What is Soba?
Soba is a thin Japanese noodle composed mainly of buckwheat flour and water. Since buckwheat is a seed and has no gluten of its own, soba noodles made with 100% buckwheat tend to crumble and fall apart, either while forming the dough or cooking the noodle. This is why most soba also includes about 20% wheat flour in the mix to help it bind together. The dough is then rolled into sheets, cut into noodles, and typically cooked immediately.
The dough is extremely sensitive to moisture, so factors such as the weather and humidity play a large part in making soba. This is why we choose to make soba by hand - knowing the feel of the dough and adjusting cannot be replicated by mechanical mixers!