Fermented Buckwheat Bread

Fermented Buckwheat Bread

One of the greatest things I discovered after adopting plant-based diet was raw buckwheat – you can make boiled porridge, raw buckwheat porridge or ricotta, ricotta creams for cakes or to eat as is; to make cookies and pancakes, use soaked groats for buckwheat muffins and cakes, just boil for side or make patties, and even make yeast-free fermented buckwheat bread.

New! Tutorial video below!

Buckwheat spread to Europe and Russia in the 14th and the 15th century from China, and the Dutch brought it to USA in the 17th century. Many of you might not know that buckwheat is actually not a grain, but a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel and therefore is gluten-free and safe for those with celiac disease.

Buckwheat consists mainly of carbohydrates, but like seeds, it is also high in protein. Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese and a good source of magnesium, dietary fibre, copper, and phosphorus. Furthermore, it contains health-promoting flavonoids rutin and querceitin. Rutin functions with vitamin C to maintain healthy capillaries, to help heal wounds, to help form collagen in connective tissue, and to support a healthy immune system. Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Buckwheat groats have low glycemic index, meaning that unlike wheat flour, its carbohydrates break down slower, which make them more filling for a longer period of time, with less of an undesirable impact on blood glucose and insulin. Buckwheat groat protein also has a better structure than wheat protein, which has a poor amount of the amino acid lysine, with twice the amount of fibre compared to wheat.

I have made fermented buckwheat bread for two years now. I was a bit tired of rye bread and thought that it should be possible to ferment buckwheat as well. So, I started to search online (not to invent a wheel) and found a recipe by Concious Catering. After playing with the quantities and ingredients I developed my own favourite fermented buckwheat bread recipe.

Fermented Buckwheat Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 425g (15oz) raw buckwheat groats
  • 300ml or grams of water + water for soaking buckwheat
  • ½-1 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • 2 tbsps. oregano
  • 3 handfuls of sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Soak buckwheat groats for at least 6 hours. Rinse well and let drain for 2-5 minutes.
  2. Place drained buckwheat groats into blender with 300ml of water. Blend on low speed until smooth batter forms.
  3. Pour the batter into plastic or glass bowl (do not use metal bowl). Cover the bowl with clean cloth and place into a warm oven (35°C, 95°F).
  4. Let the batter ferment for 7 hours.
  5. After 7 hours you’ll see that the batter has risen and small bubbles have formed. If you don’t see that, let it ferment a bit longer. Now add all the other ingredients to this buckwheat bread recipe, gently and briefly stir with wooden or plastic spoon (do not use metal spoon). Do not over-mix as the batter will lose its fluffiness.

    Fermented Buckwheat Bread Batter
    Fermented Buckwheat Bread Batter
  6. Pour the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Now, you can put the bread back into warm oven and let it rise for another few hours or you can bake it immediately for 1 hour at 175°C (350°F). Let the bread be in the oven while it warms up. Count the hour from when the oven has reached the right temperature.
  7. If you used parchment paper, you can remove the bread from pan immediately and place it on folded kitchen paper (I use four layers) to absorb the moistness. Let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Other combinations for flavouring:

  • Olives and oregano
  • Sundried tomatoes and oregano
  • Sesame seeds and oregano
  • Walnuts, prunes, cinnamon
  • Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oregano
  • Raisins, cinnamon
  • Poppy seeds, goji berries

Tips:

  • It is at its best when fresh.
  • Slice the leftover bread and store in freezer. Heat up in the oven or toast slices whenever needed.
  • Eat as it is or with hummus, guacamole or nut/seed spread for example.
  • Should you like more sour taste, ferment the batter for longer.

Fermented Buckwheat Bread_1026

 

References:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=11
http://www.acu-cell.com/bio.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-294-quercetin.aspx?activeingredientid=294&activeingredientname=quercetin
http://www.trimdownclub.com/superfoods-quinoa-and-buckwheat-groats/

55 Comments

  1. Do you think you could use oat groats in combination or instead of the buckwheat?

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Noelle!

