Lately, buckwheat flour has been taking the gluten-free community by storm.

Because buckwheat flour doesn’t contain any gluten, it is a perfect choice to use as a wheat-based food alternative, especially for people who have high sensitivity towards gluten.

Read on to know more about this pseudocereal flour.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flour is a flour that is derived from Fagopyrum esculentum plant seed. Contrary to the name, buckwheat flour is technically not wheat nor it is grain. And yes, it is gluten-free!

Buckwheat flour is also rich in fiber, light, and easy to digest.



Buckwheat Flour

The color of buckwheat flour is generally darker than regular flour. This is primarily caused by the presence of hull fragments. However, even though most buckwheat flour may have small dark speckles, buckwheat flour can also be uniform white to pale tan in color. The color also depends on how fine the ground is and whether or not it is derived from green or common dark buckwheat.

How does it taste? Well, unlike regular flour, buckwheat flour has a certain characteristic in its flavor. It is nutty and earthy. Some even describe it to have a hint of umami.

Buckwheat flour can be made at home by milling buckwheat groats yourself. Whether you like the groats raw or toasted, you can grind them in grain mills, grain blender, or using a coffee grinder. The best buckwheat flour is of course the one that is freshly ground.

Buckwheat flour itself has been developed into all kinds of food products including cookies, bread, or pancake mix.

Why Should You Try Buckwheat Flour?

Some people would argue that buckwheat flour tastes a little too earthy for their liking. But, give it a chance, and you might actually like the flavor.

Buckwheat flour is great when paired with savory ingredients but it doesn’t mean that you can’t whip up delicious sweets from this flour. For example, you can use buckwheat flour to make banana bread, sweet galettes, brownies, and other desserts.

Buckwheat flour itself is one of the most favored flour in the gluten-free baking community due to its health benefits and versatility.

How to Use Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat Flour can be intimidating especially if you’re using it for the first time. Without the proper technique and additional ingredients, it can be a dry crumbly mess. That’s why usually people mixed buckwheat flour with other flour (use gluten-free flour if you want to skip on the gluten) to bind the mix together. Another trick is also making sure to add enough moisture to the dough or batter.

What You Can Do With Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat flour is already a common ingredient in many countries. Here are a few inspirations on how to utilize buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat Galette
Galette de Sarrasin
Galette de sarrasin or galette in short, is a buckwheat savory crepe that is usually topped with cheese, egg, and ham. Sometimes also topped with mushroom and salmon. This food is popular in France.
Soba Noodles
Soba Noodles
Buckwheat noodles, also called soba, is very common and eaten hot or cold in Japan. You can eat soba noodles with broth or without broth. This noodle is very versatile and filling.
Blini
Mini Blini
Cocktail sized blini is a modern interpretation of traditional Russian food. It is similar to pancakes but usually smaller in size and made from buckwheat flour. This food is often served with butter, sour cream, caviar, or salmon on top.
Pizzoccheri
Pizzoccheri
Looking for a healthier option for pasta? Pizzoccheri might be the one you’re looking for. Pizzoccheri is a ribbon pasta made from buckwheat flour. Because buckwheat itself is very rich in fiber, this pasta can make you feel full longer than regular pasta. An original pizzoccheri recipe usually calls for 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour.
Buckwheat Pancake
Buckwheat Pancake
Modern use of buckwheat flour in Northern America and Europe comes in the form of buckwheat pancakes. This sweet dish consists of 50-50 buckwheat flour and regular wheat flour. But, you can also make them with 100% buckwheat flour. This is a great recipe for beginners.

Baking With Buckwheat Flour

Baking With Buckwheat Flour

Baking with buckwheat flour for the first time may be intimidating due to the dry and dense nature of the flour. It has a tendency to absorb a lot of moisture. Since buckwheat flour doesn’t contain any gluten, it will be hard to make wheat flour-like bread because buckwheat flour doesn’t naturally ‘rise’ like regular wheat flour. Although, when buckwheat flour is incorporated into bread recipes, it will create breads with a unique aroma and umami taste.

Baking with 100% buckwheat flour can be quite a challenge. Try combining it with other wheat flour or ingredients to make the dough less crumbly. Adding extra moisture to the dough may also help. If you’re baking gluten-free, you can mix the buckwheat flour with gluten-free flour made from rice, potato, or tapioca. By mixing these flours, you’ll get a softer bread texture and a nice nutty flavor from the buckwheat flour.

