so you do a little reading first, yeah? and then you decide to dive in and give it a whirl. be prudent, have a look-see, a sniff-about. ah, and then you can adjust from here.
buckwheat. aside from that guileless character with unfortunate hair, what do we know about it? Let's have a look.
BUCKWHEAT. Wholly not a grain, no less than a plant related to rhubarb. its darling seeds look and behave like a grain, thus is the luxury that we may employ it for bread. it contains no gluten, so crackers made from it can be had by those who cannot tolerate the stuff. think: tan asian noodles called soba, these are made from buckwheat, our new friend. and this little rascal, you will be happy to hear, is a complete source of protein.
let's enjoy this new discovery, right? good, because i've a bag of it that must be used.
i began this loaf remembering how wonderfully this flour behaved in some crackers i made a while ago. nutty, i remember them being, and as i love to flog a good, dead horse, i added sunflower seeds to the dough.
the dough, it must be mentioned, feels a bit gluey, flaccid, sticky, you may even feel as though your bread could not possibly come out well, given some evident lack of vigor. but forge on, because it will despite all of these ominous signs. and for those of you who have asked why sometimes i use bread flour flour instead all purpose on various occasion, it's because when working with another flour that lacks gluten, i like to make up for that loss with a higher protein flour, bread flour, as it were, which, of course, contains more gluten than all purpose. i use all purpose when there is no fear of the fallen loaf because all purpose is lower in protein than bread flour, thus providing a more tender crumb. i choose wisely, see, it's not all willy-nilly over here, despite appearances.
a brief note on seeds and nuts, any seed/nut for any bread: those worked into the dough must be toasted for optimum flavor, those that you press to the outside of the dough should remain raw; they will toast in the oven as the bread bakes. if you toast them prior, they will blacken and ruin your day.
with all that said. here is our latest bread. of course, i will post the ensuing results as i experiment with increased measures of this flour along with any further adjustments, using this loaf as a platform for the newest fork in our road.
i give you...
110g organic, sprouted buckwheat flour
(i used 'to your health' with fantastic results)
390g KA organic bread flour
100g toasted sunflower seeds
125g raw sunflower seeds
20g organic sprouted barley malt, i used 'eden'
mix together the levain, the flours and water until it reaches a shaggy mass. autolyse for 1 full hour. after autolyse, squish the salt into the dough with your hands. add the toasted seeds. knead the dough for a full two minutes by hand, i mean, really beat the crap out of it. it will be sticky and horrendous, but loads of fun.
be sure to keep a tiny bowl handy while you are slicing the bread to capture all of the little seeds that fall away. these make for lovely snacking.
verdict: goodness me, this bread is to die for. the interior was as splendid as one could hope for, so tender. and the crust was perfectly caramelized. it was pleasantly sour, undeniably nutty. if there is one thing that i will change next time round is to increase the amount of barley malt that i use to at least 40g (which would likely necessitate the reduction of hydration in the dough, so keep this in mind if you make this adjustment on your own). and i may cut the final ferment to 20 hours. i will keep you posted when i make these changes.