Sprouted buckwheat sourdough

Sprouted buckwheat sourdough

Real Food by Mike
1 x 1.5 kg loaf
Alan Benson

This sprouted buckwheat bread, made by using a sourdough starter, is the perfect gluten-free substitute for regular sourdough bread. You can buy sprouted buckwheat from the freezer section of most health food stores or, if you have the capacity and inclination, you could sprout your own. Once you’ve made the starter, you use this to make a sponge. This sponge is then used to make the final bread. The starter recipe for this bread will make enough to bake one loaf, so give the other half to a friend or store the remainder in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. Once you get into the rhythm, you’ll find that you take half your starter out and feed it back with equal quantities of water and buckwheat flour, so you will maintain the same amount of starter in your refrigerator. If you’re not making your bread regularly, I suggest removing half your starter once a week and adding fresh water and buckwheat flour to it, to keep your starter active and fed. Give your starter a name and, if you look after it, it will be with you for the rest of your baking life.


Quantity Ingredient

Starter (makes 500 g)

Quantity Ingredient
35g organic raisins
445ml lukewarm filtered water
385g buckwheat flour


Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons salt
100g starter, (see above)
225ml lukewarm water
225g cracked sprouted buckwheat, (blended lightly just to crack)


Quantity Ingredient
all of the sponge, (see above)
210g sprouted buckwheat
500g cracked sprouted buckwheat, (blended lightly just to crack)
30g pepitas
30g buckwheat flour
210ml lukewarm water


  1. For the starter, soak the raisins in the lukewarm filtered water for 15 minutes, then strain the raisin-infused water and use it immediately. Discard the raisins.
  2. Place 40 g (1/3 cup) of the buckwheat flour in a non-reactive bowl. Add 80 ml (1/3 cup) of the raisin water to the flour and mix well to form a paste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to ferment for 24 hours in a warm spot (around 20°C is ideal).
  3. The next day, add another 40 g (1/3 cup) buckwheat flour and 55 ml filtered water to the bowl and mix well to make a slightly thicker paste, ensuring there are no lumps. Cover again and leave to ferment for another 24 hours.
  4. By the following day (day three), the paste may have separated and look curdled, but don’t worry – just whisk in another 75 g buckwheat flour and 115 ml filtered water to bring it back to a smooth texture. Cover again and leave to ferment for another 24 hours.
  5. By day four, the starter should have a vinegar-like smell and surface bubbles should be evident. Discard half the mixture, then whisk in 75 g buckwheat flour and 115 ml filtered water. Cover again and leave to ferment for 24 hours in the same spot.
  6. On day five, your starter should be quite lively with active bubbles. Whisk in the remaining 155 g buckwheat flour and 225 ml filtered water. Cover loosely to allow the gases that are released during fermentation to escape, then set aside to ferment for 4 hours or until very bubbly. Place in the refrigerator and leave for 12 hours before using.
  7. For the sponge, mix the ingredients together in a bowl, cover, and leave for 8–12 hours at room temperature to ferment (see Note).
  8. For the dough, preheat the oven to 200°C and oil a 23 x 12.5 cm loaf tin.
  9. Mix all the ingredients in an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Turn off the mixer and let the mixture rest for 30 minutes, for all the ingredients to hydrate.
  10. Turn the mixer back on low speed and mix until everything is completely combined, about 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, cover with plastic wrap and leave to prove for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.
  11. When the dough has proved, using a water atomiser, spray the top of the loaf with water so it’s nice and moist. Place the tin in the oven, reduce the heat to 165°C and bake the bread for 1 1/2 hours or until the temperature inside the loaf reaches 98°C.
  12. Turn the oven off and leave the bread to rest in the oven for 2 hours. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in greaseproof paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight as it’s best the next day. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it moist so it doesn’t crack.


  • If you can’t make a sourdough starter, mix 1 teaspoon dried yeast with 50 g cracked buckwheat and 50 ml tepid water and allow to slowly rise in the refrigerator for 8–12 hours.
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