Sunday, January 15, 2012

From-Scratch Buckwheat Noodles

The Grains Cookbook
Bert Greene
Workman Publishing Company (1988)
ISBN 0894806122

The Leftover Queen's Buckwheat Noodles with Mushrooms and Sour Cream was on the menu for tonight. The recipe calls for soba noodles and I hadn't been able to find them at the grocery store for the last several weeks, so I decided to make the buckwheat noodles myself. (Buckwheat flour is readily available, being used to make crêpes throughout the lenten season.) I searched through many of my books that might have a recipe for these, and settled on the recipe for From-Scratch Buckwheat Noodles from Bert Greene's The Grains Cookbook. This is a book I've had a while, and enjoy browsing, but have used only once so far.

Since I was serving only two of us, I made a half recipe of the noodles. Elsewhere, I read that buckwheat noodles are typically three parts buckwheat flour to one part white flour, so I used that ratio in my cut-back recipe (3/4 cup buckwheat flour and 1/4 cup tipo 00 flour), rather than half buckwheat flour that Greene prescribes.

As Greene suggests, I mixed the dough in the food processor, although I really don't see the problem with mixing by hand. When I started making pasta myself, I did use the processor for the mixing, but I've stopped as I've gotten more experience. There are so many bits of the processor to be washed, whereas if you mix by hand, there's just a big bowl and maybe a fork to get things started. Either way you're going to get doughy hands.

Also, using the processor, I've never had the dough come together in a ball all by itself as Greene and others report. I usually have to dump it out and make a ball. If I then put it back in the processor, it stays together and cleans the sides as it should.

Using my cut-back recipe, I should have needed no more than 1-1/2 tablespoons of water. I added about twice that, and it could have used a bit more.

Nevertheless, the noodles were very tasty and I'd definitely do this again when the earthy kind of taste that buckwheat adds is appropriate.

This post is linked to this week's Cookbook Sundays. This is my second Cookbook Sundays post for this week, one that not really planned, since it came from needing to make a substitute in a planned meal.


  1. I'm impressed! I'd never think of making my own soba noodles. Of course, I don't have a pasta maker and I suspect that's essential. Pretty plates, by the way.

  2. Kaye, I'm so glad you joined in with an "unplanned" second entry this week. I love soba noodles and, even though I have buckwheat flour in my pantry, I've always been a bit nervous about trying to make my own noodles as I somehow thought that they would be a bit "difficult" to make. I am totally trying this now - appreciate all your advice.

    Thanks again for sharing.
    Sue xo