Almost Abe's 100% Buckwheat
Abe showed us a stunning 100% buckwheat yeasted loaf here:
I tried it out, with a few small changes. It worked out very well, though much darker than Abe's. It must the a difference in the flours. First pictures, then the process and changes .
This bread uses a scald of a large part of the buckwheat flour. Abe suggested using a smaller amount of the flour in the scald. I used 200g instead of his original 300g. I didn't know how much water to use in the scald. I ended up using 440g of boiling water. Later I added another 100g of tap water because the scald seemed dry.
When mixing the dough, I didn't know whether any more water would be needed. I decided to add 100g, and I warmed it to 100 deg F/38C to wake up the RapidRise yeast. Normally I don't bother to wake up the yeast but I thought that the buckwheat would probably need all the rising help it could get.
This must have been too much water because the final dough was a thick paste rather than the rye-like dough Abe wrote about. I did some bowl folds with the help of the pastry knife, and did actually develop a little strength: it stopped breaking when stretched.
Bulk ferment was a little more than an hour. The dough had visibly risen, though not by much Then I scraped the mass into my 9 inch/23cm Pullman pan and let it ferment for an hour. Initially it filled the pan to half height. At the end it had risen a little.
I baked for 70 minutes at 350 deg F/177C with no lid on the pan (a lid would have kept the moisture in and I needed to drive out as much as possible). I turned off the oven, cracked the door, and left the loaf in its pan for another 10 minutes. Then I turned the loaf out of the pan.
The loaf felt very delicate. I'm sure slicing it would have made a real mess. A few hour later it was stronger, and the next morning the loaf felt very sturdy and it was easy to cut a very thin slice. The baked loaf weight was 2.4 lb/1.07 kg.
The crumb was dense, of course, but open enough for this kind of bread as the crumb picture shows. It's not at all crumbly.
The flavor is delicious, especially toasted, but I don't know how to describe it. Not your ordinary wheat bread for sure! After you chew a piece, you are left with distinct bran bits in your mouth that feel something like softened oat bran. The flour has distinct dark bits in it, and next time I will sift them out. These bits seem to be the color of the loaf, which is very dark, darker than the pictures look I would say. The flour doesn't look that dark until it absorbs water, then it turns that very dark color.