      I have never tried, but I don’t think so as oat groats are so different from buckwheat groats. Soaked buckwheat is soft and tender, whereas oats would still be quite hard (like barley or spelt). I know that rolled oats ferment as I’ve made oat yogurt, but to make the bread with oat groats would require experimenting and it’d be a totally new recipe. I’ve made quick barley bread using barley groats http://www.nutriplanet.org/2015/05/quick-barley-bread-karask-plant-based-oil-free/ Maybe you could try that, if you don’t like buckwheat.

      Happy baking and ask away, should you have any more questions!

      Nele

  2. This looks amazing! There are two photos at the top that show one loaf with slices that are slightly sunken and shorter, and another that is rounded at the top and much taller – was the tall rounded one just left to rise (after adding all of the remaining ingredients) for a longer period of time before baking? If so, how long was it left to rise? I never thought that bread would rise without yeast (especially one that is gluten-free)! 🙂

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Keri!

      The photos have been taken of different batches. I think I didn’t ferment enough the one that is slightly sunk, but it was equally delicious. And I used a bit less batter for that bread, that’s why it is thinner. Sometimes the bread has a soul of its own — for example, yesterday I fermented the batter in the oven for 8 hours and did not let it sit afterwards, but baked straight away and it turned out perfectly risen. Sometimes it rises a lot after mixing in the other ingredients (I leave it for 2 hours) and sometimes not at all. You’ll have to try! And be very gentle when mixing in the ingredients. All the best!

      • I can’t wait to try it! Thank you so much for your reply!

        • Sorry, another question: after baking for 1 hour, is there any way to ensure that it is “done” inside? With some yeasted GF bread recipes, I need to use a thermometer to test the internal temperature is at least 200F – would I do the same with this recipe? Thanks again!

          • Hi again!

            No, it’ll be definitely done after 1 hour! Make sure to let it cool properly and don’t try to slice it when it’s still hot. All the best!

  3. Wei Fang Lee

    Hi,had you tried with brown rice before instead of buckwheat?Do you think can it work?
    Tq.

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi!

      I haven’t tried, but I don’t think so as rice is much harder after soaking, whereas buckwheat will be nice and tender, basically ready to eat. To make fermented rice bread, you’d need to use rice flour and maybe a starter, but unfortunately I don’t have a recipe for that. Sorry! All the best!

  4. Wei Fang Lee

    Thank you very much.

  5. Zoë Barefoot

    Do you think I could try this with oats?

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Zoe,

      An interesting idea for sure, but I haven’t tried it with oats. However, oat groats don’t absorb water as well as buckwheat groats, so you wouldn’t get a homogeneous batter to work with.
      Should you decide to give it a go, please let me know how it turned out!

    • Zoë Barefoot

      What about rolled oats? And is the sweetener added to help with fermentation or is it just for sweetness?

  6. Zoë Barefoot

    That’s what I was thinking! I went to the market and bought buckwheat in bulk today to make the bread and then I’m going to attempt with the rolled oats 🙂 I’ve made your oat yogurt! It’s delicious I enjoy the sour taste so much I always let it sit a little longer

  7. Zoë Barefoot

    Last question I swear! Can I bake my fermented dough in a metal type bread loaf pan or does that also mess up the bread as the mixing bowl would? I made the dough with buckwheat and it fermented so well with so many bubbles 🙂

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Don’t worry! 🙂 It’s ok to use metal loaf, if you put the bread straight into oven and also use parchment paper. However, should you want to post-ferment after mixing in the herbs and seeds, it would not work. I used to bake the bread in metal loaf, but switched to ceramic one at one point and find that it’s doing a much better job.

      I’m glad your batter fermented well! It has never failed me — so easy and delicious!

  8. Zoë Barefoot

    I decided to use 3 small glass loaf pans and the batter fit into them just about to the rim. There fermenting longer as we speak thanks so much

  9. Megan.l.schofield@gmail.com

    Currently trying to ferment the batter. First timer. I didn’t realize how much the batter would expand when mixed and I didn’t have a plastic bowl big enough, so it’s currently fermenting in my warm ceramic slow cooker. Hopefully it works!!

