Gluten Free Fermented Buckwheat Bread

(alien777) #61

Hi Melissa,

Thank you for your wonderful fermented GF buckwheat bread recipe. I will be receiving raw, organic buckwheat groats from Bob’s RM soon and so am preparing for this exciting adventure of BW bread making. Before asking questions, I like to reveal my bread making site and condition for considering to set/amend the process in your recipe instructions: I live in northern California and at this time around it is about 70 ~ 80F night and day and about 40% humidity in the house. So I am setting the soaking time as 5-6 hrs, fermenting time as 12 hrs (mostly at night), and rise time b4 baking as 30 min. The finished batter will be baked in a bread machine for 60 ~ 80 min. Please advise if these settings are inappropriate and kindly provide optimum settings for my conditions. Now I have two questions:

  1. Should I rinse/clean the groats before soaking them? (I plan to use spring water for soaking and fermenting and will NOT rinse after soaking)
  2. I will use a Ninja kitchen system (the blender) to make the batter. Should I use “crash” or “blend” mode to process it? and for how long? The Ninja machine is very powerful, so I don’t want to over “break” my groats…

I appreciate your (and anyone’s) help/comments. Thanks

(Melissa) #62

It sounds like you have the process well planned. The only aspect of this recipe that I think you’ll want to hit with some precision is the batter growing by 1.5 cups (from 5ish cups to 6.5ish cups).
Twelve hours at 70-80F sounds about right, but if you can use a container with measuring marks and check on your batter starting as early as 8 hrs, that would be ideal.
I’ve never used a bread machine. If you let everyone know how it goes, I’m sure that would help people who prefer that method of baking.

  1. I don’t rinse the groats, but I doubt it would be problematic to give a light rinse.
  2. To repeat my results, you want a gritty frozen-yogurt texture. The photo in the recipe gallery doesn’t show this too well, but check it out if you haven’t already. I think your bread would be fine, just different, if you did a more smooth puree or a more chunky blend. I used a Cuisinart food processor with the metal blade and I don’t know how that compares to the Ninja. I guess go with the less intense setting first and see where that gets you in texture.

I hope this helps. I’m happy to answer other questions. Good luck!

(alien777) #63

Thank you so much for the prompt reply/help. Yes, I have prepared the 8-cup measuring bowl like yours and expected for the 1.5 cup rise amount. The soaking-fermenting process I have planned goes like this: start soaking @3:00PM – end soaking @9:00PM – start fermenting @9:30PM – (check fermenting batter @9:00AM, next day) – (hope to) end fermenting @9:30AM, next day. The problem in this process is that after the batter fermented for 8 hrs, I will be in sleep and won’t be able to check it until at least another 3 hrs… I have tried setting up other timing processes with nothing workable or better.

Regarding rinsing groats before soaking, I’ll double check vendor’s website for this instruction. As for the batter texture, hopefully, I can try and venture out well with your idea and good wish. I have a conventional non-stick bread pan (5x9") and an electric oven. But it seems to me using bread machine’s baking function for the same task with oven will save some energy without losing baking effectiveness (oh, one difference will be that the final 30 min rise before baking will be in the machine without heat and light). So I’ll try it and report back. Thank you.

(alien777) #64

My very first buckwheat bread was out: not perfect, but exceedingly over my satisfaction! The texture is dense and not very airy (discuss below), but not sticky/caky like the GF bread I made before. The best thing: smell is heavenly wonderful and the tasting flavor is surprisingly great and indescribable!

The whole process was a bit out of my original plan and it could explain much of the outcome:
First, I soaked a bag (16oz) of groats with 3 cups of spring water for 6 hrs; second, drained using a plastic colander without rinsing-- the run off was very sticky and took long time to drain INCOMPLETELY (could be the issue here); next, load in food processor add 1.3 cup water and blend for about 1.5 min (another possible issue here); load in a measuring glass container and it measured 6.5 cup already! Let fermenting in room temp at night for ~ 10 hrs and saw no rise at all! Wait for another 12 hrs (during the day) and saw it rise to over 7 cup with some bubbling (not much). One hour later, saw it back down to 7 cup! Went ahead to add and blend salt, flax seeds, and chocolate; into the bread machine and bake for 70 min. I think it can be improved by 1. drain the soaked groats completely, and 2. blend the batter for 3 min to make it finer (I could feel the sandy as loading the batter into fermenting container) for better fermentation in a shorter time.

