The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Community Bake: Naturally Fermented Buckwheat Bread

Abe's picture
Abe

Community Bake: Naturally Fermented Buckwheat Bread

I'm confident you'll all enjoy this bake. A bit different from previous community bakes and there's room for your own interpretations. This is a naturally fermented fermented buckwheat bread which has no yeast nor starter. It is a fascinating process with lovely results. Here is a very good version of this recipe but there are many out there all a variation on the same theme. I've been baking this type of bread for quite a while and have settled on my own method which suits me best. Don't really measure for this bread as it's a very good recipe for going by feel, once you have the hang of it. I'll post what I think is a good video to learn from and then i'll explain my own tweaks. 

https://youtu.be/8IQuDDOLoyI

Now for my method: 

  1. I wash the raw organic groats (this can either be done in a sieve or in a bowl and carefully pouring out the water). This is because i've noticed that while soaking unwashed groats it attains this purple colour which is harmless but aesthetically more pleasing when washed. Sometimes i'll soak the groats for about an hour and then pour off the excess liquid and rinse a few times. 
  2. Then i'll pour in water but just enough to cover the groats. After about an hour or two i'll check them and add in more water as they will soak it up. Just enough to cover them once again. 
  3. Soak for 12-24 hours. When they've softened, maybe just started to sprout and the water is now like a gel then you can move on. 
  4. Then i'll blend the groats into a paste but won't add anymore water. Prefer a thicker batter. After which i'll add about 2tsp salt (I like it with more salt) and stir it in thoroughly. 
  5. Cover and leave in warm place for another 12-24 until the mixture has risen, is very bubbly and will have a fermented aroma. Sometimes it'll have a bit of a funky smell but don't worry. 
  6. Once it's risen and bubbly (usually for me it takes around 12 hours but it will vary - i've never had any issues) then i'll gently stir in a seed mix - pumpkin, flaxseed, sunflower and sesame. No measuring. 
  7. Pour it out into a prepared loaf pan. I suggest a 1.5 litre or 1.5 lbs pan. 
  8. While many recipes bake it straight away i'll leave it for about an hour before baking. 
  9. Bake. 350F for about 80 minutes. 

This is a delicious bread which is healthy, light on the stomach, delicious and fantastic toasted. 

P.s. There are many videos and webpages with similar techniques for this bread. Some do all buckwheat and others mix up the grains a bit and might add in quinoa too. I suggest you watch a few to get some ideas. A hand held blender is really useful as it can all be done in one bowl. I bought one specifically for this type of bread. Found a food processor to be too finicky and messy. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with. Also, see here and here for Mariana's and Mini's excellent advice on how to score a batter bread. I always get an excellent rise from this bread but it leaves a flying crust. I didn't think a batter bread could be scored but Mariana explained how it could be done. Perhaps mine rises more than the bread in the video because I do make a more thick batter. Many videos show a more modest rise but they often have a much thinner batter. Again, it's all up to you - I just happen to like the results, crumb and texture wise, doing it with my own tweaks. 

Mariana found a very good video and posted it in a comment below. However I thought it'd be good to also post it here. Thank you Mariana.

https://youtu.be/IEzQqTlsyOw

As you can see, a slightly different method with very good results. 

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Great idea for a CB!  I’m in.  Should be able to get to it this weekend.

Abe's picture
Abe

Right up your street. Looking forward to seeing your take on this bread which you're already very familiar with. 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I was thinking of posting a big "THANK YOU!" to you,Abe, for your buckwheat postings. It is my new favorite bread. I just had it toasted this am. I use instant yeast for my loaf (just made yeasterday) and I use buckwheat to satisfy my rye craving as rye flour is prohibitvely expensive for me. Buckwheat is still expensive but less than rye and I can buy buckwht locally. Since Hodgsen Mills went under, I have no local source of rye flour. Bakers do not knpow what they are missing.

Anyways, I add diced dates,toasted walnuts and breadspice to mine. Delicious toasted! 

I will follow this thread and see if I can jump in. Once again I am preparing for a cross country move to go home to a  warmer climate. 

Caroline

 

 

 

rondayvous's picture
rondayvous

It took them a while to get back up an running after the pandemic and the transition.

https://www.hodgsonmill.com/products/rye-flour

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Glad to hear that Hodgsen Mill still produces rye flour but I can no longer find a local store (even big names) that carry it. Their link to local stores does not work, you can only order online or thru a catalog. It looks like they are set up for more wholesale supplying right now.