  10. Leslie Smith

    I have had no problem getting a good ferment and smell and flavor, but after 2 attempts at this, I can’t get it to bake. Even after 2 hours in the oven. It’s like a loaf of oatmeal mush. Any thoughts?? What if I added coconut flour or some high fiber, absorbable flour? Or buckwheat flour? Thanks!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hello Leslie!

      I can’t think what must be wrong — it has worked for me every time! From what you tell me it seems that the batter must be too liquid. Are you sure you discarded the soaking water? If you take 425 grams (15oz) of raw buckwheat groats (they definitely need to be raw/unroasted, otherwise it won’t ferment), soak them in water for 6-8 hours, then rinse and drain well and blend with 300 grams (10oz) water you’ll have perfect consistency (it’s quite thick). After that ferment in 30-40 C (86-105 F) oven for 6-7 hours, mix in seeds and herbs and bake in 175 C (350 F) for 1 hour – 1 h 10 minutes. I’ve also baked it without fermenting and it works equally well.

      I hope we get to the bottom of why it didn’t work 🙂

      Nele

    • same problem here tried 2 times and never cooked 🙁

      • Nele Liivlaid

        Irene and Leslie,

        I can’t figure out what might be the problem there! Good news is that the making of tutorial video is in process and I hope to publish it next week!

        Have a good day!

  11. Lennox Killner

    How can you be sure that it’s ‘yeast free’ if it’s been allowed to ferment?

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Lennox!

      It is natural fermentation process without any added nutritional yeasts. The process is similar to making sauerkraut or homemade oat yogurt.

  12. its very interesting web

  13. Nele,his seemes ik super reipe! I am from Czech republic, and I am not sure whether, speaking about buckwheat groats, I can by raw buckwheat and the soak it for several hours. Because othervise, you can buy there buckwhat germs, but its sold lik superfoods for disastrous amout of money. Lastly, I bought this: https://nakup.itesco.cz/groceries/en-GB/products/2001130814124. WIll bread be ok if I make batter from this?

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Karin,

      Thank you! Yes, it is totally the right product. And you could bring it to another level by soaking + sprouting the groats and then blending it into batter. I hope you’ll enjoy the bread!

      Nele

  14. Hi Nele,

    I absolutely love this recipe and have been making it every week for the past 3 months.
    However i just recently made another batch and after fermentation there was a pinky tint to the top of the buckwheat batter/dough. It didn’t smell horrible so I still baked it. I’m just wondering if this has happened to you or you know what it is? (I’m a bit afraid to eat it not knowing) I’m thinking it may be the phytic acid/phytase or from what i have read. It is warming up where I live so maybe fermented to quickly?

    Thanks for your help!

    Phoebe 🙂

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Phoebe!

      I’m so glad you like the bread! I’m not 100% sure about the colour — there’s a bit pink in the raw buckwheat, but nothing too strange has caught my eye before 🙂 I ferment the batter in 35-40 degree C oven for 7 hours. If you are concerned, then maybe stick to these temperatures and timeframes and it should be ok!

      I hope I was helpful!

      All the best!

      Nele

  15. Nele,
    Way easier than I thought! I wasn’t going to do the second ferment but it was already rising and looked lighter, so I did for an hour. very tasty! The first real bread I have had in months that did not taste like a shingle! I really liked the olive & Italian seasoning blend that I did in a giant mug. Today I will try the small seed loaf–pumpkin, sunflower, sesame with Italian herbs. 🙂
    Very happy I found your site. Thank you for the great recipes.

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Donna!

      I’m most delighted to hear that 🙂 You really made my day!

      It’s definitely my favourite bread as well!

      Have a great holiday season!

      Nele

  16. Hello, do you think the bread would still ferment and work if I just used buckwheat flour? Thx

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Natalie!

      As long as you use raw buckwheat flour it should work. As groats absorb water, the quantities would be different. I’d say 425 grams flour and 530 grams water. Let me know how it turned out!

  17. this looks great!!
    I happen to have sprouting buckwheat at the moment, but I a sprouted whole 500g bag. I guess after soaking and sprouting they change their weight. how many sprouted buckwheat cups would you say I need for the bread? thanks a lot!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi!

