Learn how to make fermented buckwheat bread that uses no starter and is also gluten-free and sugar-free.
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.
How to Make Fermented Buckwheat Bread
What is Buckwheat?
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.
This fermented buckwheat bread consists of very simple wholesome ingredients.
The main component is raw buckwheat groats i.e., not roasted buckwheat.
Then, for flavour, we’re using Himalayan salt and oregano.
Finally, let’s add some sunflower seeds. However, you can use any seeds of preference or, for a leaner version, discard them altogether.
Start by soaking raw buckwheat groats overnight or at least for 2 hours. It’s very important to rinse the soaked groats well (they get slimy after soaking) and then 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.
Next, place the drained buckwheat groats into blender with 290 ml of water. Blend on low speed until smooth batter forms.
Then, 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).
Now it’s down to letting 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.
Then, add all the other ingredients to this buckwheat bread recipe and 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. By the way, 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).
NB! Let the bread be in the oven while it warms up and DO NOT use speed heating or fan! Count the hour from when the oven has reached the right temperature. I put the timer to 1 hour and 10 minutes as it takes 10 minutes to reach 175°C (350°F).
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).
How to Serve
In my experience, freshly baked sourdough bread is so damn good that you don’t even need anything to accompany it with. However, should you disagree, here are some ideas:
Spread the bread with homemade hummus, avocado, nut or seed butter (tahini, almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter), homemade applesauce, hummus, homemade vegan mayonnaise, or even sweet buckwheat ricotta.
In addition, top it with red cabbage coleslaw, sauerkraut, kimchi, tofu or tempeh slices, or vegan egg salad.
You can use a few or many of the options mentioned above and build an epic healthy vegan sandwich. On the photo below I used avocado spread, fermented tofu, kimchi and broccoli sprouts for delicious toasts.
How to Store
When the bread is cooled, wrap it into a clean kitchen towel and stick it into a plastic bag to prevent losing too much moisture. It keeps well on countertop for 2 days.
For longer keeping, slice the bread up as soon as it’s cooled and store the individual slices in freezer. Heat them up in a microwave (for soft result) or in oven or toaster (for crunchy slices).
In order to toast the frozen sourdough bread slices in the oven, place them onto the rack (not on a baking sheet), set the oven to fast heat function (175°C, 350°F is enough) and timer to 10 minutes. When the time’s up, you’ll have fresh and crispy bread ready to enjoy.
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.
Make sure to watch the below video for visuals!
Step-by-step visual guide to building your own balanced bowls.
Fermented Buckwheat Bread Recipe
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 22 slices 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Learn how to make fermented buckwheat bread that uses no starter and is also gluten-free and sugar-free.
- 425g (15oz) raw buckwheat groats
- 290ml or grams of water (10.2oz) + 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).
One slice has 7.3 GL points.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Method: Baking
- Serving Size: 45g (1.6oz) slice (1/22 of recipe)
- Calories: 69.3 kcal
- Sodium: 26mg
- Fat: 1.07g
- Carbohydrates: 11.7g
- Fiber: 1.24g
- Protein: 2.58g
Keywords: buckwheat bread, bread
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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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Many thanks for advice and for replying so quickly!
Sprouting grains like buckwheat for any longer (that it takes for the tails to just about be visible) also impacts on the taste. It turns from tasting like a grain to tasting like grass which isn’t nice breads really. If I forget they are growing and if and the tails get longer, then I use them for sprinkling on salads if I can. I really don’t like throwing things away!
I also like to keep a store of crispy dehydrated buckwheat sprouts (with tiny tails!) in a jar as they are wonderful for cereals/granolas and stirring into yoghurts etc for example.
Oh yes, I love dehydrated sprouted buckwheat as well. They are excellent addition to homemade chocolate bars and bark 👍
Hi there !! I followed the recipe however, a very dark brown colour layer formed when my batter was sitting in the oven— there’s also a funky smell— almost sweet like to it. Can’t compare to something else cuz I haven’t smelt anything like this before. I have taken pictures as well ! It’s been in there for 10 hours. I don’t know if it’s gone bad or not. But it just looks like a type of soft crust that formed. I’ve removed it for now and I will see how it bakes. I’m not sure if you will know what could be the cause of it. Thanks so much love !
Hi! I’d say 10 hours in a warm oven is too long — it should be 7 hours tops! If you cannot attend to the batter sooner, I’d suggest leaving it onto the kitchen counter at room temperature for about 14 hours (depends how warm it is — if very warm then less time is required). Let me know how the baking went! If it doesn’t taste good, it’s better to discard it unfortunately. All the best!
Hi Nele, I have recently found your website. Thank you for all you do! I made this buckwheat bread and the internal did not cook thoroughly It looks like dough pressed down, almost like banana bread that did not cook through. What can I do to remedy this problem?
Hi Patricia! The only thing I can think of is that it wasn’t fermented enough… Was it bubbly and made a crackling sound when mixing?
Hi Nele, I made your buckwheat bread and it did not cook thoroughly in the interior. I believe I followed all your instructions well. I also put the bread in a cold over and turned on the oven to get the baking process started. Then counted from the time the oven was 350 degrees. I tried putting the bread back in the oven to keep cooking it for 10-15 more minutes. It did not rise as much as your bread did. Suggestions??
Hello Nele, I just made this for the first time and my husband and I loved it. I was able to ferment the bread in my oven for 7 hours. We look forward to experimenting with different spices, seeds, and fruits! Also, I wondered if you’ve ever added in a little pre-soaked millet when you fold in the dry ingredients (for a variation in texture). Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi Karen! I’m so happy to hear that you love the bread! No, I haven’t tried folding in soaked millet, but it sounds like a great idea 🤗