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too much baking soda!

I followed some advice to add a bit of baking soda to the water when cooking garbanzo beans for hummus. It's supposed to help break down the skins and make a very smooth dip. HOWEVER, my hand slipped and "a bit" became TOO much. Now my hummus tastes "off". Any ideas for tempering the effect? It's already seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic, but the baking soda taste/effect remains... As an aside... adding baking soda worked to break down the skins but my error resulted in a slurry. Thanks 52-ers!

asked by arcane54 almost 2 years ago
6 answers 1599 views

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 2 years ago

Personally I would skip the baking soda entirely. It really isn't necessary. It's not as though hummus needs chemical leavening.


Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 2 years ago

Pierino, I don't think arcane54 was attempting to leaven hummus, but rather to hasten cooking of the garbanzo beans. As a last resort, arcane54, you might try adding some vinegar (red or white, but not balsamic because its flavor can be overpowering) to your hummus. I suspect, though that the baking soda has already been broken down by the cooking process, and therefore any acid added may be useless. You may need to file this one under "Lessons Learned."

added almost 2 years ago

Leavening levity? I love it, Pierino!

Both the sodium and the alkalinity of baking soda will speed cooking considerably but at a cost, perhaps over amplified in this case. Sorry, no suggestion for how to recover. I think Cynthia is right about "lesson learned".

added almost 2 years ago

If you're okay with turning into another type of hummus, I suggest a head of roasted and pureed garlic. Mmmm...Not much that don't cure.

added almost 2 years ago

I don't think you can do much to rescue the beans at this point. Next time, I would soak the chick peas for a long time--18 to 24 hours and then cook--without baking soda.

Ruhlman has an interesting piece on cooking beans at which may give you some ideas--particularly if you live in an area with hard water. He says soaking is optional, but I would not skip that step. Also be sure you have good quality, fresh beans. I have been happy with Rancho Gordo beans.

added almost 2 years ago

Thanks everyone! Once I added the lamb sauce ( from Paula Wolfert's book The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean) the baking soda's negative effects were minimized. I will try again since the soda's impact on the skins was substantial and resulted in a silken hummus.