      Thanks!

      The recipe requires 425 grams raw buckwheat groats. If you sprouted 500 grams, you only have 75 grams more, which is about 18%. So, you should also multiply the quantity of water with 1.18, i.e. 300*1.18=354 grams. Same goes for other ingredients and you’re good to go!

      Have a great Sunday!

  18. Did not work for me. Followed recipe. Bubbled and fermented. But end result was a dense brick inedible loaf that went in the trash.

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Jamie,

      That is most peculiar… For me it has worked every time — I also know many people who have made the bread for years now. Maybe you can describe exactly what you did, so that we could get to the bottom of this?

      All the best!

  19. I soaked groats 7 hrs, rinsed and drained, blender with 10oz water, into a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap, fermented for 8 hrs with lots of tiny bubbles, folded additional ingredients with plastic spoon, loaf pan with parchment paper, baked for 1hr at 350. All I know is that my loaf, although done, was like a brick. I did not over mix. I still had lots of bubbles after putting in the pan to bake. I so wanted this to work.

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Jamie,

      425 grams (15oz) raw buckwheat groats and 300 grams/ml (10.6oz) water. 10 oz is 284 grams, so a bit more water is necessary. The bread is crusty, but soft inside. The batter is pourable before and after fermentation, so I really can’t imagine what would cause it to harden that much. Make sure that the ventilator of the oven is not turned on. Although, this would just burn the bread on top and not make it brick like.

      I wish I could be more of help 🙂 I plan to produce a making-of video of this recipe, so I’m sure this would make things clearer.

  20. Mary Zdrojewski

    Hi Nele,
    My oven doesn’t go down to 86F. It can go to 200F or “Warm.” Do you think if I preheat it to 200 and then turn it off that would work?
    Thanks!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Mary,

      I wouldn’t try that because it might be too hot and then the batter would not ferment. If you are sure it’s only warm (around 100F), then go ahead. Alternatively, you can also ferment it at room temperature — it just takes longer, about 24 hours.

      All the best!

  21. How do you get the oven to be 95F for several hours?
    I cannot leave it on – I would need to preheat and then hope that it drops to that temp…
    And the plastic wrap would melt.
    NOT SURE HOW TO DO THIS!!!!!!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Monika,

      If your oven cannot be set at 95F, you can also ferment the batter at room temperature, but it’ll then take longer — about 24 hours (depending on the temperature). It’s done when you see it has risen a bit and there are small bubbles. Plastic does not melt at 95F.

  22. Hi Nele,

    I just found your blog a few days ago and it’s very inspiring. I’ve never made my own bread but I’m trying to be gluten-free and so I’ve decided to try and make this bread recipe. I wanted to ask two things: in the recipe you wrote the oven should be 35 degrees celsius, but my oven only starts at 50 degrees, do you think it will work anyway? Also, I didn’t understand what you meant when you wrote that the batter needs to ferment in the oven- so the oven needs to stay on for 7 hours? I just wanted to make sure but I’m trying it out anyway so I hope it will come out ok…
    Thank you for your site, it’s really great and important to have all this info and inspiration!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hello Kavita!

      Thank you for your kind words!
      50 degrees is too hot — it’d kill the fermentation process. If you can’t use your oven, just find a warm place in the kitchen. It will just take longer at room temperature — about 12-18 hours instead of 7.

      I hope it works out for you! Ask away, if you have any difficulties.

  23. I’ve made this bread 3 times now!! I’m in love! I need to try different combinations for flavoring. So far I did sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. I let me buckwheat soak for 6 hours, I drain, but not rinse them, then add the fresh water in my blender. Let ferment for 22-24 hours. Add the other ingredients, rise for another 1-2 hours and cook for 80-90 minutes at 350. Turns out perfect!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      I’m so glad to hear that Helene! 🙂 I’d recommend to rinse it though as the slimy soak water is not very good for your digestion 😉 However, if you are fine with that then who am I to stop you LOL!

      All the best!

Let us know your thoughts