The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Groat Expectations (Buckwheat Loaf)

CrustyJohn's picture

Groat Expectations (Buckwheat Loaf)

Once more at the Tartine-style porridge/soaked grain type loaves, this time featuring buckwheat groats soaked in whey.

Bread spec.s:

Central Milling bread flour- 360g (60%)

Dayspring Farm Whole Wheat Flour- 180g (30%)

unspecified Einkorn (home milled by Jessica & James)- 60g (10%)


leaven- ~55g

water- 400g

Salt- ~4tsp


unspecified Buckwheat groats (100g) soaked in whey (200g) excess strained off (~35%)



-Soak groats in whey day (room temp. which fluctuated between ~60-~80) and a half before (no specific here, just going for a getting the groats nice and tender and maybe a bit of natural fermentation 

-Mix water and leaven, mix in flours, autolyse 1.5 hrs.  (room temp.= ~ 80)

-add salt, pinch in, stretch and fold over 3 hrs.

-add in buckwheat groats after 1.5 hrs. of bulk fermentation

-continue bulk fermentation undisturbed overnight in root storage (temp = 60)

-pre-shape, shape, retard 14 hrs. in fridge

-bake 20 min @ "500" covered, 10 @ "500" uncovered, 35 @ "470" uncovered

*Took the oven temp when it was set to 500 and got a reading around 435, kinda jumping around.  It's probably a bit higher than that, but it seems the oven runs at least 50 low, which is unfortunate because that means that it is actually topping out around 450 and maybe a little lower. Historically I've had best results with "as hot as possible" perhaps 525 (if that oven was accurate.  It certainly felt hot)



I really like the shape and bloom of the loaf coming out of the oven.  I was pretty happy with the crumb too.  Initially upon cutting open the loaf, I thought it looked a little inconsistent, but further cuts seemed more satisfying.

Flavor is nice and rich and a bit bitter.  This Dayspring Farm whole wheat (Turkey Catawba Hard Red I believe) definitely brings a strong, somewhat bitter flavor.  The flavor came through more rich and mellow in this loaf than the previous.  Maybe the einkorn adding something.  I'm not sure if I can really comment on the flavor of the buckwheat.  On that note, I'm not sure I'm I'll do buckwheat again- even softened from soaking, the groats are like little sharp diamond that lacerate the dough.  Also I'm still dreaming of that sweet, rich barley flavor of a few loaves back.  


naturaleigh's picture

I'm impressed with the crumb and oven spring given the long fermentation and retard times combined.  Looks like a nice, chewy loaf (the kind I like) and will make some excellent toast in addition to sammis.  I'll have to look up your barley bake(s)...I'm all about the interesting inclusions ;-)

CrustyJohn's picture

Yeah, I take the bulk ferment longer than I see most people, but that's what seems to work out (maybe lower leaven %).  As for retard, that's mostly just a matter of fitting my schedule- I've yet to really do any systematic comparison to see what's ideal there, but it did seem to come out pretty good this time. (maybe could have even used a bit more time?)

Yeah, I'm really getting hooked on interesting inclusions for the sake of having fun and experimenting, but so far cooked whole Barley has been far and away the best flavor addition!

HeiHei29er's picture

Very nice loaf!  Love that you used buckwheat.  It's one of my favorite grains!

You're spot on with whole groats being hard.  Where I've had the most success...  If I do the natural fermentation approach like you did, I put them in a blender for 20-30 seconds after straining off the excess fluid.  From there, it adds a nice buckwheat flavor to your loaf.

My favorite method is toasting the groats in a pan over low-medium heat until they're nice and red.  From there, I grind them in a spice grinder or my Mockmill and then just add at the final mix.

You mentioned barley...  I'll have to find that post.  It's another one of my favorites. ;-)

CrustyJohn's picture

Those are two great insights!  Thank you for the suggestion.  That gives me a reason to want to return to buckwheat and see if I can get something with a bit more distinct flavor.

HeiHei29er's picture

In my experience, to really get a good buckwheat kick, toast the groats ahead of time.  

Benito's picture

Handsome loaf John with a very good crumb.  I’ve never used buckwheat groats and only used buckwheat flour twice. I like using einkorn as a porridge or scald.


CrustyJohn's picture

Thank you!  Do you use whole/cracked einkorn berries?  Would you say it has a similar flavor to spelt when used as an addition? (I have whole spelt but only einkorn flour on hand is why I ask).