If you're new to buckwheat, it can seem like a confusing little nugget because it is not a grain or a grass but rather technically known as a "pseudo-grain." Therefore, it can never cross-pollinate with anything containing gluten. Hooray! Despite the glaring term "wheat" in its name, it's always gluten-free as long as it is processed in a facility that is also gluten-free. Buckwheat has long been used for Japanese noodles and Russian porridge. It is grown and consumed worldwide. It is full of protein and fiber, making it excellent for those following special diets, including vegans. That brings us to baking. With a pronounced complex earthy and floral flavor profile that couples well in both sweet and savory baking applications, it is destined to become one of the most elegant and sophisticated flours to add to your baking products. It is one of the most exciting whole grain flour to use in baking.
Tastes are impacted dramatically by the addition of buckwheat flour to baked goods and the choice of the variety of buckwheat flour.
· HulledBuckwheat Flour variety: The dark hull has been removed before milling. Most bakers prefer it because of its milder, less bitter nature. The flavor is slightly earthy with delicate grassy notes and hints of floral.
· Unhulled Buckwheat Flour varieties:
The dark hull has been included in the milling process. These have slightly bitter assertive notes and are usually combined with other mild-tasting flours. They are most notedly used in French Buckwheat Crepes.
- In sweet applications, buckwheat pairs well with nuts, caramel, cocoa, and deep rich flavors.
- In savory applications, buckwheat pairs well with complex cheeses, herbs, cured meats, and dairy.
It seems pretty apparent to the seasoned baker when baking with buckwheat, but we'll point it out. It is gluten-free. Here are a few other things to be aware of with texture.
- Bread: Buckwheat loaves of bread are not as light and fluffy as wheat loaves of bread due to a lack of gluten and may need the addition of xanthan, tapioca flour, or guar gum to achieve additional texture.
- Muffins and quick bread: Light buckwheat flour is preferred in vanilla or golden-colored cookies and cakes. Buckwheat adds moistness to cakes and tenderness to cookies and bars.
- Possible Problems: Some quick bread and muffins can become "gummy" if larger amounts of buckwheat are used—test the recipe before converting to 100% buckwheat.
Color of Buckwheat Flours
- Hulled Buckwheat flour has a lovely light brown color that will show up in the final baked good.
- Unhulled Buckwheat flour will be a light grey and finished baked goods will keep that distinct color like rye. Like rye, one will need to add molasses or cocoa to batters or doughs if the desired finished bake is expected to be a rich golden brown.
Start baking with buckwheat
Ready to start baking with it now?
- Cakes cookies and quick bread: Start with 25%. Again, because of the lack of gluten and the possible downfalls of buckwheat's nature, we suggest you start by substituting 25% buckwheat flour for the wheat flour in non-yeast bread or yeasted recipes like a muffin or cookie.
- Bread: Start with 15%. Adding whole-grain flour will change the formulation, and gluten-free flour is a little finicky. The general rule is to increase the hydration by 10% when adding that 15% if using whole grain buckwheat.
- Check baking temperatures: Because the color of the dough is different from buckwheat, always test the internal temperature of baked goods. Bread should be 185°F or higher. Batter products will vary but generally should be over 170°.
Bake Time: 30-35 minutes
½ cup organic avocado oil
1 ½ cup organic cane sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs or vegan alternative
1 Tbsp. dark corn syrup or blackstrap molasses
¾ cup organic dark cocoa powder
½ tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
- Wash and sanitize all work surfaces and tools—Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix the oil, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and syrup until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt, mixing for 2 minutes. Allow batter to rest for about 5 minutes.
- Spread into a lightly greased bar pan (8x8x2 inch). Bake 30-35 minutes until an internal temperature of 150° or higher.
- Cool the brownies in the pan for at least 30 minutes before cutting, allowing them to set up.
Bake Time: 15-18 minutes
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1¼ cups milk
1 large egg, beaten
- Whisk buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
- Beat egg and milk together in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is thick and smooth. Let batter rest for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
- Drop batter by large spoonful onto the greased griddle and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Vegan & Gluten-Free Bread
Bake Time: 45-55 minutes
2 2/3 cups Organic Grains Buckwheat Flour
3 Tbsp. Organic Grains White Chia Seeds
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast (1 packet)
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 ¼ cup of water between 100-105° F
- Grind the chia seed into flour using a high-speed blender.
- Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the buckwheat flour, chia flour, tapioca starch, organic cane sugar, and salt. Mix in the instant yeast. Add the olive oil, maple syrup, and warm water. Mix on low for about 15 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing on medium-high for about 3 minutes.
- Use a spatula to group the dough together in a ball at the bottom of the mixing bowl. Pour about two teaspoons of additional olive oil on top of the dough. This will help you continue to form the round loaf without the dough sticking to the spatula (or your hands).
- Carefully remove the dough from the mixing bowl and onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your hands to form the dough into a round/oblong loaf. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and rise for 3 hours at 75°. Score the top of the loaf with a sharp kitchen knife or a razor blade.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. When the loaf is finished rising, bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the loaf reaches over 180°F.
There you go! Make some amazing gluten-free buckwheat flour stuff. I'm cheering for you 100%.
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend, Chef Tess