Sprouted buckwheat loaf

Sprouted buckwheat loaf

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
one loaf
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

A bit of a misnomer, buckwheat is not related to wheat; it’s not even a grass. The seed is high in complex carbohydrates, amino acids, dietary fibre, protein and minerals, and is sometimes referred to as a ‘pseudo cereal’. It is not only great nutritionally, but also extremely beneficial to soil health and good crop rotation.

This is a great loaf for getting into the world of sprouted grains. Buckwheat is delicious and very easy to sprout. We add a bit of buckwheat slurry to this loaf, to bring out the earthy flavour of the buckwheat.

Starter build

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
50g Starter
25g bakers flour
25g whole-wheat flour
50g water

Method

  1. Around 4–6 hours before you plan to mix your dough, combine the starter, flours and water for the starter build, mixing well to combine. You will use 90 g (3 oz) of this for the dough; retain the rest for maintaining your starter.

Dough

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
90g Starter
60g buckwheat groats
300g bakers flour
65g whole-wheat flour
280g water
7g salt
20g buckwheat flour
20g water at 60°c
100g buckwheat groats, crushed

Method

  1. Rinse the 60 g (2 oz) buckwheat groats three times in cool running water, and put them in a small bowl. Cover with tepid water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Cover the base of a tray with a warm, damp cloth. Strain the buckwheat and spread it onto the tray, then cover it with another warm, damp cloth. Leave it to sprout in a warm place – this should take about 24–48 hours.
  3. Once sprouted, the buckwheat is ready to use, but it will also keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days.
  4. At least 30 minutes before you plan to mix the dough, combine the bakers flour, whole-wheat flour and water in a large mixing bowl. Mix them with your hands until thoroughly combined, then cover with a damp cloth and set aside for the autolyse.
  5. When the starter is ripe and bubbly, mix it with the flour and water mixture, then sprinkle over the salt and finish mixing the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, before your first set of folds.
  6. To make the buckwheat slurry, mix the buckwheat flour and 60°C (140°F) water in a small bowl, to form a loose paste. Add the slurry and the sprouted buckwheat to the dough as you do the first turn and fold, ensuring they are evenly incorporated. Complete four sets of folds, resting the dough in between each one for 30–45 minutes.
  7. After your last set of folds, cover your dough with a damp cloth and leave to prove at room temperature for 2–3 hours.
  8. If you have multiplied the recipe, divide the dough into individual loaves before you pre-shape. Pre-shape the dough, then cover it with a damp cloth and leave it to rest on the bench for 15–20 minutes.
  9. To crush the buckwheat, wrap it in a tea (dish) towel and roll over the top with a rolling pin. Place the crushed buckwheat groats in a wide bowl. When the dough has relaxed, shape the dough as desired. Spray the top of the loaf with water or roll it over a damp tea towel, then roll it in the crushed groats to cover the loaf.
  10. Place it seam side up in a proving basket. You don’t need to flour the banneton for this bread, as the crushed buckwheat will stop it from sticking. Just make sure it is well covered over the surface. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight, until ready to bake.
  11. Preheat the oven to the maximum temperature and bake according to your preferred method. Once baked, tip the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool.

Bakery notes

  • You can sprout almost anything and throw it into this loaf; we’ve had success with rye, wheat, quinoa and lentils. They all add their own unique flavour and texture.

    The buckwheat, which has no gluten but lots of flavour, is added by making a slurry with hot water and buckwheat flour, and folding that into your developed dough. Low- or no-gluten flours are added later in the mixing process so that they don’t impact the development of the dough. We make them into a slurry to maintain hydration and so it’s easier to mix through the dough. We also use this technique at the bakery to add purple corn or polenta to our basic sourdough.

    Buckwheat groats or kernels are available online, at whole food stores and specialty grocers. Some supermarkets also stock them.
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