I appreciate the link but take a look at what it costs and you will understand why I say it is "prohibitively expensive". 

If I order from them online and have it shipped:

5# bag whole rye flour: $4.99   

SHIPPING (US east coast to Florida) :  $17.79 

TOTAL: $22.78 for 5# rye flour!!     YIKES!       $4.40/lb total!

My only hope will be to check with a local small bakery and see if I can buy some flour from them. 

Buckwheat flour is expensive but not prohibitively so. I can buy it locally for under $3/lb, sometimes less.

As a reference: AP flour is as low as .50/lb for store brand, .70/lb for Gold Medal,or up to $1/lb for KA.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Sorry for the hi-jack but I just had to respond about the cost. If anyone wants to continue the discussion, either message me or let's make another post.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

I really encourage everyone to try a 100% buckwheat loaf. It is astonishing how tasty it can be. My recipe is more of a batter and because my starters are currently asleep for a trip, I used instant yeast. Still delicious! I have found that BW does not get the same fermentation nuanced flavor as other flours but I think of it as a blank slate and build my flavors with herbs,spices,fruit and nuts.I have used Vegemite in my GF loaves if I want a yeasty flavor (there is a GF version, if needed)  My absolute fav is honey, date, toasted nuts or seeds and Broetgevurz (bread spice-heavy on the coriander). Great with cheese, ham, nut butter, jam, butter, toasted or plain. Slices are moist and springy so no crumbling when you bite. 

MY RECIPE HERE

Bake some delicious fun!

 

rondayvous's picture
rondayvous

You might want to consider Azure Standard. They have two shipping options one is regular shipping, and the other is a local drop site for a tractor-trailer that meets their customers at a local site and delivers en-mass. I've found their prices and shipping (I use the drop site) very reasonable. They have some hard to find grains.

Abe's picture
Abe

Buckwheat is underrated on The Fresh Loaf, I think. Hopefully this Community Bake will bring it more into the spotlight. Toasted Buckwheat Bread is absolutely delicious and this process is very fascinating too. 

I'm sure once people try it they will join us in being buckwheat bread fans. 

Hope you can source some buckwheat groats and join us. Best of luck in your move. Follow that sun! 

rondayvous's picture
rondayvous

Buckwheat is the grain that saved many people in the cities of Japan from beriberi. It is rich in thiamine as well as several other key nutrients. For vegetarians ( not me ) it provides a complete protein as well. Don't know if I will participate in this bake right now ( busy with other projects ) but it is on the list.

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

2 hours into the first 12 hour soak…. Blend it tomorrow and bake on Sunday!

Abe's picture
Abe

Looking forward, Troy. 

I think cinnamon needs some sweetness. Do you think honey might also be a nice addition? But then again you do have the raisins. 

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

You might be right.  Did not think about that.  I won’t add it until Sunday morning before I load the pans, so have some time to decide.  Maybe I’ll add a little brown sugar to the rum while I’m soaking the raisins. 😁

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

don's forget the little sugar bombs. Chop them up if you want to.  Dates? Other dried fruit?

Econprof's picture
Econprof

On the perfect loaf isn’t sweetened (except for the raisins) and I really like it. Only problem is that my sourdough starter does not seem to enjoy cinnamon at all. No issue with the flavor, though!

Econprof's picture
Econprof

I have to cut down the quantity of cinnamon and make sure I don’t mix it in too thoroughly.

Abe's picture
Abe

It's best to increase the yeast or the levain when doing a sourdough. The higher amount you pre-ferment the better it'll do. And of course it's a good idea to find you the ideal amount of cinnamon to put into a dough. 

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

500g groats soaked in 650g water for 12 hours.  Rinsed.  Blended with 250g water and 50g yeast water.

Here’s a short video of the batter consistency … 

https://youtube.com/shorts/ULr1cTFqSBQ?feature=share 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in the soaking water have more flavour yet less chemical influence?  

