cooking beans, what am I doing wrong
So I realize there are several methods for cooking dried beans - and my question isn't strictly about cooking. I'm uncertain if I'm doing anything wrong in my bean-cooking attempts. I'd like to go over what I've done, and maybe someone can tell me if I'm doing anything wrong.
1) Buying beans - previously, I had bought packaged dried beans from the supermarket, and they yielded not-so-great results. So next I've tried bulk beans from a reliable bulk place at my local market, with reasonably high turnaround.
2) I pick them over.... (small ones, cracked, etc)
3) Soaking: I've now tried Bittman's quick-soak method, and Harold McGee's salt-soak method, with minimal cooking water. When I soak beans - no matter what - they crack quite a bit and start to fall apart. Is this normal? Is this the quality of the beans? Black beans, chick peas, kidney beans have all done this.
4) Rinsing etc
5) Cooking: My beans fall apart. Chick peas just split apart. Black beans crack and fall apart.
Help! Should I try a different source for my dried beans? A different soak/cook method? (I don't have access to a pressure cooker...)
It's your beans very possibly, they are old, as in very old, especially if they crack after soaking, or are you boiling them rather than simmering? Just last week, I cooked a cup of Great Northern white beans I've had in my cupboard for TWO YEARS and they were cooked up just fine. Overnight soak in light salt brine, rinsed and simmered with garlic and bay until tender.
I use the quick soak or overnight, doesn't matter, same results.
Are you simmering your beans? Do not boil!
Water might have something to do with it. Hard or soft water can affect outcome. Do some reading about the water in your area and how it affects your cooking.