Buckwheat has fallen a bit out of favor in Germany ever since wheat flour has gotten widely and cheaply available everywhere. Nowadays, it’s seldom to encounter noodles or pancakes made from buckwheat. Yet, that doesn’t mean these dishes don’t exist. Buckwheat noodles are crazy delicious in their own way.
In the summer, German buckwheat noodles are usually served with swiss chard. In the winter, savoy cabbage is used to prepare this dish. Hot sage butter is poured over the noodles right before serving to create a dramatic sizzling and to make the cheese melt. There’s hardly a better German comfort food out there.
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How to cook buckwheat noodles
Buckwheat has nothing in common with regular bread wheat. To get a firm noodle texture, some wheat flour or finely-milled semolina is added to the noodle dough. I know you can also make noodles from 100% buckwheat, but this can be very challenging, and without enough practice, the noodles are prone to disappoint.
Buckwheat noodles in Germany were seen as a way to stretch the scarce wheat flour. Hence, their popularity declined once wheat flour was not scarce anymore. This doesn’t mean, however, that buckwheat noodles are just an inferior replacement for wheat noodles. They are a unique culinary experience.
I decided to roll out the dough by hand. Then I cut it into noodle-like strips. Buckwheat noodles can and should be a little thicker than regular noodles. I promise they won’t be chewy because buckwheat itself does not give noodles a chewy texture. The more experience you have working with buckwheat, the thinner you can make the noodles but always keep in mind that buckwheat doughs are fragile.
Apart from making the noodles, this recipe is as easy as a recipe possibly can be. All the other ingredients are boiled and in the end, the hot sage butter is poured over the noodles. Don’t be shy with the sage. I like lots of it. It goes super crisp when fried and lightens up this rather heavy dish.