Ever since I received my new kitchen toy from Grain Mill Wagon, I have been preoccupied with thoughts of grinding. My eyes search different grains every time I enter a grocery store and I have accumulated quite a selection of prospects. My newest acquisition was toasted buckwheat, a plant that has more in common with sorrel and rhubarb than wheat, contrary to its deceiving name.
I have never eaten buckwheat while growing up in Serbia, even though Eastern Europe is the main producer, along with China. But, we did not eat oats, either, and I learned to love a steaming bowl of steel-cut oats with a touch of brown sugar and some dried fruit. I am curious by nature and a hedonist by choice, so experiments with culinary ingredients make me happy.
I chose to make rolls even though I did not know what to expect from adding freshly ground buckwheat flour. Its aroma was robust and nutty, and texture grainy. It colored the dough taupe and its skin added a few speckles of chestnut throughout. But it rose beautifully and I encountered no problems while shaping the rolls.
I had a baggie of nigella seeds I bought at an Indian store a while back and thought that their exotic taste would complement the bold notes of roasted buckwheat. I sprinkled them on top of the rolls along with sesame seeds and I was smitten by the aroma wafting from my oven while the rolls were baking.
I loved these rolls. My girls loved them. My neighbors loved them. My octogenarian friend who grew up in Oklahoma loved them. Even if you are not adventurous and daring, I promise you that buckwheat will charm you.
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 envelope instant yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp coarse salt
- 6 Tbsp very soft butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups warm water (110F)
- 1 cup cottage cheese (or crumbled feta)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- sesame seeds, nigella seeds, caraway seeds (optional)
- Place both flours in a large bowl.
- Add dry yeast, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix thoroughly.
- Make a well in the middle and add butter and oil.
- Mix a little and start adding water, little by little (you might not need all of it).
- The dough should be soft, but not sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.
- Mix cheese, eggs, sour cream, and salt.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll them into balls.
- Flatten each ball into an oval approximately 8x5 inches.
- Place a few small heaps of cheese mixture in the middle, fold the longer sides over it and start rolling from one short side.
- Place the roll seam-side down on a cookie sheet.
- Continue until all the balls are shaped, filled and rolled.
- Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds, as desired.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Let the rolls rest while the oven is heating.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden brown.
- Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and allow the rolls to cool slightly before placing them to a baker’s rack to cool completely.