You know how much I love beans. I've discovered a new way to cook beans that's even easier than the other no-soak way.
This is my new bean pot. You don't need one so don't stop yourself from trying this method if you don't have a bean pot. Just use a heavy-bottomed casserole or lidded soup pot that will fit in your oven.
Cathy's Way of Making Beans in the Oven
Rinse dry beans.
Put beans in pot with water or stock (enough so the beans can dance around but not drown or feel lost), salt (yes), splash of olive oil, aromatics like bay leaf and onion (nothing acidic like lemon or tomato).
Bring pot to a boil and let it bubble on the stove for just a minute or two.
If using your soup pan, put the lid on the pot and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for one hour (if beans are very fresh) or longer. If using a ceramic bean pot or lidded glass casserole dish, you need to transfer your beans to this pot at this stage because you don't usually boil such vessels over a burner.
Check beans a couple of times after an hour, stir, evaluate done-ness and whether you need to add more liquid.
That's it! The magic here: Because the heat comes at the beans from all directions, they plump perfectly and keep their shape. This method requires even less work from the cook. Even when I've let the beans stay in the oven much longer than an hour or two, they remain perfectly-shaped and bright-tasting.
When the beans are done, you can eat them plain or add acidic ingredients and then keep cooking them until the flavors meld.