Quinoa and Buckwheat Breads – Single Flour, Grain, Starches, Dairy, Gums and Yeast Free – Guest Post

I have been working on bread recipes with my own mix of ingredients in 2 different directions. They covered gluten free (only) bread, and grain, pseudo-grain, nuts, starches and dairy free, seed based bread. The first approach resulted in recipes for gluten free, mainly wholegrain bread, based on yeast dough, with the absolute minimum of ingredients on the list, baked in all shapes and sizes, starting from bread rolls and baguettes, and ending with medium size loaf and mini loaves. The second approach produced the recipe for the reliable dough, with quite an unusual list of ingredients. The dough was easy to prepare and I used it for baking paleo bread loaves, baguettes as well as buns, plain or with filling, even larger pies.

However, a very significant niche of gluten free bread that does not have any added starches, gums, yeast and dairy, was and is not covered in my recipes at all. For my second blog, where I could not use any dry ingredients, except seeds and to lesser extend nuts, both most popular pseudo grains, quinoa and buckwheat did not have a chance to appear in recipes. As the result, I always felt that my lack of experience in this area would not allow me to create something of quality, appropriate to these very special products, with their exceptional nutritional value. I approached the best person, with the most knowledge and experience, working in the area of baking bread and bread products, which are gluten, added starches, gums, yeast and often dairy free, in general, and in mono flour recipes in particular. To my absolute delight, the author of an amazing blog, which simply bursts with nutritionally sound, easy to prepare recipes for baking, which have short and affordable list of ingredients – pepsfreefromkitchen.wordpress.com – kindly agreed to write a review article on Quinoa and Buckwheat bread, based on his original recipes. I got even more than I anticipated, many more bread related recipes were also included in the article.

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I also wanted to reproduce at least one recipe from the article in my own kitchen, with ingredients available in Australia. I baked Quinoa Flour Bread, to exact specifications of the recipe and preparation advice. I used Well and Good quinoa flour from their new Raw Ingredients range. I used 4g of Saxa Sea Salt, 5g baking soda, 30ml grapeseed oil (In the original recipe quantities of these ingredients are given in spoon measurements). You will find photos of this bake spread through the post.

Now to the main article.

I’ve been given the wonderful opportunity again to share my knowledge in regards to Buckwheat Flour and Quinoa Flour recipes that use no added starches, are yeast free, gluten free and that are dairy and egg free when possible. They’ll also be what I term “Single Flour” recipes, that is ones that don’t use a combination of flours and utilize a single flour, occasionally with  binders like Chia or Flax, to the best of its worth. I’ll provide links to each recipe and then I’ll try to give as detailed a breakdown as possible for each one. I’ll do my best to make this as clear and detailed as I know how and I’ll strive to explain why ingredients are used as well as listing their attributes in regards to baking rather than their nutritional values. I do place a lot of value on nutrition, but there are better people out there to explain it than me. I’m just a simple baker, taking chances and experimenting with what I can get my hands on. So without any further ado, I’ll say again how grateful I am for this opportunity and the chance to share my knowledge and experience. As I often say on my blog: Onwards and upwards!

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It’ll probably be best if I stick to bread, encompassing flat-breads and the like too, recipes as I feel these are where the need for free-from options are most required and also, to be truthful, I’d never stop typing as I have quite a few recipes, but I’d rather not bog down this post. Perhaps another time we’ll cover some of the other recipes. I have to admit I’m always nervous when it comes to discussing recipes and techniques, but all I can be is myself, hopefully that’ll be enough. As with my last post (Review on egg replacement) I’ll break it down in sections, linking where applicable and explaining in depth where useful. I’ll also list the diets, intolerances and allergies each recipe covers for convenience. None listed include any added starches so I won’t bother to list it every time.

Buckwheat Flour

We’ll start, as I often call my own readers, Gentle Reader with my favourite flour, one that is as versatile as any flour I’ve ever used. I really have had wonderful luck with buckwheat flour in recipes. It doesn’t need additional binders, but does benefit in more complex recipes, but I’ll get to all that in time. At its most basic Buckwheat Flour is dense, strongly flavoured and dry. It can be changed quite a bit depending on the recipe, but it is worthwhile keep that in mind when choosing it for a recipe.

Buckwheat Cakes

Dairy Free Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegan Vegetarian
This is based on traditional Scottish oatcakes, which are, if you’re unfamiliar with them, a hard and dry cracker. These are made using Buckwheat Flakes and Flour. There is no need for egg or any binders. I think the hot water causes the starch in the Buckwheat to undergo gelification, but I can’t say with absolute certainty. They freeze well, store well and are a very simple, but additively tasty option.

