Buckwheat & Chia Sourdough

In the past the sourdough breads I have made have used commercial yeast that I have then cultured for a couple of days. Perhaps I should call my previous versions "tame sourdoughs" as I hadn't captured wild yeasts for use in bread making. Although it seems fairly simple to set up a "wild" sourdough starter (leaven) I have never done it. A fellow blogger, Liv from Better than a Bought one, lives down the road & has a sourdough culture named Terrence (she gave me a bit of Terrence). Liv started the culture about 3 years ago firstly on potato skins & now feeds it with rye flour.

Terrence obviously needed to go on a gluten free diet.

My sourdough starter, now known as Arthur, was initially fed solely on Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour. For some reason Arthur started to lose his vitality. I may be a newbie when it comes to sourdough bread making but I do know that a leaven that is not bubbling is not a good sign. Rather than try & wade through the squillions of websites devoted to sourdoughs I decided to go through the things I knew about Arthur & Terrence.

  • Both live in ~the same climate (although the micro climate will be different)
  • The actual room temperature may be different (may be)
  • Both were fed daily
  • Terrence was fed rye flour 
  • Arthur was fed on the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour (maize starch, potato starch, flaxseed flour, psyllium husk & pea protein)

Looking at the above list I thought that perhaps I wasn't feeding Arthur the food that he needed. After a couple of google searches I decided that that was the case. Basically yeast require sugar (glucose) for fermentation. A lot of the gluten containing flours contain some free sugar but they also contain amylase. Amylase is a protein (enzyme) that can breakdown starch into its glucose components. While the yeast is using the free sugar present in the flour amylases are at work producing more sugar.   

The following is an excerpt from The Fresh Loaf

"Rye contains much less gluten than wheat, and the gluten rye contains is of poor quality when it comes to trapping air bubbles. Consequently, breads made with mostly rye flour do not expand as much as those made with mostly wheat flour. The crumb of breads in which rye predominates tends to be dense with smaller holes. On the other hand, rye has more free sugars than wheat, so rye dough ferments faster.

Rye is higher in the enzymes (amylases) that break down starch into sugars. Starch is needed to form the structure of the crumb, and if too much starch is split up, the texture of the bread suffers and becomes gummy. Traditionally, this is prevented by acidifying the rye dough, which slows down the action of amylases. This is why breads with a high percentage of rye flour are made with rye sour (rye-based sourdough starter), even if commercial yeast is added."

Terrence was very active when fed with rye flour (I can understand why - he had plenty of sugar). Although Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour contains both maize & potato starch that can be broken down to glucose they lack amylase. Maize does have naturally occurring amylases however the maize starch used for Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour is a refined product & the amount of amylase present would be minimal. Potato doesn't contain amylases. No sugar for Arthur in the first 2 ingredients. Most of the carbohydrate present in flaxseed flour is fibre this requires different enzymes to break it down, basically there is little available sugar in this ingredient. The last 2 ingredients, a fibre and protein, would contain minimal sugar. It makes sense now when I think about the above clearly Arthur needed a sugar source.

A little sprinkle of the magic ingredient, a quick stir and a couple of hours later Arthur had doubled in size.

I feed Arthur everyday with Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour and a little bit of sugar.

50 g of previous days leaven (Arthur)

50 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

100 g Lukewarm water

~1-2 g Sugar

The remaining 150 g of the previous days leaven I either use to make bread or put it on the humus heap.



400 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

1.5 tsp Salt

150 g Sourdough starter (leaven)

65 g Roasted pumpkin

40 g Buckwheat flakes

10 g Chia flour

50 g Oil (I use Rice bran)

500 g Warm water


Extra buckwheat flakes

Extra oil for top of the dough


Lightly oil a heavy duty loaf baking tin. 


Place all ingredients in the TM bowl.

Mix @ 37C for 1.5 mins at speed 3.

Ensure all ingredients are incorporated. If not, scrape down the sides and briefly mix again.

Stand Mixer

Mush the roast pumpkin with a fork.

Combine ingredients using the flat beater until a uniform consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the mixer and scrap down the sides. 

Both Methods

The dough is ready for proofing. In the past I have split the dough into halves or quarters, rolled the dough in a little oil, then in buckwheat flakes and finally put the dough balls into the baking tin.

Let the dough proof for 3-5 hours in a warm moist environment. The actual time will depend on many factors particularly how active your sourdough starter (leaven) is.

Turn your oven on to 200 C.

Before putting it in the oven ensure that the dough has risen ~2X. 

Bake at 200 C for 1 hr 20 mins, the time will vary depending on the individual oven. If your oven has a hot spot turn the bread halfway through baking. The longer than normal baking time will result in a wonderfully crusty bread. 

Take out of the oven & cool the bread on a cooling rack (take it out of the baking tin). The bread should slide out of the baking tin. If it doesn't don't force it out, wait until it cools.

Ensure the bread is sufficiently cooled before cutting into it.

I used 1/2 the loaf on the day that it was made. I refreshed the remaining 1/2 by putting it back in the oven for ~20 mins at 180 C - full flexibility was restored.

Simply enjoy!