I believe I know in advance what most readers will think on encountering the word, “Buckwheat”: “Ewww - wheat!”, or,  “Pancakes!”

I’m here to tell you it’s not all that simple. A) Buckwheat is not a form of wheat, and, B) it’s great for so much more than pancakes.

First the facts. Buckwheat seeds are technically herbs, not grains - or at least not cereal grains. This isn’t an important distinction for the civilizations that have enjoyed buckwheat foods for thousands of years but it’s meaningful  when we start combining it with other products for taste and performance. Like grains, buckwheat can be ground into powders coarse and fine, used to make a huge range of baked goods, cooked without milling in porridges and accompaniments, and depended-upon for important nutrients. Buckwheat flour even has properties that remind us of other baking flours, since it absorbs water at a predictable rate and makes a sticky, cohesive dough which isn’t inclined to fall apart when baked, or to dry out easily.

Read more......

A perfect example of the way simple ingredients can yield complex, rewarding flavors, these cookie some together in a flash. They are very tender and oh-so rewarding, with floral and syrup notes. To achieve this, it's important to grind a buckwheat flour fresh from groats and combine with pre-ground flour. A blend of fine and coarse ground flours piques the mouthfeel and releases a lingering bouquet of tastes.

Yield: about 15, one-ounce cookies

Time to make: 20 minutes active. 20 minutes oven dwell.

Adapted from a generations-old family recipe, these pancakes check both the hearty and light boxes. They're ideal for individuals with multiple food allergies or vegans as they're dairy and egg free. Since buckwheat is not a "real" grain they're paleo too. However, the real reason to make a batch is because they're very good.

Yield: about 12, 4-inch pancakes; serves 4.

Time to make: 30 minutes active. Overnight batter ferment.

The 9 Grain flours make this crossover treat a tasty surprise. It's a yeast bread softened with a tangzhong and brightened with orange peel and buckwheat, with enough sweetness to pass as dessert and enough savory to crave for lunch.

A rich, almond custard filling makes the ideal complement for a puffy, buttery, buckwheat crust. 

Yield:    one 9-inch pie or tart, or two six-inch pies or tarts.

Time to make: 45 minutes active. 24 hour refrigerator dwell. 37 minute oven dwell.

Tools needed:  Large bowl. Medium bowl. Small bowl. Plastic wrap. Work surface. Pie pan or tart pan. Aluminum foil. Electric spice/coffee grinder. Measuring cups and spoons or scale. Sturdy metal spoon. Thin blade spatula.

This cake is a perfect example of a 9 Grains principle: choosing the right flour for the food. Buckwheat's assertive, vegetative flavor melds deliciously with ground walnut, brown sugar and fresh summer fruit. This moist and rich cake will put a smile on your face.

Note: Ingredients can be doubled for a 9 inch diameter cake.

Yield:  one, 6-inch circular cake, four servings.
Time to make: 40 minutes active. 45 minutes oven dwell

This rice and quinoa based pre-dough is used in most sourdough bread recipes on this site. Making it is a simple process: mix dry and wet ingredients and allow time for fermentation. Pre-dough is a key ingredient for improving rise, flavor and performance in savory (and some sweet) baked goods.

Sometimes described as a way to dispose of extra sourdough starter, these English Muffins are far too sophisticated to be thus diminished. They're infused with tartness - which you can control, see instructions below - and tenderized by the biology of natural leavens. Most importantly, they're chock-a-block with nooks and crannies, and they taste exceptional!

Yield: Six, 2-ounce English Muffins.

A no-fuss, no-maintenance starter can liberate the 9-Grains baker. There's no feeding schedule to keep track of, no commitment to a single flavor, no big deal if the flavor isn't quite what you wanted, no need to discard the leftovers. This recipe is as simple as it gets - a vigorous great-tasting, true sourdough starter made with just flour and water and ready in three days.

This home-made take on the French classic will likely not be as pretty as the ones purchased from a Parisian bakery (mine are always too pudgy), but it's a lot more accessible. Made using One-Shot Sourdough and a blend of the 9 Grains Flours, this baguette is not only gluten-free, but subtly tart, tender in the crumb, and crunchy in the crust.

Yield: One 16-ounce baguette

This very tart sourdough Pullman loaf gets its hue from Purple Haze starter. Made with whole-grain brown rice, oat flour and coarse buckwheat meal, it's a pleasure to taste, a delight to chew, and a star sandwich performer.

Yield: one, 18-ounce Pullman loaf.

Time to make: 20 minutes active. 6 - 12 hours proof (depending on temperature). 90 minutes baking.