GEORGIAN LOBIANI – BEAN BREAD
Lobiani (Georgian: ლობიანი) is enjoyed all year round and especially eaten on the Georgian holiday of Barbaroba, or St. Barbara’s Day (December 17). In this recipe we will show how to make this delicious bean filled bread.
The main ingredient of Lobiani is kidney beans.
Ingredients (for lobiani mixture): 500 grams of kidney beans, 300 grams of smoked ham, 100 grams of butter, 4 or 5 bay leaves, 2 cloves of garlic (optional) and salt. We boiled the beans with smoked ham from Racha (Georgian: რაჭული ლორი). This gives the beans a very special flavor. Boiling the beans with ham is a tradition of people in the Racha region of Georgia and is considered to produce the best lobiani.
Ingredients (lobiani dough): 1 kilo of flour, 25 grams of dry active yeast, half tsp salt, 1 egg and 400 ml of warm water.
Preparation (lobiani mixture): Soak the beans overnight (at least 3 hours). This will soften them.
Add beans to a pot of water and boil for 3-4 minutes. Empty the water, and add the beans, ham, bay leaves, salt and garlic to a pressure cooker. Cover with water and seal the pressure cooker. Using a pressure cooker will reduce the cooking time.
Boil the beans in the pressure cooker for 1 hour. At this stage, it is advisable to begin preparation of the lobiani dough – see steps set out later in this recipe).
When ready, the beans should look like the beans in the photo below.
Remove the beans from the pressure cooker and add the beans (not the bay leaves, garlic or ham), together with salt (taste to see if necessary) and 70 grams of butter to a mixing bowl. If you did not use ham in the earlier stage you will need to use 100 grams of butter.
Thoroughly mix the beans and butter until it has the consistency of mashed potato.
Preparation (lobiani dough): Add 800 grams of flour, 25 grams of yeast, half tsp salt and 1 egg to a mixing bowl.
Add 400 ml of warm water.
Mix by hand until you have formed a ball of dough.
Cover the dough and leave in a warm place for 1 hour to allow the dough to rise.
Add 100 grams of flour and knead the dough until it is fairly firm. Dust a work surface with flour and divide the dough into 4 balls.
Flatten each ball with your hands to make a 1 cm thick circular shape.
Divide the lobiani mixture into 4 parts and add each part to the center of each of the 4 dough circles.
Wrap the edges of the dough around the mixture to seal it in.
Carefully flatten the dough, spreading the mixture to within 4-5 millimeters of the edge.
Use a knife to carefully score lines in the dough. This will help to prevent the mixture ‘blowing out’ as it cooks.
Bake in an oven on a low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes. An alternative is to cook the dough on a pan on a low-medium heat for 7 minutes each side. Traditional lobiani is quite pale looking.
Serving: Remove from the oven or pan and rub butter on the surface of the lobiani. This will give it some color but also prevent it from becoming hard. Serve hot.
Enjoy your lobiani!
Click here to see our visit to a traditional Georgian bakery and see how our local baker, Zaur Skhirtladze, makes a long version of lobiani in a traditional Georgian tone (oven).