Thank Mellisa again for this wonderful recipe! Appreciate all comments.

(Melissa) #65

Your loaf looks good and I’m glad you enjoyed the favor and aroma. I agree it’s quite a nice smell that fills the kitchen when it bakes or when you toast it later.

I don’t recall straining the groats for a lot time, yet it does sound like you ended up with more volume than I ever did…perhaps also your groats expanded more?

Enjoy experimenting :slight_smile:

(alien777) #66

Hi Melissa, Thanks for replying.

Since the run-off was VERY sticky, do you think I can rinse a bit after soaking? Also, how do you decide whether the blending before fermenting is done right? Should it be fine like flour? or granular like sand? When loading the batter from blender bowl to fermenting container, I could feel it sandy as my finger went over the bowl’s inner side… thought it might be a little under-blended? Please comment. Thank you.

(Melissa) #67

It’s taken me a while to reply because I’ve been pondering the necessity of retaining the slime water from the buckwheat soak. My hunch is that it is rich in the yeasts and lactobacillus you need for the ferment. Also flavor too. I’m not certain though. Perhaps you can do a split batch to test this? One half rinsed and one half not. Bake a small loaf if only the latter rises.

To answer your other question. The batter is like a sandy soft serve ice cream.

(alien777) #68

Hi Everyone,

Just baked my fifth loaf of BW bread. It came out very close to what I expected/hoped from the beginning. The first four loafs all came out fine except the poor airy texture through the little rise during the process. This time I had changed the process as follows: 1. Soak 16oz BW mixed with 1/4 cup of flaxseeds in spring water and lemon juice for 6 hours; 2. drain out the soaking liquid and load into Ninja, add 1 and 1/2 cup water, blend for 1.5 min, add 1/4 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup 100% chocolate chips, honey, more lemon juice, and salt, blend for one more min; 3. load the mixture into bread machine pan (mark the top level); 4. cover with cloth and place in high, warm place for fermentation (~7:00PM); 5. little rise in next morning, at 12:00 rise 1/4 inch, at 3:30P rise 1/2 inch more --> bake for 70 min. It came out with (again) wonderful smell and delicious subtle flavor and most of all the improved airy and lightly loose texture had added a very nice tasting joy. I believe the major process change, mixing all ingredients before fermentation, is the key that improves the fermentation by avoiding the blending (mixing) other ingredients after fermentation which could interrupt the already fermented batter to lose the bubbling and airy texture. Here are the photos taken at night with manmade light, so kind of reddish…

(alien777) #69

Oh, just forget to mention that the only thing it came out imperfect maybe the lack of a “dome” at top center that I rather prefer not formed though because if there is a dome at center, I would not be able to cut the loaf into uniform pieces. It may construe a nice visual form, not practical for eating to me though.

(Melissa) #70

Wow! That crumb looks so fluffy and bready. It doesn’t have the solidified pudding look to it. Very nice!

You add lemon juice during the soak and ferment – I’m curious if that is to affect the flavor or the texture, or both? How does it work?

(alien777) #71

Thanks, Melissa. It is really nicely fluffy as you said (my ultimate goal reached). As for the lemon juice (replacement for ACV), my main purpose was for better flavor (for last 4 loafs ACV and BW made a strange odder/taste that I didn’t appreciate) and it did add a refreshing flavor/aroma to the taste. But I did not notice/was not aware of achieving better texture than previous batches (I could see through glass container in previous batches that there were bubbling achieved in fermenting batter but suspect those bubblings were ruined after mixing other ingredients afterward – lost airy crumb). However, I really don’t know if lemon juice makes a better acidic assistant for fermenting than ACV. Would like to know the truth and why?

(Melissa) #72

I’m probably going to “oh yeah duh” myself when you answer but what is ACV? :slight_smile:

(alien777) #73

Apple Cider Vinegar

(Melissa) #74

Ah gotcha!

(debeiler) #75

I tried this recipe and was disappointed that there was no fermentation happening. It might be because I used half the buckwheat and forgot to use half the amount of liquid. When I realized my mistake, I poured off some of the liquid that rose to the top. I did follow the instructions otherwise. Should the buckwheat be coarsely or finely ground, or doesn’t it matter?

(Melissa) #76

The texture is a gritty puree - check the photo gallery in the recipe blog if you haven’t already. That might help you get a sense. I liken it to melting frozen yogurt or soft serve ice cream.