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

1) 36 hours before bake...  Soak 500g groats in 650g water at room temp for 12 hours
2) 24 hours before bake...  Drain and rinse groats.  Blend groats with 250g water and 50g yeast water.  Place in bowl and ferment at 76 deg for 24 hours.
3) Butter 8.5" x 4.5" bread pan liberally.  Gently stir in ad ins (if any) into fermented groat batter.  Batter will smell earthy but not foul.  For this bake, my ad ins were: 50g raisins soaked in 50g Bacardi Gold rum and 10g brown sugar (24 hours), 37.5g chopped walnuts, 10g brown sugar, 1.5 tsp cinammon, 1.5 tsp cardamom, 12.5g sea salt.
4) Pour batter in pan and cover.  Let raise for 60-90 minutes.  It may not rise much depending on batter thickness.  
5) Place baking stone in oven and preheat for 1 hour at 450 deg F.  Oven should be set up for steam.
6) Place uncovered pan in oven and add steam.  Turn off oven and let sit for 30 minutes.
7) Bake at 325 deg F for 30 minutes.
8) Bake for 75 minutes at 350 deg F.  Internal temp target of 206+ deg F.  This dough is very wet and sticky.
9) Turn off oven and leave loaf in cooling oven with door cracked for 20 minutes.

A couple of things about this bake...

A) I used the batter scoring method described by marianna and mini.  After putting batter into the loaf pan, I butter both sides of a knife and ran it the length of the pan about 1/4" - 1/2" deep.  You could barely make out the line after the loaf had proofed for 90 minutes.  Still bloomed right along that line!  

B) My batter was a little thin to begin with, and adding the rum that didn't soak into the raisins made in thinner.  But hey...  can't go wrong with a little rum in the bread.  :-)  But...  There was very little visible rise.  Just a slight doming after 90 minutes.

C) Rather than a typical loaf pan setup, I tried something a little different.  I put my baking stone in and set up oven like a typical hearth loaf.  The thought...  Get the stone good and hot and then shut off the oven when the pan goes in.  Keep the majority of the heat coming into the loaf pan from the bottom up to cause a bloom rather than a flattening effect.  I think that worked!

D) The next thought was to cook it low and slow to keep the crust from getting really thick and hard.  Not sure that worked well at all.  After 60 minutes, the internal temp was only up to 174 deg F and was very sticky on the temp probe.  Increased oven temp to 350 deg F and it was up to 201 internal after 30 minutes.  Still very sticky.  Only went to 205 deg after another 30 minutes.  Still quite sticky.  Up to 206 deg F after another 15 minutes.  Still sticky.  Removed loaf and left directly on stone with oven door cracked for 20 minutes.  I'm concerned that the 30 minutes at 325 was too low and the dough was in prime amylase temp range for too long.  The probe reminded me of starch attack and really gummy/sticky.  Next time, I would still do the high temp preheat with oven off for steaming, but then I would go back to 375-400 deg F.

This loaf smells great! Smells like an earthy cinnamon raisin bread.  It should make great toast with butter, toast with raspberry jam, or I think it may also be good French Toast.  Just hoping it cures well and isn't too gummy.

After blending

After fermenting

Ad Ins

Stirring in ad ins
https://youtube.com/shorts/s0U9ILeo7JA?feature=share

Loaded pan

Proofed batter (just a slight dome)

Spring after steaming

Final Loaf

Walnut just under the crust

 

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Couldn’t wait till breakfast…. Has been wrapped in a towel for 12 hours.  Very moist but not gummy.  Makes good toast (takes 3x in the toaster).  Would bump the cinnamon and cardamom to 2.5-3 tsp each next time.

Abe's picture
Abe

You've beaten the rest of us to it, Troy. I'm finishing off my last bake before I venture onto anything else. 

That's a really lovely loaf. Walnuts, Raisins, Cinnamon and Cardamom. No wonder you couldn't wait. Nice idea for a bake like this. 

Enjoy! 

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Thanks Abe.  I was shocked how moist it still is after over 2 hours in the oven.  Granted temps were a little low for 30 minutes, but wow…. Really happy it’s not gummy!

Abe's picture
Abe

And go stale in a few days. If it's moist, but not gummy, that may work in your favour in a few days time. But then again you might not have anything left of the loaf by then. 

Buckwheat bread is best when toasted so it's not going to matter anyway. 

GaryBishop's picture
GaryBishop

I propose to use 300 grams of groats scaling from your 1.5 liter pan. I may go with the plan from Mariana's second video and use 130 grams of water in the final dough (after soaking and rinsing). 

Does that sound about right?

Abe's picture
Abe

Then in keeping with the video scale using that recipe. Don't mix two methods expecially for your first time. 

GaryBishop's picture
GaryBishop

They don't specify the size of the pan.

Your 1.5 liter suggestion for 500 grams of buckwheat is the only size specification I have seen.

