The addition of buckwheat flour to the traditional Italian flatbread round gives it a robust flavor. Since only one brief rising is needed, making this buckwheat focaccia bread isn’t as time-consuming to make as most other yeasted breads.
Consider making this bread while waiting for a long-simmering soup; it makes an excellent accompaniment!
About buckwheat flour
Buckwheat flour is milled from buckwheat groats, the seeds of a plant that isn’t a grain at all but a relative of dock and rhubarb. Strong-flavored buckwheat flour is most familiar to North Americans from its use in buckwheat pancakes, a fixture on American tables in the nineteenth century and still quite popular in the southern states today.
Both dark and light buckwheat flours are available. The dark version is less refined and contains more of the hull. Dark buckwheat flour retains more of the valuable nutrients found in whole buckwheat, including a wide range of B vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
Buckwheat flour keeps well for 2 to 3 months. For longer storage, it’s best to refrigerate. It’s dense and low in gluten, so for successful use in yeast-risen breads like this one, it’s best to combine it with a high-gluten wheat flour. Buckwheat flour is good when combined with other distinctive flavors, such as molasses or barley malt syrup, in breads.
See more in this site’s Guide to Buckwheat Groats and Buckwheat Flour.
Substitutions for buckwheat flour: If you can’t find buckwheat flour and are craving this kind of bread, simply replace the 3/4 cup buckwheat flour with an additional 3/4 cup of the whole wheat bread flour or unbleached white flour.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon agave, molasses, or barley malt syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat bread flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 clove garlic, minced, or garlic powder to taste
- Coarse salt
- Rosemary or oregano leaves (fresh or dried) for topping
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the water and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in half the olive oil. Next, stir in the liquid sweetener of choice, and the salt.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flours and stir together. Work in the yeast mixture wet mixture until well blended. Turn out onto a well-floured board and knead for 5 minutes, adding additional wheat flour if necessary, just enough for the dough loses its stickiness. Spread the dough out into a circle or oval, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rise for 40 to 50 minutes in a warm place (I like to turn my oven on for 2 minutes or so, then turn off).
- When the dough had risen to about double its original bulk, preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Poke shallow holes over the bread’s surface with your thumb, at somewhat even intervals. Pour the remaining olive oil evenly over the surface, then sprinkle with the garlic, salt, and herb of your choice.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped and is lightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then tear at random or slice to serve.
If you like this traditional Italian flatbread you might also enjoy …
Here are more breads & savory baked goods.