Toasted buckwheat porridge sourdough bread is both earthy and nutty, with a distinctive flavor and aroma that makes awesome avocado toast, pairs well with smoked salmon and cream cheese, and is delicious with butter and jam. This porridge bread has awesome texture due to the chewy crumb from high gluten flours and the discernable but soft buckwheat groats dispersed throughout it.
About Buckwheat: Buckwheat seeds are a pseudocereal, not in the wheat family at all but actually related to rhubarb, knotweed and sorrel. Buckwheat is a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids that humans can only get from food. It has has a long history of cultivation and consumption in Asia and Eastern Europe where buckwheat groats are used for savory and sweet porridges or ground into flour for noodles and pancakes.
Toasted buckwheat porridge sourdough bread has a delicious and distinctive flavor that makes an awesome avocado toast and also pairs well with smoked salmon and cream cheese. The buckwheat groats add a lovely texture and mouthfeel to the crumb, softer than most seeds but more noticeable than oat porridge in bread.
Toast the buckwheat groats on the stove in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning. When you smell a toasty aroma and most of the groats are a light-to-medium brown, remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl.
Pour boiling water over the groats with at least an inch extra water over the groat level, cover and let soak for about an hour.
Mix all the dough ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined and cover.
Stretch and fold the dough at the 20- and 40-minute marks.
Drain the toasted buckwheat porridge in a tight-mesh colander, shaking the colander a bit to eliminate as much excess liquid as possible and also letting the porridge sit in the colander for about 5 minutes, with a bowl underneath to prevent a mess.
See the photo gallery below for a visual explanation of these instructions: About an hour after mixing the dough, stretch it out into a large rectangle on a clean, slightly damp work surface. Place about 1/3 the buckwheat porridge down the center of the dough, fold the left side of the dough over the buckwheat, layer more buckwheat onto the dough and fold the right side over the buckwheat, layer more buckwheat onto half the dough and fold the dough one more time. Return the dough to your bowl or a straight-walled container and cover.
Stretch and fold the dough at roughly 20-minute intervals at least twice more during the second hour since mixing.
Let the dough grow by about 50%. The heavy weight of the buckwheat porridge will limit the dough’s expansion, so this is actually a lot of fermentation. In a cool kitchen ~67F, this expansion took about 7 hours from when I mixed the dough.
Scrape the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface and pre-shape it into a ball. Cover it with an inverted bowl and let it rest about 20 minutes. I like to do a pre-shape with this dough to strengthen it a little and to further ensure the porridge is well-distributed through the dough.
Shape the dough into a boule, batard, or oblong loaf, depending on your proofing basket and baking vessel shape.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured proofing basket and cover it.
Let the dough proof at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate it overnight. Or do the entire final proof in the refrigerator for longer, or at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending on your kitchen temperature and the dough’s appearance. See the photo gallery below for target dough expansion in the basket.
Preheat your oven and baking vessel for 30 minutes at 500°F.
Flip your dough out of the proofing basket onto parchment paper and score it.
Transfer the dough to your baking vessel, cover, and bake for:
20 minutes at 500F with the lid on
5 minutes at 450F with the lid on
10-15 minutes at 450F with the lid off
When the bread is done, the internal temperature should be over 205°F and the bread should sound hollow when you knock on the bottom of the loaf with your fist.
Let the bread cool at least 2 hours before slicing.