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.
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
- 425g (15oz) raw buckwheat groats
- 290ml or grams of water + water for soaking buckwheat
- ½ tsp. Himalayan salt
- 2 tbsps. oregano
- 3 tbsps. of sunflower seeds
- Soak buckwheat groats for at least 6 hours. It’s very important to rinse the soaked groats well (they get slimy after soaking) and let drain for at least 5 minutes to get the extra water out. If you don’t follow this step with scrutiny, your batter may end up too runny and the bread won’t rise.
- Place drained buckwheat groats into blender with 290ml of water. Blend on low speed until smooth batter forms.
- 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).
- Let the batter ferment for 7 hours. 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.
- Pour the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Now, you can put the bread back into warm (not hot!) 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.
- 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 (the longer the better).
Nutritional info per 45g (1.6oz) slice (1/22 of recipe): 69.3 kcal, 11.7g carbohydrates (74.8% of kcal), 1.07g fats (13.9% of kcal), 2.58g protein (14.9% of kcal), 1.24g fibre, 26mg sodium, and 7.3 GL points.
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 on this fermented buckwheat bread:
- If you can’t set your oven to such low temperatures, ferment the bread batter at room temperature. I’d still recommend putting the bowl into oven for the most stable environment (less temperature changes or breeze). It’ll take about 16-24 hours.
- 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.
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