Buckwheat and oat porridge sourdough

This one was a bit of a pantry raider – every now and again it is good to have a dig through and find what is left on the shelf before restocking. I also had a request from my wife to bake a bread with less white flour, which gave me a good opportunity to experiment with the unique flavour and texture of buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat flour - not really a flour at all...
Buckwheat flour – not really a wheat at all…

Buckwheat isn’t actually a ‘wheat’ at all; it is a cold climate plant that is in fact similar to rhubarb. Its seeds have no gluten, making it suitable as a wheat substitute in pancakes, cakes and bread. In this case, I wasn’t particularly aiming for a gluten free bread, and so was able to use up the end of a bag of organic wholemeal flour that I picked up recently in Melbourne.

The texture of the dough is sticky and difficult to work, but the results are worth it
The texture of the dough is sticky and difficult to work, but the results are worth it

The texture of the bread, which also contained a large portion of my rye starter, is dense but not overly so. Unlike a pure rye bread, or a gluten free bread, there is enough gluten in the wholemeal flour to give the crumb a slightly open, lighter texture. I also added soaked and cooked porridge oats to the mix to soften the texture slightly. The crust is the most important part of this kind of loaf – dark, chewy, and intensely flavoured. The smell from the buckwheat is unmistakable, and a final coating of wholemeal oats on one of the loaves give an added crunch.

The extra coating of oats adds texture tot he crust
The extra coating of oats adds texture to the crust

Buckwheat and Oat Porridge Sourdough makes 2 large loaves

  • 1 cup wholemeal porridge oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 400g rye starter @ 150% hydration
  • 500g wholemeal flour
  • 300g buckwheat flour
  • 500g lukewarm water
  • 20g salt
  • additional oats for coating (optional)
  1. In a microwavable container, combine the oats and water. These quantities will result in roughly 500g cooked porridge. Soak overnight. Refresh the starter.
  2. Microwave the porridge for 4 minutes, stir, and microwave for 4 minutes again. Allow to cool to about 35˚C.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Autolyse for 25 minutes.
  4. Knead in the bowl for 5-8 minutes. A longer knead is not necessary (or beneficial) due to the low gluten content of the dough.
  5. Bulk ferment the dough for 4-5 hours at room temperature, until visibly risen and springy to the touch.
  6. This dough is extremely sticky, so use additional wholemeal flour to flour both your hands and a work surface. Tip the dough out onto the work surface and divide into two. Shape into two rough balls and rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Shape the dough into two boules. If you are going to add oats to the crust, you can do this now. Transfer the dough to a well floured bread peel or the back of a baking tray.
  8. Proof for 2 hours.
  9. Preheat the oven to maximum with a Dutch oven on the middle shelf.
  10. Baking one loaf at a time, remove the Dutch oven, take off the lid, and slide the first loaf inside. Replace the Dutch oven with the lid on. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then a further 15 minutes with the lid off, reducing the heat to 230˚C if necessary.
  11. Cool on a wire rack and repeat with the remaining loaf.
One finished loaf, coated with extra oats
One finished loaf, coated with extra oats
Another, without the oat coating
Another, without the oat coating
The crumb of the buckwheat and porridge loaf, made softer by the porridge oats
The crumb of the buckwheat and porridge loaf, made softer by the porridge oats

 

 

 

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Red quinoa sourdough

Cooked quinoa gives a slightly nutty taste and a chewy texture to this bread, and using red quinoa specifically gives the loaf a dramatic colour. I have used quinoa in sourdough breads before, but never in this quantity – the finished loaf is peppered with quinoa throughout the crust and crumb.

Mix thoroughly before autolysing
Mix thoroughly before autolysing

This is another high hydration loaf that benefits from the “stretch and fold” method of kneading. The quinoa adds a little water to the mix too, but shouldn’t be a problem as long as it is worked in with the rest of the ingredients.

Soaking the quinoa
Soaking the quinoa

Red Quinoa Sourdough makes 2 large loaves

  • 250g red quinoa, soaked overnight, cooked and cooled
  • 400g rye starter at 150% hydration
  • 400g strong white flour
  • 400g wholemeal flour
  • 20g salt
  • 650g lukewarm water
  1. Refresh the starter at least 8 hours prior to mixing, or overnight.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Autolyse for 20 minutes.
  3. Stretch/fold the dough 10 times. Rest in the bowl for 10 minutes, then repeat this process twice more.
  4. Stretch/fold every 30 minutes for the first three hours of the bulk ferment (6 times in total).
  5. Rest for a further one and a half hours.
  6. Divide the loaves and shape into rounds. Rest for 5 minutes, then shape and place into well floured bannetons. I flour my bannetons with rice flour. Flour the loaves well and place into plastic bags.
  7. Retard in the fridge overnight.
  8. The day of baking, preheat the oven to 235˚C with a ‘Dutch oven‘ (le creuset style pan with lid) on the middle shelf.
  9. Bake the first loaf straight from the fridge: turn the loaf out onto a well floured bread peel or the back of a baking tray. Remove the Dutch oven carefully, and take off the lid. Slide the loaf into the Dutch oven, replace the lid, and place back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, and a further 15 minutes with the lid off.
  10. Repeat with the remaining loaf.
  11. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.
The finished loaf
The finished loaf
Red quinoa studded crust
Red quinoa studded crust
The interior of the loaf is also filled with quinoa and tastes fantastic
The interior of the loaf is also filled with quinoa and tastes fantastic
And the best way to use the bread is...
And the best way to use the bread is…