Gluten Free Fermented Buckwheat Bread

(lmcrane) #21

I tried this and failed miserably. I left it longer than 24 hours, but it appeared to never ferment (get bubbly-ish looking as in your photo). Also, having just reread the recipe, I didn’t let it rise another hour in the pan before baking. While baking, it really smelled awful–fishy smelling. Tasted fishy as well. I’m not sure what I did. Maybe the weather was too cold–under 70 degrees. I will try again, though, as it looks really good, and I have 2 gluten free family members.

(Melissa) #22


I’m so sorry the bread didn’t work for you. It sounds like the buckwheat batter did not get the right bacteria and yeast combo. This could be from heavily chlorinated water, or from a tight lid, or from the buckwheat being “too clean” in the manufacturing/packaging process. Also, it could be that the buckwheat or your containers had a “bad” bacteria/yeast that overwhelmed the ones we want.

I don’t clean my bowls or food processor in any special way, and I don’t have a super sanitized house. In fact, my 80 lbs dog spends a lot of his life 2 ft away from me, watching me cook, so I’m not inclined to believe the bacteria-bowl theory.

I’m sure there are other factors I’m not aware of, too.

I made this as low as 65-67 one of the times I made it, and it was fine. Also, the second rise is not crucial, and if you’d done it, that wouldn’t have fixed the bad smell and lack of rise on round one. The batter should smell plant-y and good.

I hope it works if you try it again. I’m happy to troubleshoot more if you have questions.


(lmcrane) #23

Thanks for the reply. I, too, don’t have a super clean house and a dog always close by. It never did have much of a smell, until it started vaguely smelling a bit off. I do a lot of yeasted breads, so I know what a risen dough should look and smell like. I have no idea what went wrong, and so it intrigues me. I got the buckwheat (raw) from a bulk bin at Whole Foods, used water from a Brita filtered pitcher, put a towel on the bowl, and the bowl came out of my cupboard. However, it was a plastic bowl. I’ll try it next in a glass bowl. (I have the one plastic mixing bowl with a spout that I used, and then many glass and metal bowls.) I will definitely keep trying.

(Dan) #24

Hi Melissa,
Buckwheat is one of my all-time favorite grains, I use a lot of it (mostly raw - sprouted). The recipe, for how simple it is, beats, as far as flavor is concerned, many other gluten-free bread attempts. Not to mention you can make this with only three ingredients (buckwheat, water, salt) versus the dozen or more ingredients in usual gluten-free breads. Here’s a picture of one loaf without seeds - I’m not big fan of seeds in bread, I like to keep things simple. I do have a question, maybe you know the answer. Sometimes this comes out nice on the top (the one pictured here is a pretty good example, it can even be better) but sometimes it has the sad, saggy top look. Do you have any idea what may cause it to sag?

(Melissa) #25


It’s such a coincidence that you posted this question today. I made this bread last night into this morning. I hadn’t made it in maybe a month and was craving it. I agree that the simplicity and flavor are super.

My theory for the flatter middle is overfermentation. This is based on one loaf that didn’t crack and dome up. My house was hot for the first time this past spring, and I was surprised to lift the towel and see a growth of 1 cup in just a few hours. I was heading to bed so I just crossed my fingers. I woke up to almost 2.5 cups of growth that was visibly burbling. I took video footage lol.

Today’s fermentation started at a little over 5 cups and ended at 7 cups. Has nice spring. Also, that second rise after mixing in the salt – I do only 20-30 minutes. Maybe that is a factor?

Here’s a pic. I’m a seed fan :slight_smile:

(Dan) #26

I suppose you mean that too much fermentation will cause it to sag. And this may make sense, like with overproofed bread. On the other hand, at some point I baked two loaves processed in the same way at the same time. The only difference was that one was fermented just marginally closer to a warm spot (i.e. my oven) and thus fermented a little more. So that’s what caused me to wonder, because of the two (also baked simultaneously) the one that was more fermented turned out with the happy, upside curving, top. Just like in this last picture of yours. While the least fermented one was sagging.

(Melissa) #27

That is interesting. Maybe my flat loaf was over and yours under.

