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Buckwheat sourdough bloomer

Thu, 15 February, 2024

Sourdough bloomer with buckwheat flour has a slightly malty flavour and extra chewiness from that unusual flour. It’s made within a day and baked the following morning.

buckwheat sourdough bloomer

What is buckwheat?

Buckwheat is not wheat. It is not even a grain, which still surprises a lot of people. It is a plant closely related to rhubarb and sorrel, all members of the knotweed or smartweed family.

Here’s a surprise! Next time you order a bowl of healthful salad with buckwheat groats in it in a hipster café, remember they are related to the nasty, invasive weed that chomps through whole gardens within a summer and can survive a volcano eruption.

But unlike its rapacious Japanese cousin, buckwheat is tame and edible, albeit commonly mistaken for cereal.

buckwheat and wheat sourdough

How can buckwheat be prepared?

Buckwheat groats are technically the seeds of the plant, hulled and raw or toasted. They are cooked and served as kasza gryczana in Poland, one of my darkest childhood food nightmares. I don’t feel as strong about it now and will eat it, but with a little more flavour going for it than just plain boiled.

Buckwheat can also pretend it’s a grain and be milled into flour. Now we’re talking! More interesting foods like soba noodles and galettes au sarrasin are made from the flour. But because it contains no gluten, it is usually only added to bread dough mixes, even gluten free.

But what a wonderful addition it makes! This bread, buckwheat sourdough bloomer has deeper flavour than my ordinary sourdough made with just wheat or wheat and rye flour. It’s very chewy, tastes earthy and a little malty, and it is fantastic toasted.

Arguably, it doesn’t rise or spring quite as tall as all-wheat, but that’s because of the gluten shortage in the dough. Certainly a worthy trade-off though, in my view.

sourdough with buckwheat

Does it need a ferment or levain?

I was inspired by Breadtopia’s buckwheat couronne recipe and they call it a stiff starter, but it depends on what your starter starts off from (sorry).

I usually have 100% hydration starters stored in the fridge, so that’s what I use, thus keeping it at 100% by adding the same amounts of flour and water to feed it.

I expect good folks at Breadtopia have thicker, stiffer sourdough starter especially that they flog it to punters on their website. That might be another reason why my loaf didn’t sky-rocket – but I’m happy with it as it is.

I mixed the levain the night before baking and left it in the kitchen overnight. It happily bubbled the following morning, raring to go.

overnight levain

Buckwheat dough

It’s a straightforward affair for sourdough bakers: mixing in a standing mixer or by hand until the dough becomes smoother and more elastic, and cleans the sides of the bowl or your hands.

buckwheat dough

The next step is stretching and folding every half an hour with intervals spent in a warm place.

When it’s pillowy and significantly expanded in volume, leave it to prove for the last time, then turn it out onto a floured surface.

stretch and fold

Blooming bloomer!

Bloomers are the best for sandwiches. A bloomer, traditional London bread shape, is a freestanding oblong loaf with rounded ends, so you don’t have to figure out which side to start slicing it from. It is usually slashed several times across the top, for the show and of course to help it rise.

That’s a good shape for my buckwheat loaf, the reluctant riser.

After the full fermentation intermittent with stretching and folding, the dough should be shaped into a chunky log.

shaping bloomer

If you don’t have a banneton that shape, thoroughly flour a tea towel and set it in a long loaf tin or an oblong baking dish, then nestle the shaped loaf in it, seam up.

final proving

You can let it prove for an hour, then bake, or refrigerate it overnight and bake it the following morning. In the latter case it will be easier to turn out onto a sheet of parchment and score the lines across the top.

scoring loaf

Bake it for about 40 minutes, turning the oven down halfway through. For best results use a baking stone or steel, which is always advisable in bread baking.

sourdough buckwheat loaf

More sourdough bread recipes

Recipe for pain Poilâne, whole grain stoneground sourdough bread. Poilâne style miche is a large rustic loaf made with natural sourdough leavening.

Sourdough no knead bread on sourdough culture made with pineapple juice. Sourdough no-knead is the best of all worlds: healthy no yeast sourdough and no need to knead.

San Francisco style sourdough is the top rated sourdough bread recipe. The history of the San Francisco sourdough bread goes back to the California Gold Rush of the late 19th century.

More buckwheat flour recipes

Galettes au sarrasin, buckwheat crêpes, with a classic topping of ham, cheese and an egg. The type of pancakes best suited to savoury toppings, galettes from Brittany are healthy and easy to make.

Striped cake with a pattern of mixed berries, the look of summer. This striped berry cake recipe uses a mix of buckwheat, wholemeal and almond flour and it can be made gluten-free if the wheat flour is replaced by spelt.

Gluten free lava-like cookies with dark chocolate and brown sugar. I call them black hearted cookies because of their dark gooey centre, and they are also gluten free as made with buckwheat flour.

buckwheat sourdough bread

Buckwheat sourdough bloomer

Servings: makes 1 large loafTime: 4 hours plus proving overnight


  • For the ferment:
  • 40g sourdough starter, recently refreshed
  • 50g strong white bread flour
  • 50g water
  • For the dough:
  • all the ripe ferment from above (140g)
  • 325g strong white bread flour
  • 75g wholemeal bread flour
  • 75g buckwheat flour
  • 375g water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 10g (2 tsp) salt
  • mix of rice and white flour, for dusting


1. Mix the ferment with a lively, recently refreshed 100% hydration starter in a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, by adding the flour and water and beating with a spoon until smooth. Cover the bowl and leave the ferment overnight in a warm place until expanded and very bubbly.

2. Add the flours, water, honey and salt to the ferment and beat with a dough hook mixer attachment or by hand, respectively 10 or 20 minutes, until the dough gathers into a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. Transfer it into a wide container (optionally), cover and place in a warm place for 3-4 hours.

3. Stretch and fold the dough every 30 minutes within that period, or until it has expanded twice in volume, forms bubbles on the surface and feels very bouncy and pillowy. After the last rise, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

4. Gather the edges into the centre like a bundle and turn it over, using floured hands and a bench scraper. Flour the top and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.

5. Prepare an oblong proving basket by dusting it with the rice-wheat flour mix. Alternatively, thoroughly flour a tea towel and place it in an oblong baking dish or a long loaf tin.

6. Shape the bloomer: turn over rested dough and stretch it gently into a rectangle. Fold the long edges into the centre, then fold it lengthwise in half, forming a log. Gently drop it into the prepared basket/cloth seam side up. Dust with rice-wheat flour, tent with a plastic bag and leave in ambient temperature for 40 minutes. Transfer to the fridge overnight.

7. The next morning preheat a baking stone, steel or a heavy baking tray in the oven at 250C/475F/gas 8.

8. Dust the top of the loaf with flour and turn it out gently onto a sheet of parchment. Score lines across the top with a baker’s lame or a sharp knife and transfer to the oven.

9. Bake for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 400F/200C/gas 6 and bake for further 20-30 minutes (shorter on stone or steel). The internal temperature should reach 96C/205F.

10. Cool the bloomer on a wire rack before slicing.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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