Buckwheat flatbreads are one of my staple foods. For a grain-free or low-carb diet they’re so great, because they nicely replace grain-based flatbreads, and also give you something you can easily turn to. And for anyone, specialist diet or free to eat anything, they’re a tasty and nutritious food, and something a little different. Buckwheat is an ancient pseudo-grain, a fruit seed, eaten by man (scrap that sexist term and replace with people!) since before 4000 BC. Health lowdown – it is less acidic than grains, thought to be neutral or slightly alkaline forming. Buckwheat flour also has a lower GI/GL than conventional flours, has a higher protein content and is super healthy, being anti-inflammatory, and a good source of mangenese, magnesium, copper, fiber and phosphorus. Health benefits include being good for your cardiovascular system. Diets that contain buckwheat are linked to having a far lower risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is high in flavanoids, phytonutrients that protect against disease. And it’s tasty, and versatile, and easy to bake with.
i ♥ buckwheat!
On a daily level, if you are avoiding, or cutting out completely, grains and other carbs such as potato for health reasons, such as I do for joint pain relief, a good carbohydrate source such as buckwheat makes life so much easier and more pleasurable. Buckwheat flour makes excellent breads (yeast or flat), cakes and biscuits, and can pretty much do anything that any other wholemeal flour can do, particularly in combination with binders such as psyllium husk for baking, with the extra benefit of being really healthy and suitable for everyone, whatever your dietary needs. And unlike other gluten-free flours, buckwheat holds its moisture better and does not dry out too fast.
This flatbread is so easy and quick to make, and you can eat it by itself with a spread, dip, as a wrap, with a curry, the list goes on. They’re completely versatile. I recommend having them with buckwheat and olive sausages and vegan coleslaw with sauerkraut, it’s such a good combination. Or you could have the flatbread with nigella seed cashew cheese, or coconut cream of vegetable soup, or this delicious chickpea and sweet potato curry, or anything you fancy!
- 100g buckwheat flour/ 6 heaped tbsp
- large pinch of sea salt
- cup of water
- drizzle of olive oil
Preheat oven to full/ 220 C.
Mix the flour, salt and water in a bowl to make a slack mixture. Grease a baking tray with olive oil, or oil of your choice. Pour the mix onto the tray, spreading out to the corners. Place the tray on the top shelf of the oven, after a few minutes run a large spatula under the flatbread making sure it isn't sticking, and bake for a total of 5 mins. Turn it over carefully. Bake for a further 5 mins on the other side until bubbled and browning at the edges (or less if you have it thin and also if you want it softer). For best results, eat whilst hot. Can be re-heated in tinfoil, but best fresh from the oven.
Flours vary in their sifts, a lighter flour will need less water for example. The batter should be pourable and spread out easily.
You can take the flatbread out earlier for a softer wrap, or keep it till browning and well puffed for a crispier, chewier bread, spread the batter thinly (my preference), or thicker (if thicker you will need to bake for longer). Also you can spice the bread and add herbs, it's very versatile.
In the past I've had trouble with the flatbreads sticking, which can be really frustrating. I changed my flour to Big Oz's buckwheat flour (available at many health food stores or on-line) and I find it the best to work with by far, and is of course certified gluten-free (coeliacs, never assume that buckwheat flour is gluten-free as many are prepared with gluten containing products, as I have done in the past). If it does stick, I would say to make sure you have oiled the tray properly and to run a large spatula under the flatbread after a few minutes of cooking.