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Flour Mix Using Buckwheat - What's Yours?

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I have a bag of buckwheat I bought to use as a thickener in gravies.

But, since I have it, may as well give it a try in baking. So, those of you who use buckwheat, what's your flour mix?

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Buckwheat is incredibly heavy .. if you use it in 'normal baking' then combine it with a light flour (like rice flour) .. Real buckwheat crepes however are really simple and easy ... I mix by eye until its reasonably fluid, just buckwheat flour, water and optionally salt and optionally an egg.. (if yuou add the egg you'll need less water).

Ideal for savory crepes like ham and cheese etc.

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Saveur magazine had a recipe for buckwheat crepes that uses milk and egg. Haven't tried it yet but it sounded good. I'll have to get on that. :)

How does it do as a thickener for gravies? What about the taste?

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Curious, gfp, as I find buckwheat to be nice and light. It gives my breads a decent soft, moist texture, and I wouldn't call it heavy at all. However, I do know that there are different types, and from what I've read, it has something to do with the amount of hull that is included. I currently have three different ones, which are dark, medium, and light. I have yet to try the dark one though. The light one is so light, I thought is was something else at first. It is lighter in color than most of my other flours, including millet, fava, and soy. I think it's about the shade of white rice flour, though I haven't seen white rice flour in awhile.

I like buckwheat much better than rice flour, as the rice flours I've been able to find have been gritty by comparison. I hadn't noticed much until I tried other flours such as millet, sorghum, buckwheat, bean flours, etc. I haven't used rice flour since.

Anyway, I generally mix buckwheat with millet and/or fava and/or garbanzo and/or white bean flour. The ratio depends on what I'm making (or attempting to make), and the type of buckwheat I'm using. I like the taste of whole grain breads, not the white "sandwich" type stuff, so my opinion my be different than that of others. But generally, I'll use 1 part buckwheat, 1 part of one of the others mentioned above, and sometimes 1/2 to 1 part soy. For additional lightness, try adding a starchier flour, like tapioca, sweet white rice, potato, etc, in the same ratio as the soy. Too much, or the wrong type, tend to make mine a bit gummy. But I use baking powder, no yeast, so your results may be different.

BTW, why not use cornstarch or one of the other starchy flours for gravies? I haven't tried buckwheat for that, but I'm interested in how it works for you.

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How does it do as a thickener for gravies? What about the taste?

Yeah, I'd think it be a bit strong in flavor to be used for gravies, though I suppose it's a matter of taste. I'd guess millet would be better for poultry gravies, but beef I've no idea.

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BTW, why not use cornstarch or one of the other starchy flours for gravies? I haven't tried buckwheat for that, but I'm interested in how it works for you.

Can't use cornstarch (corn allergy) or potato starch (same thing). I have been using sweet rice flour. Someone on this board mentioned using buckwheat flour for gravy and that it tastes a lot like wheat flour was used. Just wanted to try it out. Haven't made gravy since I bought it, though.

Thanks for the ratios, RiceGuy

I have a bag of Arrowhill Mills "Organic Buckwheat Flour" - which is about the color of brown rice flour and is sort of heavy I think. Didn't know there were grades of buckwheat flour. Do you get them locally or order on-line?

gfp - I want to try the crepes. I can't have egg, but am interested that you can still make a crepe without egg.

RiceGuy - I found some superfine rice flours on-line from Amazing Foods - it's ground so fine it's not gritty. But it acts more starchy so I use 1:1 with regulary ground rice flours. I like it.

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gfp - I want to try the crepes. I can't have egg, but am interested that you can still make a crepe without egg.

Yep just buckwheat flour, water and salt....

Make sure you leave it stand for about 20 mins... but the actual consistency is just trial and error...

For 20 mins it bubbles a bit.... if you use it like this you get holes in the crepes ...

I use a big huge cup and fill it about 1/4 full with buckwheat flour then add water slowly ... I never really measure... but its just a batter with no eggs and needs to be thin enough to spread quickly...

Get the pan quite hot (I use butter and before it starts to brown)... then just add it and spread abouts. It takes some practice to get the temp correct and sometimes its best to throw the 1st one...

For the filling ... savoury works a lot better for buckwheat...

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I have a bag of Arrowhill Mills "Organic Buckwheat Flour" - which is about the color of brown rice flour and is sort of heavy I think. Didn't know there were grades of buckwheat flour. Do you get them locally or order on-line?

The medium I have is the Arrowhead Mills one. I get the others here.

RiceGuy - I found some superfine rice flours on-line from Amazing Foods - it's ground so fine it's not gritty. But it acts more starchy so I use 1:1 with regulary ground rice flours. I like it.

