For this version, he likes using a plastic bag to mix the buckwheat flour and water together because it's handy and helps hold in the moisture. It's also a lot easier to make sure the water has been evenly absorbed by the flour before you begin kneading.
It's key to find a good buckwheat flour. The article's author Betty Hallock says that Bob's Red Mill buckwheat flour didn't work at all. She had better success with a stone-milled version from Cold Mountain that she found in an Asian food store.
Both Inouye and Hallock warn that it still might take a try or three before you are able to make a real batch of noodles so don't get discouraged. We think a little trial-and-error will be worth it if we have a reliable way of making homemade soba noodles in the end!
Do you make soba at home? Any recommendations for good brands of buckwheat flour?
(Image: Kirk McKoy/LA Times)