Thursday, 12 April 2007

Experimenting with Buckwheat

Since the nice but short shopping trip in Western Australia I had some buckwheat flour in my cupboard. To be honest, when I picked it up, I had not the slightest idea what it would taste like - I had never eaten anything buckwheat before. The sole motivation was to enrich my flour supplies with an entire new candidate. Luckily, it turned out to be a good one. There are not too many buckwheat bread recipes around, so I quickly decided to change the "Barley-enriched Farmhouse Loaf" into a "Buckwheat-enriched Loaf" (pictured above) and everything was just fine. The original recipe comes from the "Bread Machine Kitchen Handbook". Using my bread maker for kneading, it was done in no time. It's hard to say what buckwheat really tastes like (maybe the buckwheat content wasn't big enough for a more distinctive flavour). However, the buckwheat gives the bread a wonderful hearty taste - for a straight yeast bread, the depth of flavour was amazing. So whenever I'm too short on time for using sourdough or a poolish, I' ll just grab the jar with the buckwheat flour!

The next bread on my list to try was the Buckwheat Walnut Bread (pictured below). Again pretty straight forward but tasty nonetheless and with a surprisingly long shelf life. My boyfriend declared this to be best bread I've ever made - although he's said that several times by now...;-) Anyway, it's the perfect accompaniment for a crisp winter salad with walnuts and blue cheese. Even here in Sydney, we're heading towards winter!

Buckwheat-enriched Farmhouse Loaf

The ingredients

260ml water
45ml/3 tbsp double cream
400g white bread flour
115g buckwheat flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry instant yeast
2 tbsp each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Pour wet ingredients into the bread pan (making sure that the kneading blade is inserted), add salt and sugar, add flours, and make a dent into the flour. Put the yeast into that dent. (If your machine instructions state another order for adding ingredients, do so.)

Start the dough setting and add the seeds when the machine beeps shortly before the end of the kneading time.

When the dough cycle has finished, take the dough out of the pan and shape into a rectangle. Dust with flour and slash lenghtways with a very sharp knife or blade. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius (200 when fan-bake).

In case your dough cycle doesn't include the rising time, let the loaf rise until doubled in bulk. Otherwise let the dough rise just a couple of minutes or until the oven is properly preheated. Place the loaf on your preheated baking stone or on a baking sheet and insert into the oven.

Splash some water on the bottom of the oven during the first five minutes to create steam. This will result in a crisper crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes or more until golden brown. Tap the bottom of the loaf: If it sounds hollow, the bread is done. Let cool down before slicing.

The source
Adapted from "Jennie Shapter: Bread Machine Kitchen Handbook"

Buckwheat Walnut Bread

The ingredients

15ml/3 tsp honey
315ml water
30ml/2 tbsp walnut or olive oil
400g bread flour
100g buckwheat flour
1 ½ tbsp milk powder
1 ½ tsp salt
¾ tsp sugar
1 tsp dry yeast
100g walnut pieces

Same procedure as explained above.

The source
Adapted from "Jennie Shapter: The Bread Machine Kitchen Handbook"


deinin said...

Ooh! I only ever use buckwheat for blins, and even though it comes in fairly small bags, some of it always goes bad for me. But now I can try this with what remains from last winter's blini-feast.

Nora B. said...

Hi Eva, I've been lazy again and have been eating store bought bread, and not even the bakery ones but commercial ones! Blame it on all the easter baking I've been doing. I've had buckwheat pancakes in American and buckwheat pasta in Italy. I think buckwheat add a nutty flavour to the final product but is usually combined with regular wheat flour because it has no gluten. I guess you can experiment with the proportion of buckwheat flour:regular flour.

Anh said...

Beautiful Bread! I like buckwheat for noodles, but haven't experimenting them with bread. Your recipes are my new inspirations!

Eva said...

deinin - blinis is the next thing on my list to try. I love anything pancake...

nora b. - the bread definitely had a nutty flavour (maybe I'll pair it with hazelnuts one time). I didn't know that buckwheat has no gluten - I increased the buckwheat content in both recipes but luckily not too much!

anh - thank you very much! If it wasn't such a fuss, I'd like to try making my own soba noodles. But I've never made my own pasta before...

bea at la tartine gourmande said...

very nice looking loaves of bread. Love buckwheat flour!

Eva said...

Thank you, Bea! And thanks a lot for your ring mould recommendation!

amandajewls said...

I've just winged my own buckwheat loaf, 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1 cup flax flour and about 1 cup plain flour with the usual water, oil and yeast. So far it smells great but hasn't risen much! I think I"m in for some dense crackers for dinner...