Buckwheat Flour Breads

Dairy Free Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegan Vegetarian
Now we hit the main bread, this has actually been the beginning of more than thirty variations of bread, the others will follow. At its most basic this bread can be made without any egg, binders, really anything that could cause trouble. I prefer the Flax and Buckwheat option, the addition of some flaxseed meal for some of the flour yields a soft, yet still very firm bread, reminiscent of brown bread. The only change is that more water is required, other than that it bakes the same. It’s hardy and flavoursome, but without the dryness of an all Buckwheat version. This recipe works thanks to buckwheat’s ability to hold itself together, I can’t claim to know why, but it has had so much added to it and every time it has held firm. I would say that for addition the maximum weight would be 200g – 250g. More than that and you run the risk of the bread crumbling. This would be my main plain bread, one for sandwiches or a quick snack. It can be doubled to bake a large, sturdy loaf and can be frozen easily with no ill effects.

Buckwheat Flour Fruit Loaf

Dairy Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian
Now this does require an egg and flaxseed meal, the reason being is that there is 250g of soaked fruit in this recipe. The flax is there to absorb the extra moisture and since it’s been soaked in tea it also adds to the flavour. The egg is for binding to help the structure. Not sweet enough, nor spongy enough to be called a cake, this is something of a simple tea-bread, soft, but not too moist. It really champions the fruit and again shows how versatile Buckwheat can be.

Buckwheat Flour Scones

Dairy Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Soy Free Vegetarian
An unusual recipe in that it doesn’t store at all. It has to be eaten either fresh or on the day of baking, I can’t account for this quirk. It’s still a nice recipe, heavier than traditional scones as buckwheat is a dense flour, though it can be lightened by the addition of flaxseed meal. It does require an egg and though flax egg does have its uses I’d say that an egg is required for the slight rise it provides over a flax egg. Flax and Buckwheat is a great combination, though there is another I’ll get to in a minute that dwarfs that pairing.

Buckwheat Flour Shortcrust Pastry

Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian
Not exactly bread, but this is a recipe that showcases all that Buckwheat can accomplish. The basic version is made with no egg or binders and although slightly hard to work with is almost as good as gluten based doughs. Now here it really stands out is with the addition of flax or chia, chia being the best I’ve ever encountered. It resembles gluten based doughs and can be rolled superfine, pulled, stretched and rarely tears. I believe that the chia egg holds more moisture and since we’re still using the same moisture it thickens more, possibly due to something being more present in the chia seed than the flax, either way it has made it a joy to work with. Chia and Buckwheat is the only combination I would use in the future in pastries and doughs.

Buckwheat Flour Soda Bread

Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian
In this recipe Buttermilk is the main binding agent. The bread is rather small and dense and does have a strong taste from the buttermilk, but it is egg free and doesn’t require flaxseed meal. Not a bad recipe on the whole, just one I wouldn’t enjoy as much as others.

Buckwheat Flour Tortillas

Dairy Free Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegan Vegetarian
Not true tortillas, more of a stiff wrap. Again the chia helps here to keep these thin and workable. Even without the can be easily worked on a floured surface. They freeze well, can be baked, fried and are rather versatile. Simple, but again showing how good Buckwheat is.

Buckwheat Flour Treacle and Tea Bread

Dairy Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian
A branch off from my basic Buckwheat Bread. This features a variation that is based on a traditional Irish recipe as well as an option with soaked fruit. It takes a lot of ingredients and still holds firm with little crumbling. Freezes well, as do all these breads, and has a taste that is in no way muted by the use of buckwheat flour. I found no need for dairy in this bread at all, even without dairy it was similar to the gluten version it was based on.

Buckwheat Flour Vegetable Bread

Dairy Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian
An unusual name I admit, but accurate. This bread features a lot of variations, all of which utilize vegetables in one way or another. The puréed vegetables, mostly squash, give a firm springiness when used with the correct amount of water. Some vegetable purées can be used in place of an egg but I find it’s better to use it in conjunction to an egg, or egg alternative, to provide bulk and improve texture.

Those are some of the main breads and bread like recipes I use and they are the best for showing how egg replacements can affect the recipe and be an improvement as well. There are other recipes and surely there will be more by the time this post has been around a while, but I think that’ll be enough to get you started and hopefully go towards helping you understand this flour and its relationship with they many non-starch based binders that are available. Now we move onto Quinoa Flour.