Your fermenting issues could be from the pour off, but are more likely from any of the following:

  • Not waiting long enough
  • Using heavily chlorinated water
  • Using buckwheat with anti-molding agents / bacteriocide on the groats

I hope it works if you try it again. Let me know if you have other questions.

(easummers) #77

I made this recipe as written (no seeds): ingredients and method and all went well. It was good but I didn’t like the taste enough to make again, although I might try some additions like coconut, fruit and nuts or seeds.

I make roast, cooked groats fairly often and use them like rice or quinoa as well as in a breakfast porridge. At the beginning of making them, I had very mixed results and a lot of mushy-glutinous results until I bought Russian groats (toasted) from Amazon. Those work wonderfully, but since they are toasted, I am unsure if they would work with this recipe so based on comments, I bought Breadtopia raw groats. But to summarize my prior experience, bin groats, Bob’s Red Mill … none resulted in nice fluffy buckwheat when cooked … only the Russian brand.

Shortly before I tried this recipe, I happened across an article (which of course, I now can’t find!!) that stated the difference in processing in the U.S. vs Russia (and Eastern Europe) results in the difference in how the groats cook. I thought “Ah-hah!”

And then I also paid more attention to recipes that called for roasted vs raw groats.

SO - as far as this recipe, at the minimum I believe raw groats and my order of Breadtopia groats worked well plus they looked and smelled good.

I did do a test this morning with the Breadtopia raw groats: toast 1/2 cup in a hot skillet until brown and fragrant (2-4 min.), add 1 cup water, boil, cover and simmer until fluffy (al dente) … 10-20 minutes. Mine took 16 minutes this morning. They are not as fluffy as the Russian brand I use, but not as mushy-glutinous as Bob’s or bulk bin stuff.

Not exactly scientific, but I believe I have a better idea of what works and kind of why.

The bread about 2 hours out of the oven.

Breadtopia raw buckwheat groats roasted and cooked per above.

Cooked groats in porridge.

NOW … Melissa (@Fermentada) has at least 1 porridge bread recipe here on Breadtopia and I’m thinking about trying that with Buckwheat porridge.

Also, if anyone wants something else to do with buckwheat groats, this waffle recipe is buckwheat groats, steel cut oats and no other flour. You mix most of the ingredients, blend, let sit overnight and make waffles or pancakes in the morning. If your oats and groats are certified gluten free, you have gluten free waffles or pancakes. I don’t eat gluten free but these are great waffles!! Overnight buttermilk buckwheat waffles.

(alien777) #78


I have been baking this buckwheat bread for about 4, 5 months (one loaf a week) now. Recently, I noticed some uneasy sight: sometimes after baking, loaf caved in from top center. Although it doesn’t make taste/edibility much different, it does make some visual dishearting. I wonder if this pitfall (cave in) is caused by over/under fermenting or over/under hydration? Or other causes? Appreciate/thank your comment/remedy.

(Melissa) #79

Has anything changed? Different room temp? Different buckwheat? Oven?

My guess is that the season change has triggered a faster ferment (slower if you’re southern hemisphere) and you need to adjust your timing more.

Other less likely possibilities are that you’re somehow using a different oven temp or time or cooling the bread differently.

I’m sorry this isn’t very helpful! If you’ve got more details, I’m all ears, though it sounds like you’re more of an expert in this recipe, making it every week, than I am :slight_smile:

(erindn) #80

I seem to be one of the very few people who can’t get this to ferment! I’ve made another fermented buckwheat bread (sourdough buckwheat bread on Hormones Balance) and it worked but it used 1 1/2 cups groats and 1 3/4 cups water. Quite a bit different ratio than in this recipe!

But I want to get this one to work because it’s a taller loaf that looks more like regular bread (I need something my son can eat at kindergarten that looks like what the others are eating). I’ve read the tips you’ve given to the other people who couldn’t get it to ferment and I’m still not sure what the issue could be. I used the same buckwheat that I used in the other recipe. So it’s not that. I used a thermometer so I’m sure the temperature was correct. Was I not supposed to cover the bowl (with the processed groats + water) with a cheesecloth? I did that both times. Could that explain it? The other thing you mentioned was that my bowl might have been too clean. I’ve done a lot of vegetable fermenting so I’m used to making sure everything is clean first.

It’s such a gorgeous loaf! I want to try again soon. Thank you so much for your replies to the comments! I know it takes a ton of time.