A remarkable loaf of delicious, nutritious, 1-ingredient flourless buckwheat bread ! Made with whole buckwheat (plus water and salt), it is flourless and naturally oil-free, gluten-free and vegan.
Gluten-Free Bread Made with 1 Ingredient: Buckwheat
A loaf of bread, made with nothing more than buckwheat, plus some water and salt? It is difficult to believe, but 100% true. Moreover, it is delicious and nutritious, too.
I do not know who first developed the recipe for buckwheat bread made with whole buckwheat and little else, but she was a genius. The first version I had was back in my graduate school days. A friend made such a loaf–she called it sourdough buckwheat bread–and shared half with me. I wasn’t much of a bread maker back then, save for quick breads and muffins, so despite loving the loaf, I didn’t get the recipe.
But now I have a version of my own, and I am thrilled to share it with all of you. You don’t need to be a bread baker to make it, either, because it is a cinch to make.
A quick caveat: you need to plan ahead. Although the steps are extremely simple to follow, you will need to plan ahead, as it takes a while to soak both the buckwheat and the batter.
First up, you need some buckwheat. Whole, hulled buckwheat. It’s available at natural food stores, online, and in the natural foods sections of some really well-stocked grocery stores.
In grain lingo, these are groats. Ironically, buckwheat is not a true grain, and has no relation to wheat, either.
Rather, buckwheat is the naturally gluten-free, alkaline seed of a plant related to rhubarb. It is PACKED with nutrients, including protein, fiber and flavonoids (antioxidants) and is also very low on the glycemic level.
How to Make 1-Ingredient Buckwheat Bread
Step 1: Soak Buckwheat Groats
To make the bread, first rinse the buckwheat through a mesh sieve (to remove any residue).
Place the drained buckwheat in a large glass bowl and fill with enough water to cover the groats by about 2 inches. Place a napkin or kitchen towel over the top and soak for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours, in the refrigerator.
Step 2: Drain (But Do Not Rinse) the Buckwheat
Drain the buckwheat, and then place the sieve over a bowl to allow the groats to drain for another minute or so. DO NOT RINSE. I know, the water will be gooey and slimy (it is tempting to rinse it all off), but you need the goo for the success of the bread. Discard all of the soaking water.
Step 3: Process the Groats in a Food Processor
Place the drained groats into a food processor or blender, along with 1 and 1/4 cups of fresh water and (if desired) salt. Process until the mixture is blended, and comes together into a cohesive batter, but still has some texture.
Step 4: Let the Batter Sit for Several Hours (2 options)
Scrape the batter into the same large glass bowl and cover once again with a cloth napkin or dishtowel.
Option 1 (Refrigerate): Refrigerate the batter for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Option 2 (Ferment): Let the batter stand in a cool, dark place for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours in order to ferment. Using this method, the batter will be slightly frothy or bubbly near the surface. It will also have a slightly sour smell as a result of the fermentation.
Step 5: Bake the Bread
Preheat the oven to 425F and grease or oil a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, taking care not to deflate all of the bubbles.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown, especially at the edges, and the center is set and firm. Cool the bread in the pan completley before removing it.
This is a dense, German-style loaf. It is especially good toasted, but I am also a fan of very thin slices topped with all kinds of sweet and savory spreads, vegetables and fruits. You cannot go wrong, it is delicious any way you slice it!
You can add in all kinds of extras, too. The first loaf I tasted, way back when, had chopped nuts and seeds added for extra crunch and nutrition. Herbs and spices are great too, as is the addition of 1 or 2 tablespoons of dark molasses (yum!).
Place the rinsed buckwheat in a large glass bowl; fill with water, enough to cover buckwheat by 2 inches (5 cm). Loosely cover with a cloth napkin or towel. Soak in the refrigerator for a least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Drain buckwheat through a mesh strainer; set strainer over bowl and let continue to drain for a minute longer (the liquid will be gooey). DO NOT RINSE.