Quinoa Flour

I’m not as familiar with Quinoa Flour as I am with Buckwheat Flour, but I have had quite a few successes and I hope to get more experience and understanding of this flour in the future. For now I’ll list what I have and hopefully you’ll check the blog in the future to see what else I’ve created. Quinoa flour can vary depending on the brand, but most seem to create lightly textured goods when used in baking, with a slight yellow hue. One consideration that needs to be addressed is that unwashed quinoa is bitter and if the flour is made from unwashed seeds then it can have a harsh bitter note. Sadly, unless making your own it’s impossible to know what a flour will taste like before buying. Finding a good brand does help alleviate that worry at least. It’s not as good as holding together as Buckwheat so it’ll need a binder in larger recipes.

Quinoa Flour

Dairy Free Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Oil Free Soy Free Vegan Vegetarian 
A basic recipe for home-made Quinoa Flour. Simple to follow and guarantees no bitter taste as it’s roasted after being washed. Not much to add here so let’s get on with it.

Quinoa Flour and Yoghurt Flat-breads

Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian
A basic flatbread that uses yoghurt instead of an egg. Yoghurt can be used in place of an egg, use 70g for a large egg, but know that it will be much denser if using yoghurt and may cook unevenly. It works well here as it helps bind well and makes rolling out quicker.

Quinoa Flour Bread

Dairy Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Soy Free Vegetarian
The best of the Quinoa Flour Breads. It has a soft yet still dry interior with a slightly crusty exterior. This bread can crisp up wonderfully when fried with butter, but it works just as well plain as a sandwich bread. It does require an egg and flaxseed meal to bind it together, as well as quite a bit of water as quinoa is an absorbent flour. All this helps to create the light loaf that can be sliced up thin even while warm. It’s a recipe I will be adding to in the future, but for now it still stands as a really useful recipe to have.

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Quinoa Flour Flat Bread 

Dairy Free Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegan Vegetarian
A baked flat-bread that requires very little to come together. It’s rather simple, but does work well as it can be fried in oil and made to crisp up on the outside while remaining soft inside. Again it shows that quinoa will absorb a lot of liquid even for  a small amount of flour.

Quinoa Flour Soda Bread

Egg Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian
The same recipe as the Buckwheat version. I’ve found that there can be some crossover between the two flours. Not always a given, I’d always have to evaluate it on a recipe to recipe basis. Simple, but similar to traditional breads of its like.

Quinoa Flour Pumpkin Muffins

Dairy Free Gluten Free Gum Free Nightshade Free Nut Free Soy Free Vegetarian 
This needs to be included to show just how light Quinoa Flour can be. The use of an egg and pumpkin create a light and fluffy muffin that still holds together without crumbling even when torn in two. Simple as are most, but a testament to the fact that the proper utilization of a flour when done right can be better than anything else.

I think that should do for today. I’ve enjoyed writing this and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it too. If the information contained above is of any use to anyone then it’s been work every minute. I’ll say thanks again to Irena for this opportunity and thank you for reading. Until next time.

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I baked quinoa bread as recommend for 60 min. I took a loaf out of the tin after 2-3 min and returned it on a wire rack to switched off oven to rest. I could not wait for the loaf to cool completely down, that I usually do with the yeast bread. I cut one slice when the loaf was still slightly warm, to be sure that it was fully baked. It was. The taste of this quinoa bread is just amazing, for us it goes straight into the category of addictive breads. From the look the texture gives an impression that the bread is dense, heavy and slightly wet. It is dense and not very airy, but wonderfully soft and springy. No wetness at all, my test is the condition of the knife after slicing.
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The knife was completely dry, which for a warm gluten free bread is nearly unheard of. No crumbling, crust strong, but not like a stone hard, perfect. This bread does not need to be toasted at all, though toasting changes the colour, makes it a touch darker. Interestingly enough, toasting did not change the taste for the better, which usually happens with many gluten free breads. This bread was excellent not toasted, even when it completely cooled down. The latest it survived was 4-5 hours and it was gone, so no reports of how this bread freezes. We did indulge, I made sandwiches with smoked salmon with butter for my husband, and sour cream for me. May I say they were divine!? This bread will be magnificent with scrambled eggs, it is perfect in my opinion for any sandwiches. I also think this bread will make perfect croutons. It is so tasty, no need for herbs and spices to be added. With butter, as my husband said, it was better than a piece of cake. 
On the negatives, if I am allowed to be completely unreasonable and picky. On its own the bread is on a bit dry side, however, when completely cooled down this dryness was less evident. The second negative, is only negative, if one likes only neat and tidy shapes. I got practically the same, cute in my opinion, rustic shape of the loaf, as is presented in the original recipe. I liked this look with deep cracks in the crust, it gave the bread its unique, funky character.
So my verdict is plain and simple, I am going to bake this bread for us, and I am “afraid” it will be preferred option for my husband – protein from eggs, low-fat, no added starches, no yeast, definitely nutritionally better bread, compared to any yeast bread, however delicious it tastes. It is also preferred option for me to bake – easy, fast, simple batter, very little grinding, easy bake. I will try this recipe with flax flour, with no grinding at all. The recipe opens many other options with different sources of fat and liquid. I am afraid I have got another exciting path to follow, as if I did not have enough on my plate. I did not plan to write so much myself, just an introduction, and a few words about the significance of recipes with these specifications to different dietary needs, but I loved everything about this bread, and wanted to share my unbiased opinion about it.
 