I forgot to include the info in my last message that my latest summer house ~77F fermented buckwheat loaf was an 11 hr ferment.

(jpanda) #28

I tried making this but I think maybe I let it ferment too long in the “batter” stage? I did it for over 24 hours – I made it the previously day – and when I came back from work tonight to make it, the dough smelled really bad and there was a layer of white stuff on top. I ended up tossing because it smelled bad but I wondered if it was just the fermenting smell supposed to be like this? Maybe I’ll do a shorter fermentation time next time but just wondering if there’s any other tips for next time? Thanks!

(Melissa) #29

So sorry this happened to your buckwheat ferment. It sounds like either it went too long or it was contaminated with something before you even started or possibly during.

In temps over 75F my ferment is done in 10-12 hrs. 24 hrs was needed at cold house temps like 64-70. I mark it’s progress less by the clock and more by the expansion. It starts around 5 cups of batter and is done around 6.5 cups.

Contamination could come from a mold in a bulk bin or probably a zillion other sources (heavily chlorinated water, tight seal that doesn’t allow some oxygen in for the aerobic stuff…etc.)

I suggest trying again with a container that allows you to measure expansion of the batter and stop at 1.5 cups growth. If it’s still smelly-bad and your water is filtered and your process is on point, then I’d try a different source for your buckwheat.

Good luck!!

(ericsson) #30

Thank you for such a super wonderful recipe ! ! !

I have two questions regarding possible mould contamination.

The colour of the water that the buckwheat has been soaking in overnight.
My soaking water turns a pinkish brown.

I am worried that PINK = MOULD ? ? ?

Sometimes the coloration is obvious as the water above the buckwheat in the bowl is pinkish brown and other times, (if I rinse the buckwheat prior to soaking) the colour only appears when I stir the buckwheat in the morning, (this happens as I scoop it out to strain it).

The other big concern I have is that after 24 hours of fermentation, I so often find that the top of my batter is a PINKY / ORANGEY / BROWN colour. When I disturb the top layer it is very obvious that the top is a different colour than the rest of the batter. I always throw the batter away at this point…could you please let me know if you think this is mould and if I do in fact need to throw it away.

I have always add the salt when I process the groats after soaking, I wonder if this could be contributing to the problem, (although it doesn’t happen every time??) or if the groats I use are just no good?

Please could you let me know if this coloration is normal?


p.s. Thank you Breadtopia for such great bread making resources and for providing a user friendly process for leaving comments.

(Melissa) #31

Thank you for your appreciation and praise. My runoff is a little pinkish. I don’t have the pink top layer.

I found this info, which suggests it’s not mold. Definitely go with smell and your own judgment too, of course.

Here is a screenshot of the comment and a link to the full blog where it appears. I didn’t read the blog but it came up on my “buckwheat pink” search. Then i did “find in page” and the word “pink.” Other sites came up in the search, but only this discussion had some answers

(This is giving me interesting ideas about my quinoa ferments.)

(ericsson) #32

Hi Melissa,

Thank you so very much for replying to my questions and for replying so quickly, I really appreciate it.

I haven’t thrown away my batter and feel as though it is unlikely to be mould…but I am reluctant to bake it.

In addition to buckwheat bread I also bake quinoa bread regularly and thought that soaking the quinoa was adequate, but from the article you found it seems that more needs to be done in order to reduce the phytic acid.

I’m so pleased I asked my questions today and that you have been so kind and generous with your time in answering them because I have learned something that will be of benefit not only for making buckwheat bread in the future, but also for quinoa bread : )

Do you think you might add some of the buckwheat soaking water to your quinoa soaking water in future? I think I will.

The information you have pointed me in the direction of will inform many other food and food preparation choices too.

Thanks again.

(Melissa) #33

You’re welcome! Yes, I might do the quinoa soak with buckwheat water. Also, I had success sprouting quinoa from breadtopia and may try to ferment sprouted quinoa too.

What type/recipe of quinoa bread do you make of you don’t mind sharing?

