Hack my recipe - Guyenet-style buckwheat muffins

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM

After the style of Guyenet, I've been making buckwheat muffins. Not strictly paleo, but I thought this crowd might be the right one to talk about it.

My recipe:

  • Soak 3 cups raw (organic) buckwheat groats for 24-36 hours in a large large volume of chlorine-free water, stirring occasionally. 36 hours is better than 24.
  • Pour off most of the water directly down the drain, to get rid of floating husks and twigs.
  • Dump groats into colander, rinse thoroughly, thoroughly. Pick out obvious twigs and husks.
  • Transfer to food processor, add 1 cup chlorine-free water and 2 teaspoons of non-iodized salt like sea salt or kosher salt. Process thoroughly, at least a few minutes.
  • Transfer to large glass bowl, cover with paper towel, put into oven on "proof" for 10-12 hours.
  • Remove batter from oven, should be bubbly, yeasty, and have risen quite a bit.
  • Grease a standard 12-position non-stick muffin tin. Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup, being careful to not stir or otherwise deflate the batter.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, checking near the end for being done.
  • Remove muffins and cool on cooling rack. Eat hot & fresh, or throw in ziplock bags into the fridge for eating all week.

My lessons learned:

  • I always end up with some husks in the final product. I figure the effort of picking out all the husks is greater than the displeasure at biting into one. You may feel different.
  • The amount of time you spend processing the batter has an impact on the grainyness of the final product. If you process for a short time, it's more grainy. Longer processing leads to a finer batter and a finer end product.
  • I used to add 2 tablespoons of reserved brown rice soaking water to the batter when I put it into the glass bowl, thinking that was providing the probiotics to kick start the fermenting. One day I didn't have any brown rice water, so I went ahead with the recipe naked. To my surprise, the risen batter seemed indistinguishable compared to before. So I guess my house is inoculated with the right kinds of microbes, and/or maybe the rice soaking water wasn't doing anything. I don't know what would happen in someone else's house. I suppose you might need a starter of some kind. I haven't used any sort of starter since then.
  • I use a glass bowl to hold the batter while rising. The batter gets acidic/tangy, so I figure a metal bowl wouldn't be the best, and I'm suspicious about the long-term safety of plastic.
  • For the proofing step, my old oven, a GE, didn't have a proof mode so I turned the light on, that worked perfectly. My new oven has a proof mode, I set it to 95 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • I used to leave the batter on the counter overnight, and would find it in the morning in a pretty unexciting state -- not smelling good, hardly risen. Warmth does wonders.
  • I tried putting the batter into paper muffin cups, but the muffins stuck to the paper so bad that it was a pain to eat. So now I put the batter straight into a greased non-stick muffin tin.
  • Cool on a cooling rack to prevent condensation weirdness on the outside of the muffin.
  • The muffins come out pretty bland, somewhat dense (although they are cut through with bubbles), and have a dry texture.

Whither from here?

Well, I wonder if the taste & texture could be improved. My concern with adding other ingredients early is the effect on the natural fermentation. My concern with adding other ingredients after fermentation is that if you were to stir/mix the batter, you'll lose most of the natural fluff. Possible additions are:

  • in lieu of some or all of fermenting water:
    • whole egg
    • just egg yolk
    • milk (I have raw milk)
  • baking soda -- as the batter does get acidic, this ought to react to produce more bubbles and thus airyness
  • baking powder
  • honey
  • wild (small) blueberries when spooning into the muffin tin
  • butter or coconut oil, either to the batter, or drizzled on top after spooning batter into the muffin tin before baking

I'm soaking a half batch right now, I'm going to try adding an egg yolk this time prior to fermentation. I'm curious what that will do.

As I mentioned, the muffins are pretty dry. The obvious thing I haven't done, and probably should, is cut them in half and spread on butter and/or honey. That's probably the simplest way to increase the palatability. But they taste fine to me, the taste isn't the issue. I'm just trying to figure out how to get them to a state where I can eat them without needing a cup of water to moisten my mouth through the process.

Any tips from (ex-)bakers would be appreciated :-)



on August 13, 2012
at 05:09 PM

I'd add a whisked egg after the fermentation and I'd fold it in. Folding will help keep more of the bubbles in.


on January 28, 2012
at 08:23 PM

Note: you only need to let it ferment in the fridge for 24 hrs before using it but it keeps for up to 3 wks.



on January 28, 2012
at 01:58 PM

Thanks for the idea! I've been making buckwheat pancakes, but I'll be sure to give these a try. I use a sourdough starter for mine because it won't ferment otherwise in my house.

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4 Answers


on January 28, 2012
at 08:22 PM

I've been eating buckwhat ployes my whole life. Traditionally, we've always made them as crepe/pancakes. Never would think of doing a muffin out of it as there just isn't any gluten for it to proof. (My hometown grows buckwheat and they mill it and pkg it but they also add white wheat flour to the mix so I don't use that now.)

I am now however making them with oat groats using Chris Kresser's recipe. I modified it a bit.

1 cup groats soaked forf 2 hrs and rinsed. Add 1/2 c water to groats and I blend in a Vitamix. I get a real smooth consistency. Then refrigerate for up to 3 wks - it ferments here. Stir the liquid back in occasionally. If you see a tinged liquid throw it out. That has never happened for me though.

Then on any given day that you want crepe-style ployes (thin pancakes), add 2 (beaten) eggs and 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 milk. I don't do milk any other time. Only for these ployes. Whisk well. Let it sit a few minutes for baking soda to activate.

Using an extremely hot skillet, pour a little less than 1/4c of batter on skillet and wait for the whole top to develop bursted bubbles. It should not look wet ontop when you flip it. Once flipped, only let it cook 1/2 minute or so.

You can make as many as you need and store the remaining batter for a day or two.

To make fluffy pancakes, add in extra egg whites (1-2), 1 tsp vanilla and sometimes I add less milk. Great with breakfast sausage and scant maple syrup and berries.

The crepe version lends itself well to having cretons (pig head cheese) spread on them! A quick breakfast with only 9g/carbs per ploye and 2oz of cretons gives you 13g of protein. I often break a fast with this and it keeps me until dinner 2-3 hrs later.


on January 28, 2012
at 08:23 PM

Note: you only need to let it ferment in the fridge for 24 hrs before using it but it keeps for up to 3 wks.



on August 13, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Just made the Chris Kresser variant this weekend. I'm definitely a fan.

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on January 28, 2012
at 03:45 PM

To get moistness add cooked squash or sweet potatoes. Start with 1/2 a cup to a dozen, and if that doesn't do it add more.



on January 28, 2012
at 02:40 PM

I also make fermented buckwheat crepes a la Guyenet, adding egg to the batter just before cooking. I always rinse the raw buckwheat well with tap water after the inital soaking period, to get the slimy tannins off. I think that reduces bitterness. Maybe adding egg and baking soda or baking powder post fermentation would be a better idea than pre-fermentation? That's what you do for regular muffins, after all. Maybe add some coconut oil, too? Not sure I'd add the egg and then leave it in a warm place for a long time...

I process my buckwheat in a blender with sea salt and iodine-free water. Never seen any twigs, but there is a certain "texture" no matter how long I whizz it. I think the longer you ferment it, the tarter it gets, so probably best not to overdo the fermentation. Back in my bread-making days, if the bread got over-risen I'd punch it down for a third rising, and it would get kind of tart and acidic.

Let us know what happens!!

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