Soaking and cooking beans before mixing them with other recipe ingredients results in tender beans and can minimise final cooking time.
For each pound (.45kgs) of beans, dissolve 2 tsp salt in 6 cups of water. Wash the beans, add them to the salted water and soak them overnight.
For each pound (.45 kgs) of beans, bring 8 cups of water to boiling. Wash the beans, add them to the boiling water and boil them for 1 minute. Remove the beans from the heat, cover them, and soak them fro 1 hour.
Cooking Soaked Beans
For each pound of beans, dissolve 2 tsp salt in 6 cups of hot water; bring it to boiling. Add the soaked beans; boil gently, uncovered, adding boiling* water if needed to keep the beans covered with water. Cook until the beans are tender. You can expect 6-7 cups of cooked beans per pound of dry beans.
Cooking Old, Hard Beans
Wash and sort the beans to remove any discoloured beans or foreign material. For each cup of dry beans, add 2 1/2 cups hot tap water and 2 tsp baking soda. Soak overnight. Drain and rinse two times, then add water to cover the beans. Cook until tender and soft (about 2 hours), adding more boiling* water as needed. Adding a tablespoon of oil will cut down on foam as the beans cook. Stored beans should be rotated regularly. They continue to lose moisture and will not reconstitute satisfactorily if kept too long.
Pressure cook old beans for 20 minutes and they will be soft.
*Note: if you add non-boiling water to beans while they are cooking, the beans will be tough. This holds true for all dried beans.