In the case of simple breakfast foods like pancakes, crepes, or waffles, it can be less risky to swap wheat flour completely with buckwheat flour. The batter will have more structure when it is binded with egg (or chia egg if you’re cooking vegan). Moreover, these breakfast delicacies don't require any whipping or beating, so no risk of overmixing and making the batter too tough.

Beginner tip: For your first buckwheat bake, try mixing 10-25% buckwheat flour with regular flour. After you’re used to it, work your way up with the buckwheat flour percentage and find your favored amount.



Pros And Cons of Baking With Buckwheat Flour
Pros Cons
More fiber and unique flavor Due to the moisture absorbing nature, adjustments in the recipe is necessary.
Less to no kneading: Most buckwheat bread recipe is made from a thick batter mix rather than a dough Baking with 100% percent buckwheat flour may create a denser bread.
If you're making bread with buckwheat flour, it needs only one rise. Unlike regular flour dough that needs multiple rises. Crumbly tendency when swapping wheat flour completely with buckwheat flour

Choosing The Right Buckwheat Flour

Dark Buckwheat Flour vs Light Buckwheat Flour

  • Dark Buckwheat Flour

    Dark Buckwheat Flour

    Made from unhulled buckwheat groats. Darker greyish hue. Contains dark hull speckles

  • Light Buckwheat Flour

    Light Buckwheat Flour

    Made from hulled buckwheat groats. Light tan color.

Buckwheat flour is produced by dehulling (the process of removing seed shells) and milling the buckwheat groats. The flour color can be lighter or darker depending on the hulling percentage.

Unhulled ground buckwheat makes a more nutritious dark flour, while hulled ground buckwheat groats will result in a lighter color and a little less nutritious flour. Buckwheat hulls contain amino acid lysine so darker buckwheat flour can have a slightly better protein source.

Organic vs Non Organic Buckwheat Flour

Organic buckwheat flour is made from pesticides free buckwheat plants. Compared to the organic counterpart, regular buckwheat flour may contain additives that might be added during the milling process.

Naturally Dried vs Machine Dried

Buckwheat flour that are made from naturally dried buckwheat groats will have more flavor and aroma when compared to the machine dried counterpart.

Buckwheat Flour Health Benefits

Buckwheat flour and bread are rich in amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins B1 and B2, and essential minerals. These will have an effect on the improvement of human health.

Source:
Composition and Technological Properties of The Flour And Bran From Common And Tartary Buckwheat

Buckwheat flour is a great solution to treat celiac disease, but besides that, it also has a lot of health benefits. Here are some of them:

Health Benefit 1 Lower Blood Pressure

Lower Blood Pressure

Buckwheat flour contains Rutin, a flavonol glycoside that contributes to the improvement of high blood pressure. It has an anti-inflammatory and hypotensive effect. Rutin can also help to reduce the fragility of blood pressure.

Source:
Flour and Breads and Their Fortification in Health and Disease Prevention

 

Health Benefit 2 Treat Diabetes And Improves Gut Health

Treat Diabetes And Improves Gut Health

Food prepared from buckwheat flour may also be useful to treat diabetes. During the preparation of bread, starch in buckwheat flour will be converted to indigestible form called resistant starch. Because resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine it will not raise glucose, helping the body to maintain a healthy glucose level.

Furthermore, Diets containing buckwheat and buckwheat flour have prebiotic properties. Resistant starch from buckwheat flour ferments in the large intestine and causes the fibers to ferment and become prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in the gut.

Source:
Nutritional properties of starch in buckwheat products: Studies in vitro and in vivo

 

Health Benefit 3 Prevent Cholesterol

Prevent Cholesterol

The great effect of buckwheat diets on cholesterol has been studied on humans. The result suggested that buckwheat intake is associated with low serum concentrations of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Source:
Oats and buckwheat intakes and cardiovascular disease risk factors in an ethnic minority of China

The ingestions of buckwheat flour products may also be related to the decrease of blood pressure since it is proven to lower serum concentrations of cholesterol and lipid.