Abe's picture
Abe

Then 1 litre = 333g 

It also depends on how many additions you put it. I put in a lot. Bear in mind they take up space as well. If you're keeping it relatively plain without too many additions then 350 - 400g should be the right amount. Closer to 350g if you add in more and closer to 400g if you add in less. 

mariana's picture
mariana

Gary, I was browsing videos on that bread and its variations and I found one that shows how to skip spontaneous bulk fermentation and proof stages and go directly for depositing freshly mixed buckwheat dough from your blender or food processor into pans and letting it rise there naturally as it begins to ferment spontaneously and then bake it. This video has English subtitles, so it is easy to understand its instructions.

Regarding the bread volume vs pan size, I also found a video on the "buckwheat method" mistakes and it says not to let it rise too much as it spontaneously ferments, or it will become unpleasantly acidic and maybe too smelly. They recommend to never go for the max volume during bulk fermentation stage, just letting it rise 30-40% and then pan it and proof it and bake it.

It makes sense, since that one-step sourdough is not refreshed, so we have to either keep it as "green', "young sourdough", before it becomes stinky, or keep it fermenting way longer, until aromatic sourdough microflora replaces the stinky one, but by then it might become way too acidic to taste.

Best wishes, 

m.

Abe's picture
Abe

And I have never had it become smelly at any stage. Of course this method works and I know people who do it. I just thought for the first time doing it in two stages it enables one to control it more and not having to keep an eye on it might be a better approach. 

It's not really two stages as such. Some people bake it straight away and others allow it to rest a little to replace any gas lost but it's still quite quick. The difference in ferment is the difference between a six and two threes. However this never produces a tangy bread. 

mariana's picture
mariana

I agree with everything you said, Abe. You watched that video and modified its formula and method to your own preferences, other bakers did the same. So we can have our choices and our questions answered by people like you who baked it more than once and can lead the way. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Abe.

By now we know that 

Washing the grain before soaking it and not washing it works. Sometimes it is very dirty, sometimes it is not, who knows. You also explained to us that washing it, soaking it for an hour and then changing water for a longer soak works if you want to avoid the purple hue and darker crumb.

Soaking it in a small amount of water, barely covered with water and in abundant water works

Soaking it for 1hr, 3hrs, overnight (8-12hrs), or for 24 hrs works. The outcome is different of course, because 12-24 hr soak activates the grain, it begins to sprout so the bread will be choke full of vitamins and enzymes.

Washing the gel off in five waters or keeping it works.

Bulk fermentation before proof or no bulk fermentation works

A 24hrs total and 48hrs total method both work.

Pretty much everyone adds salt and most people add sugar, but no sugar and no salt for those who are on a no salt diet will work too, especially, if the batter is slightly acidic and has tasty and flavorful add ins.

Thin and thick batters work

You can add other leaveners (soda, baking powder, yeast) or not, both ways work.

Abe's picture
Abe

Washed, Soaked, Blended, Fermented and Baked forms a good base for this bread. Everything else is frills. 

You have the right idea Mariana :) 

This recipe is very flexible so I suggest to everyone to pick a recipe that appeals to them the best and try it once. It's as good a place to start as any! Then once they have tried it then they can make adjustments. 

Thank you for your latest video Mariana. That one appeals to me and I think i'll try that one next. The resulting loaf looks very inviting. Just bought 500g of raw buckwheat groats. Have to finish off my last loaf first though. 

Econprof's picture
Econprof

But realized I only had cracked buckwheat. Have ordered some groats so I can participate.

I think I’ve been hesitant to try gluten-free bread because I had a few gluten-free failures years ago when a close friend was gluten free. (She’s still a close friend, just not gluten free anymore.) But this recipe is really intriguing.

Abe's picture
Abe

Might still work. A bigger issue would be toasted buckwheat as that kills off the natural yeast and bacteria. I can't see how cracking the groats would have the sane effect. Its worth a try as long as they're raw and preferably organic. 

rondayvous's picture
rondayvous

Funny, when I first heard of this recipe, the thought that it was gluten-free never crossed my mind. It just sounded like a really simple recipe for an interesting bread.

Corn bread is (can be) gluten-free, never gave that any thought either (until now).

Best (perhaps) to just think of it as a science experiment you can eat ;•0

Abe's picture
Abe

Yes, it's gluten free and a good option for those with coeliac disease but it can be appreciated in it's own right. A very tasty bread using an interesting method and a "new grain" (for some). 

I mostly eat my bread toasted. Toasting always improves a bread. And while all breads do benefit from toasting this buckwheat bread really suits it. Nothing quite like a thinly sliced buckwheat bread, using this method, toasted. 

Abe's picture
Abe

Please take a look. It looks like a very nice version of this recipe/method. Thank you Mariana.