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3.3.2016 update on the new recipe published after this review
This recipe was more of a success than I’d have expect from a quick and simple experiment. It’s based on two separate recipes, the Quinoa Flour Bread and Buckwheat Flour Bread, each listed in this post, taking a little from each to get the desired results. The bread itself combines the textures of both  loaves, soft and yielding like the quinoa bread, but crusty with a pleasant firmness like the buckwheat bread. A simple recipe, but one that showcases the flavours of each flour used.
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I baked this bread exactly as in the recipe, with only one difference in mixing all wet ingredients, all dry ingredients first, and then combining them together. The batter was very runny, but do not be alarmed by that, the loaf baked for 60 min in 175C preheated oven, no fan, turned out perfectly baked with the option to slice the loaf when still warm. It was an amazing bread, similar to quinoa bread in texture, with a slightly different and still delicious taste. It has become a regular bake in our household.
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7 thoughts on “Quinoa and Buckwheat Breads – Single Flour, Grain, Starches, Dairy, Gums and Yeast Free – Guest Post

  1. Thank you again, I’m grinning from ear to ear. There’s not much else I can say, but thank you for your continued hard work and I hope you both enjoy the bread. I look forward to seeing how the recipe will evolve as you use it.

      1. I’m having a hard time leaving it in the freezer myself. We’re still stuck in Winter here, thankfully I need it for rose seeds so I can’t complain too much.

  2. Hello, I adore your blog! Could you please tell me which brand of buckwheat flour you use? I’m having trouble finding one without a traces-of-gluten warning here in Melbourne. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rosey,
      Thank you for your comment and a very important question. I also faced this problem several weeks ago. Supermarket’s brands of buckwheat flour all now carry a warning about gluten traces. My last batch of buckwheat flour was bought from Go Vita health food shop in Doncaster and included Lotus brand certified organic gluten free buckwheat flour, grown in China and packed in Australia, and CeresOrganics buckwheat flour without the label gluten free, but without any warnings either. It was drown in China and packaged in New Zeland. I used Lotus flour many times and many of my recipes are based on this brand. I also used Coles and Leo’s buckwheat flour which had a label gluten free ealier.
      Several weeks ago Aldi introduced buckwheat flour in their gluten free permanent range of products. I want to warn you, that this buckwheat flour has more fine texture, is different in its liquid binding capacity and behaves differently in dough preparation. This buckwheat flour, though suitable for shortcrust pastry preparation, gives dramatic nearly black colour to the dough, which is harder to get together, and even more, the texture of the baked products is very dry. It also gave very hard and dry in texture buckwheat cake with dried apricots and sultanas. I did not try it in savoury dough for tarts and quiches, but suspect that it would give less appealing dough and baked products. However, as one of the flours in the mix for bread (mini loaves recipe), it was excellent. Even as 50g of the flour in 320 g flour mix it demanded more liquid to the recipe, which I use to bake my gluten free bread for nearly 2 years now. The point I want to make about Aldi buckwheat flour, that it is not an inferior product, but simply different to any other variety of buckwheat flour I used before, which were very similar and sometimes did not differ at all.
      As my last remark, I want to share that I often use buckwheat gluten free hulled whole grain or raw kernels (as they are often called), grind them in my coffee grinder and use to make shortcrust pastry from this reasonably coarse flour. I sift it before use. It is also my personal preference for shortcrust dough, both for biscuits and tart shells. Please do not hesitate to write again if any further questions arise.
      Good luck with your purchases. Irena

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