This all-purpose bread has buckwheat flour’s characteristic flavor and is especially tasty with cheese. A long, slow rising makes the loaf light, but it can be sliced extremely thin, thanks to buckwheat’s adhesive quality. Just before the second rising, you may also stir in 1 cup uncooked kasha soaked in 2 cups boiling water and squeezed dry.
1 tablespoon dry yeast
3 tablespoons buckwheat honey or other dark, full-flavored honey
2 1⁄2 cups milk
1 cup buckwheat flour
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 scant tablespoon salt
1⁄4 cup melted butter
5–6 cups unbleached white bread flour
butter for the bread pans
Put 1⁄3 cup lukewarm water in a large bowl and sprinkle on yeast. When yeast dissolves and foams, beat in honey, milk, buckwheat flour and 2 cups whole wheat flour. Cover with a damp towel, place in a warm place, and let rise until very bubbly, about 2 1⁄2 hours if ingredients were cold from the refrigerator, less if they were at room temperature.
Stir down the batter, then beat in the remaining cup of whole wheat flour, eggs, salt and melted butter. Add white flour, stirring, then kneading, first in the bowl and then on a board, until you have a smooth but still somewhat sticky dough.
Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
Butter two 9" x 5" loaf pans. Sprinkle the work surface with white flour and knead the bread on it about 20 times, or until it is elastic and smooth. Shape the dough into 2 loaves and put them in the pans. Cover and allow to rise until half again as big. Bake in a 375° oven for about 45 minutes or until well-browned and tapping on the bottom produces a hollow sound. Cool on wire racks.
Makes 2 loaves.
Leslie Land, author of The New England Epicure and The Modern Country Cook, is food and home editor of Yankee Magazine. Her new book, The Three-Thousand Mile Garden, will be published in the fall. This article first appeared in the January/February 1990 issue of Harrowsmith Country Life.