Ingredient Spotlight: Buckwheat Flour

While we haven't given up on making our own soba noodles, we do have almost an entire bag of leftover buckwheat flour just begging to be used in creative and interesting ways. We've had whole buckwheat groats a few times, but we have less experience with the ground flour. Any suggestions?

The challenge with buckwheat flour is two-fold. First, it has a fairly strong, bitter flavor that can easily overwhelm a recipe. Secondly, buckwheat has no gluten since it's actually a seed and not related to wheat at all. No gluten means that we have to depend on other ingredients to create the structure necessary to hold a muffin or a cookie together.

We're thinking of trying buckwheat pancakes as a first experiment. These are traditional throughout Europe, and would definitely make a hearty start to the day! We've always wanted to try Kathryn's recipe for Buckwheat Blinis. This recipe from Epicurious pairing buckwheat pancakes with smoked salmon also looks promising:

Buckwheat Pancakes with Smoked Salmon from Epicurious

Our flour is also fine enough that we think it could work well in pastries. There's a recipe for Figgy Buckwheat Scones from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce that we'd really like to try. The recipe for these crumbly, chocolate-flecked cookies is also on our list:

Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies from 101 Cookbooks

What are your recommendations?

Related: Grain Mills: A Good Investment?

(Image: Emma Christensen)

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