 

Go Gluten Free With Buckwheat Flour

To people with celiac disease, consuming just a small amount of gluten can trigger unwanted symptoms. Celiac disease is a disease where the body has a very high sensitivity to food that contains gluten causing the people who have it to show symptoms of gastrointestinal issues like gas, vomiting, diarrhea, even fatigue.

There is still no specific cure for this disease. That’s why a good understanding towards celiac disease and a strict lifelong gluten free diet is the best solution to handle the situation. People with celiac disease must avoid wheat, barley, rye, and other derivatives to treat celiac disease.

By following a gluten free lifestyle, people have to avoid common foods like bread, noodles, pasta, and other wheat based delicacies. Therefore, one of the good alternatives would be incorporating buckwheat flour into these foods. But If cooking is not your thing, right now there are also a lot of gluten free choices that are made from buckwheat flour in the market.

Gluten free products are often made from processed ingredients that tend to lack in fiber. However, among other wheat grain replacements buckwheat has one of the highest fiber content along with millet and amaranth.

Buckwheat Flour Recipes

Gluten Free Recipes

Vegan Buckwheat Banana Bread

If you have overripe bananas that need to be eaten as soon as possible, why not make them into tasty banana bread. Plus, this recipe is gluten free and vegan! We’ll replace honey with maple syrup and egg with chia egg.

To make one chia egg, all you need is one tablespoon of chia seeds and three spoons of water. Mix them together and wait for a few minutes until it reaches a gelatinous texture. Chia eggs can come in handy to replace regular eggs when baking.
Serving Size8Person
Cooking Time75Minutes
Vegan Buckwheat Banana Bread

Ingredients

Buckwheat Flour
250gr
Overripe Bananas
3
Raisins
100gr
Maple Syrup (use honey for a non vegan option)
4 Tbsp
Bicarbonate of soda
1 Tsp
Baking Powder
1 Tsp
Vanilla Paste
1 Tsp
Salt
½ Tsp
Chia Seed
1 Tbsp
Water for chia egg
3 Tbsp
Melted Coconut Oil
75ml
Dairy-free Butter
To grease the bread tin

How to Make

1
Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 900gr bread tin with butter.
2
Mix chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water to make chia egg. Set this mixture aside for 10 minutes
3
Prepare the dry ingredients by sifting buckwheat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt to a bowl, mix them well
4
Mash bananas in a separate bowl until pureed, add vanilla and melted coconut oil to the puree. Then, combine this with the dry ingredients. Lastly, add maple syrup, chia egg, and raisins. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
5
Pour the mixture into a bread tin and put it in the oven for 50-60 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on your oven. So after 45 minutes, check the dough. Insert a toothpick or a skewer to the dough to check the doneness. If the toothpick is dry, it is done.
6
Cool completely before serving. This banana bread can last up to 4 days in an airtight container.


Galette de Sarrasin

You can use 100% buckwheat flour for this galette recipe. The most popular filling to a galette includes ham, egg, and fresh cheese. The egg can be scrambled or left untouched as a sunny side up. Galettes de sarrasin is a great healthy choice for breakfast.

A good galette should be thin. It’s better to make the batter hours before cooking. It should have a heavy cream consistency.
Serving Size1Person
Cooking Time30Minutes
Galette de Sarrasin

Ingredients

Buckwheat Flour
50gr
Salt
one pinch
Pepper
one pinch
Water
125ml
Egg
2
Butter
1 Tbsp
Ham
2 Slices
Grated Swiss Cheese
40gr

How to Make

1
First thing first, make the galette batter. Mix buckwheat flour with salt. Then add one beaten egg, and water. Whisk until the batter is uniform. Make sure the batter is not too thick and not too thin. Chill the batter for a few hours or overnight to reach the perfect texture.
2
Heat up a frying pan on the stovetop, spread a thin layer of butter on the pan, and cook the galette crepes over medium heat. You can cook the batter by pouring it and spreading it evenly on the pan.
3
After the bottom side is cooked, flip the galette and start adding the toppings in the middle of the galette. First add ham, then grated cheese, then lastly top it with one egg and add a little bit of pepper to taste.. Fold four sides of the galette and lower the heat to cook the egg for a little bit.
4
Galette de sarrasin is ready to be served!

