When I read years ago that soaking thick skinned dried beans shortens the cook time only 15 to 30 minutes, I have skipped soaking with good results. I used them in stew & chili dishes where it didn’t matter if the skins were split and some were a little mushy.
I want to add cooked beans more often to my main dish salads and would prefer to have them intact. Cooks illustrated advises soaking beans a minimum of eight hours in 3 tablespoons of salt in 4 quarts of water for 1 pound. I have three pots soaking: great Northern beans, chickpeas, and pintos. Five hours have passed, and the great Northern beans are splitting with a lot of the husks floating to the top of the water. Is this inevitable for this particular kind of bean?