In a food processor or blender, place the drained buckwheat, 1 and 1/4 cups (310 mL) fresh water, and optional salt (I recommend 1/2 teaspoon). Process until blended but the batter still has some texture (see photo).
Pour buckwheat batter back into a large glass bowl and cover with a kitchen cloth. Either
Refrigerate: Store batter in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours or
Ferment: Let the batter stand in a cool dark place for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours (it will rise slightly and get a bit bubby. It will also have a somewhat sour smell from the fermentation).
Preheat oven to 425F (218C). Spray or grease a 9×5-inch (22.5x 12.5 cm) loaf pan; pour in batter, being careful not to deflate any bubbles.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until browned (especially at edges) and completely firm/set at the center.
Storage: Store the cooled bread wrapped in a cloth at cool room temperature for 2 days, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 6 months.
Add-Ins: If you like add in nuts and/or seeds (up to 1 cup total), dried herbs, or spices. Add to the blender when blending the buckwheat (for finely chopped pieces of nuts and seeds), or stir in after blending and before the batter ferments. You do not want to stir in additions after fermenting as it can deflate the batter.
I tried the recipe,following directions to the letter, but I still ended up with a too wet, dense loaf with a very hard crust. I also followed the process for fermentation, but no bubbles formed or that familiar "sourness". Also seems to require a lot of salt & toasted sesame & sunflower seeds to impart a good flavour.
Any advice would be welcome especially how to avoid a too moist, stodgy loaf. Currently have another batch of buckwheat groats soaking for 24 hrs & plan to follow the shorter 2-hour process tomorrow.
Saturday 15th of May 2021
Thank you so much for this recipe – it is amazing! I can’t believe it comes together with just one ingredient, it’s like magic!
I’m wondering if the two options for step four affect the final flavor of the bread (i.e., does letting the batter sit out to ferment result in a different flavor than having the batter sit in the refrigerator)?
Thanks again for sharing, love this recipe and will be making it often!
Wednesday 2nd of June 2021
Hi Stephanie! So glad you like the bread. Yes, letting the batter sit definitely affects the flavor--some love it, others not so much(e.g., my husband finds it "funky"). It is worth trying it to see if it your thin or not (you could make a half or quarter size bread to test it)
Thursday 6th of May 2021
Camilla! This recipe has changed my life. Thank you, Thank you. This is my third time making this bread in the span of a few weeks. It is delicious and easy, best of all I don’t look 6 months pregnant after eating it!! I am now devoted to finding new and old ways to work with buckwheat since finding this recipe. At this moment I have a bowl full of batter that perked up substantially overnight. Have you tried fermenting the batter inside the loaf pan instead of transferring it from bowl to pan?? If so what were your findings?
Thanks again and keep on keepin on sister!
Friday 14th of May 2021
Oh wow, I am thrilled to know how much this bread means to you! Hooray for bread that does not fight back :)!
No, I have not tried fermenting it right in the pan--sounds intriguing... It might stick initially, but should release once the loaf is completely cool (be sure to use a ceramic or glass loaf pan). Let me know if you give it a go!
Sunday 25th of April 2021
This sounds like one of the most authentic bread recipes ever... the way people from eastern Europe would have made bread eons ago. Buckwheat is a grass, allegedly & I suspect it may have been the precursor to bread made from gluten grains which evolved much later. Since I cannot do without bread, I've been searching for an easy buckwheat recipe for a few years now. No idea why it's taken this long, as I knew about buckwheat from the classic Russian blini & that the bread recipe just had to be out there somewhere. Thank you for sharing!♡
Tuesday 27th of April 2021
Have started to make this... will let you know how it went😄
Monday 26th of April 2021
You are so welcome, Michelle!
Saturday 24th of April 2021
So delicious! I’ve made with raisins and molasses and both so good!
Saturday 24th of April 2021
Ooh, raisins and molasses are right up my alley! I need to try, Christine!