Non Gluten Free Recipes

Mini Smoked Salmon Blini

This recipe is a modern twist of a traditional blini. Traditional blinis originally have larger size and paired with caviar. Cocktail sized blinis are often paired with fresh caviar as well, but you can top blini with any savory ingredients you like.

In this recipe we’ll top the blini pancakes with sour cream and smoked salmon. To make buckwheat blini, combine half buckwheat flour with half wheat flour.
Serving Size1Person
Cooking Time60Minutes
Mini Salmon Blini

Ingredients

Buckwheat Flour
50gr
All Purpose Flour
50gr
Active Dry Yeast
¼ Tsp
Milk
70ml
Salt
¼ Tsp
Egg
1 Separated
Melted Butter
2 Tbsp
Sour Cream
Smoked Salmon

How to Make

1
Make the first batter by whisking all the flours in a bowl, along with salt, and active dry yeast. After the dry ingredients are combined, add the milk, melted butter, and egg yolk. Mix well and let sit for about 30-45 minutes to let the yeast activate.
2
In a different bowl, whip the egg white until foamy and it reaches stiff peaks. Then add the first batter and fold until combined.
3
Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and spread butter on the surface. Use a small ladle to portion each circle of blinis on the pan. You can cook multiple blinis in one pan. When you start to see bubbles on the blinis, you can flip them.
4
Once the blinis are done, serve them on a plate and top them with sour cream, smoked salmon, and your favorite green garnish.


Marmalade Buckwheat Waffles

Waffles are very versatile and can be served sweet or savory. This time, we’ll make marmalade flavored waffles. This recipe will make around 6 waffles.
Serving Size2-3Person
Cooking Time40Minutes
Marmalade Buckwheat Waffle

Ingredients

Buckwheat Flour
100gr
All Purpose Flour
150gr
Eggs
3
Butter
100gr
Orange Marmalade (or any sweet jam available in your counter)
100gr
Vanilla Extract
½ Tsp
Baking Powder
½ Tsp
Water
100ml
Salt
One pinch
Ice cream
3 Scoops optional
Berries
Optional
Oil for greasing the waffle pan
Powdered Sugar

How to Make

1
Separate one egg and keep the white in the refrigerator.
2
Soften and beat a 100gr of butter with a mixer until fluffy. Add the marmalade and vanilla extract. Gradually add two eggs and one egg yolk as you beat the mixture.
3
Sift buckwheat flour, all purpose flour, and baking powder into a bowl. Add the dry mixture into the batter little by little along with the 100ml of water.
4
Beat the egg white with a pinch of salt until stiff and foamy. Fold it into the batter.
5
Preheat the waffle pan and grease it with oil. Spoon three tablespoons of batter into the waffle pan and close it. It will take about two to three minutes until the waffle is golden brown.
6
After all waffles are cooked, serve them on a plate with a dust of powdered sugar, ice cream, and berries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is buckwheat flour gluten free?
Yes it is! Even though the name contains the word ‘wheat’, buckwheat flour is actually free of wheat and gluten.
How long can buckwheat flour last?
Buckwheat flour can last several months.
How to store buckwheat flour?
Keep them in a cool place and away from direct sunlight. In warmer climates, keep buckwheat flour in a refrigerator.
Is it possible to bake with buckwheat flour?
Yes. Whether you bake with partial buckwheat flour or whole buckwheat flour, it is possible to make baked goods with it. It can be a little tricky due to the crumbly nature of the flour. But with the right amount of moisture and additional ingredients, you can use buckwheat flour to bake.
Is buckwheat flour better than wheat flour?
Each has its own virtues. All purpose wheat-flour is easier to work with compared to buckwheat flour. But, buckwheat flour does have certain advantages like characteristic nuttiness and nutritious fiber. Thus, both flours can’t be compared as an equal. It depends on what kind of food that you want to make.
Can I swap all purpose flour with buckwheat flour?
It is not impossible to do in some recipes. But cooking with buckwheat flour won’t create 100% identical results as the wheat-based ones.

Read more about buckwheat here:

Buckwheat

Buckwheat: The Pseudocereal with Abundant Health Benefits
Buckwheat is widely used healthy food in some countries, and its existence is known worldwide.

Buckwheat is a gluten-free food that is rich in minerals, proteins, dietary fiber, vitamins, and antioxidant compounds. You can cook and eat buckwheat with so many delicious recipes.
Read More