(ericsson) #34

Hi Melissa,

The recipe I have used is from The Healthy Chef, I have made it following the original recipe and directions as well as trying a few variations.

I have made it with quinoa, chia seeds, water, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp bicarb. This gives good rise and an eggy flavour.

I have also made it with quinoa, chia seeds, water, 1Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp bicarb.This works well too.

I tried making it with just quinoa, chia seeds, salt and water it worked, but was very dense. I didn’t let the batter ferment as I do with the buckwheat batter, but now I have seen the way you make your quinoa loaf, I will certainly give your way a try.


(Melissa) #35

Thank you for the info on the quinoa bread recipes - I haven’t loved the flavor of my fermented quinoa bread so I will try this someday for sure!

(ericsson) #36

Hi Melissa,

I wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe and method for making quinoa bread and - L O V E - it. My first attempt performed more or less the same as in your pictures. The only thing that didn’t work out 100% is that it didn’t rise in the middle. I have another batter growing as I type and I’m sure with each loaf I bake, I will figure out all the little idiosyncrasies, oh and the ‘crumb’ is quite sticky, but I don’t mind that.

Thank you for including the idea in the post for buckwheat bread…I probably wouldn’t have found it if I hadn’t had questions about buckwheat bread and read through all the comments. I’m now even a little thankful that I have issues with my buckwheat bread making, because if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t have discovered my new favourite bread, (I think buckwheat bread will always be my favourite non grain bread, but I continue to have the issues I stated above with it), so my substitute favourite is your quinoa bread.

The recipes for quinoa bread I suggested in my earlier comment are great, but I love the simplicity of quinoa, water and salt, three ingredients and the fact that this is a fermented bread : ) Also, I have many food sensitivities, so the fewer the ingredients, the better.

Thanks again.

(Melissa) #37

I’m so glad you enjoyed the fermented quinoa bread and that you found the recipe in this comment thread. I probably should put it on the readers recipe section of the forum so it’s more searchable :slight_smile:

I also noticed it’s kinda sticky. And prefer it toasted as a result. Here’s pics from the second time I made it. A little better ferment with different quinoa

(ericsson) #38

Hi Melissa,

Your quinoa loaf looks great :slight_smile:

I baked my second quinoa loaf using your method yesterday. I am quite happy with the result but with one exception, I ended up with a very dark, (almost burnt) outer crust. The first loaf I baked had a dark top, but the second is dark all around the outside. I wondered if you might have any suggestions as to why and how I might remedy the ‘problem’?

I also wanted to ask how you manage to put pepitas on the top of your loaf without them burning in the oven? I have put them on other loaves in the past and they just end up burnt…

I will continue to make this loaf, so if you have any suggestions on how I might improve it I would be most grateful.

Thanks again,

(Melissa) #39


Here’s a list of ideas - some are probably obvious and you’ve already checked but I figured I would put down all my brainstorming.

Oven temp - confirm that your oven is properly calibrated and take the temp when it is set to 350.

Oven rack - use the middle rack

Pepitas - I start with raw. Maybe you are using toasted pepitas, so cooking them overtoasts them?

Baking pan - if your pan is longer and narrower than the one I use, you may need to bake for less time.

If all this is not the issue, I recommend that about 2/3 through baking, you take the internal temp of the loaf. You can stop at 190 F regardless of how long the loaf has been in the oven. If it’s starting to get brown and you’re under 190, cover it with some foil, and come back to check the temp every ~5 minutes.

Hope this helps.

(ericsson) #40

Hi Melissa,

Thanks for your suggestions, I really appreciate you taking the time to offer them.

I have baked 2 more quinoa loaves since I read your suggestions and both times didn’t have the problem of an overly brown outer crust??? Not really sure why it happened on those two previous occasions. I will keep your suggestions in mind though in case it should happen to me again.

With regards to the issue of reducing the phytic acid in quinoa, I have decided, (very unscientifically) to add 50g of buckwheat to my quinoa loaves. I measure either 400g or 450g of quinoa and then add 50g of buckwheat before adding the water for soaking. I hope by doing this that I am adding in the phytase that the quinoa needs to break down the phytic acid.

Thanks again,