in a floured bowl, cover it, and leave it to rise for 6 to 8 hours at room temperature or 2 to 3 hours in the sun, until doubled in bulk. (Don’t let the dough sit for any longer or it will begin to sour.)

Meanwhile, make the filling. Drain the kidney beans and cover them with fresh water. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft. Stir the onions into the mashed beans and add the ground coriander seed, salt, and pepper to taste. Divide the bean mixture in half and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

When the dough has risen, divide in into 2 parts. On a lightly floured baking sheet, roll 1 part of the dough into a 10 x 18-inch rectangle. Spread half the bean mixture over half of the dough and fold the other half over it to cover. Seal the bread by bringing the lower edges up over the top of the dough to form a rim. Make another bread with the remaining dough.

Brush the breads with beaten egg yolk and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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