Should buckwheat flour be made from unhulled black buckwheat or from hulled white groats in a grain mill?

The reason I’m asking is because unhulled buckwheat is black, and I was expecting buckwheat flour to be black (like how pure soba noodles look). But I’m concerned that the black hull should not be blended into soba flour or would damage my grain mill? It is a tough shell that maybe should not be eaten as part of the flour?

On the other hand, the white buckwheat groats look softer because the hull has been removed, but they are white, which makes me think that would be the wrong way to make soba noodles. If I milled hulled white buckwheat groats, would the soba noodles actually turn out white? I’m just not used to seeing 100% white buckwheat noodles in the store. If the noodles are white it’s usually because they are mixed with wheat/gluten. Also, I would think white hulled buckwheat groats would expire more quickly and be more deficient in nutritional content?

1 Answer 1


The Wikipedia article on buckwheat, under the Culinary Use section has this to say (my emphasis):

The hull is dark brown or black, and some may be included in buckwheat flour as dark specks. The dark flour is known as blé noir (black wheat) in French, along with the name sarrasin (saracen). Similarly, in Italy, it is known as grano saraceno (saracen grain).[40] The grain can be prepared by simple dehulling, milling into farina, to whole-grain flour or to white flour. The grain can be fractionated into starch, germ and hull for specialized uses.

So, the answer is that either works. It would depend on your mill as to what it is capable of handling as to whether you should mill with the hulls intact.

If you mix black hull with the white of the interior of the endosperm, you should get a grey to brown colour, as seen in Soba, rather than black. You should note that Soba are often made with some wheat flour added so as to allow easier working of the dough and longer storage, which might result in a lighter colour than the flour. You should also note the addition of liquids to the flour tends to make it slightly darker than the dry flour alone.

For what it is worth, the buckwheat flour that I have is a medium grey colour

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