I thought the ones I had were fairly fine, but perhaps not as fine as they can get. I do know that the starchier ones, like sweet white rice flour, are less gritty. But, there's also the texture, and as I recall, I never got very good results with the rice flours. But it was early in my gluten-free baking experiments, so I may revisit that one of these days just to see how it works, now that I have a better idea how these things go.

As for replacing egg, try lecithin. I've seen some posts from members who can't have soy, but the lecithin is ok, but if not there's also sunflower lecithin. A Google search will turn up some places to get it. I mix lecithin in water, and once it dissolves, it's like an egg yoke. Makes sense considering that the word lecithin comes from an ancient Greek word meaning "egg yoke".

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I use buckwheat sparingly in breads and wraps because it does have a stronger flavor. It can give you a whole grain type of taste, but too much can be overpowering and you run the risk of a slightly bitter after taste. I do love buckwheat noodles however. I'm still learning how to make pasta, but buckwheat so far is my favorite.

Violet

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I never did get to do a text file but youcan see a lot of pictures of soba making on my site.

http://www.hawaiifruit.net/index-personal.html

scroll down until you see the soba school section.

The key is mixing the soba (buckwheat) flour with ice water.

You have to be careful when you buy the flour and the noodles as often its mixed with wheat flour.

Some larger japanese markets in the US will have juwari soba which is 100% buckwheat.

Good luck

Violet,

Do you have a recipe for buckwheat noodles or do you buy them?

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Ken,

Do you have a recipe for making the dough?

I thought I would just buy the buckwheat and grind it myself.

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Grinding it yourself would be best. I keep meaning to get a grinder one of these daze...

In Japan near my office there s a shop where they grind it for you. They also have a machine where they hull rice that you buy so that you get both the rice and the coating called nuka which is used to make pickles. Cooking the whole buckwheat like rice or quinoa is good too. Sometimes I'll have it for breakfast instead of the oatmeal I used to have.

With the noodles, I never measure anything just approximate. Start with a package which is about 1.5 cups of flour and slowly add ice water to when i get the consistency I want for noodles. They are rather particular about the quality in Japan so it's usually rolled out a few times with any imperfections taken out, then its put back in a ball again, rolled some more to get rid of any air bubbles. balled up and rolled again. Dusted with more soba/buckwheat flour. then they cut the noodles. Some chefs in the Tokyo area I know get creative and add some finely chopped herbs,

anchovy paste or even tiny pieces of sun dried tomato. It's all good.

It takes some practice but not that hard to get good consistent sizes and length.

Just 5 to 7 minutes in boiling water then run cold water on them unless your plan to eat them right away. I'll use them instead of spaghetti noodles at times but usually just eat them like soba dipped in some sauce.

Hope to find time to experiment with other combinations with the soba powder.

Hope this helps

Ken

Ken,

Do you have a recipe for making the dough?

I thought I would just buy the buckwheat and grind it myself.

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I have a recipe, somewhere, that you add cinnamon, honey, and maybe nuts to toasted buckwheat to make a granola type cereal. I loved it. Toasted buckwheat reminds me of rice crispies. :)

Thanks, I'll have to give the buckwheat noodles a try.

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Oh that sounds good! In spring in Japan, one of the dishes they make is with sakura leaves and blossoms in buckwheat. Been a long time since I made it but it was really good and I usually order it when I'm there each March. Light cherry flavor is really nice.

Sometimes I'll use whole buckwheat or quinoa like one would use couscous with dried fruit cooked in it. I'm addicted to figs that I grow and dried apricots which we cant grow in Hawaii.

Have also made a dessert pudding with buckwheat and poha (Cape gooseberry).

take care

I have a recipe, somewhere, that you add cinnamon, honey, and maybe nuts to toasted buckwheat to make a granola type cereal. I loved it. Toasted buckwheat reminds me of rice crispies. :)

Thanks, I'll have to give the buckwheat noodles a try.

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I have a bag of buckwheat I bought to use as a thickener in gravies.

But, since I have it, may as well give it a try in baking. So, those of you who use buckwheat, what's your flour mix?

Here is a recipe I make using buckwheat flour:

Guiltless Banana Pancakes

http://www.recipezaar.com/252138

There is no oil or sugar in the ingredients and they are less than 2 points each with Weight Watchers!

Ingredients

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup garfava flour (or Garbonzo Flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg white (or 1 egg)

1 1/4 cups skim milk (Rice or Soy work too)

1 mashed banana (ripe)

Directions

1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, mash the banana and add the two egg whites and pour into the dry mixture.

3. Add the milk and then mix well with a wire whisk being sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be thick.

4. Heat a nonstick skillet over low to medium heat. Pour desired amount of batter onto skillet. Wait until the batter bubbles and the edges look slightly dry and then flip the pancake. Enjoy!

Modification: If you do not have a nonstick skillet or would prefer adding healthy oil to your diet, I suggest cooking the pancakes on a 1/2 tsp of olive oil.

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