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100% Barley Bread | Sourdough Companion

100% Barley Bread

I used a little bit of my wheat sourdough starter to get my barley starter going because it is easier to do that than make a starter from scratch.  I feed through a couple of days so that the starter was basically 100% barley.  The hydration of the barley starter was between 60% to 70%.

Barley handles mostly like rye so I made the loaf like I would make a rye bread.  The dough felt like the clay that you would use to make pottery and never feels like a wheat dough.

The Dough

Ingredient Weight US Volume Bakers Percentage
Barley Flour 526 g 18.55 oz 4.12 cups 100.00%
Water 358 g 12.63 oz 1.52 cups 68.06% (hydration)
Salt 11 g 0.39 oz 0.8 tbspns 2.09%
Sourdough Barley Preferment 68% hydration 105 g 3.7 oz 0.82 cups 19.96%
Total Weight: 1000 grams / 35.27 ounces
Total Flour Weight: 526 grams / 18.55 ounces

Bakers percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the Starter is not counted. Note: This recipe was uploaded in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures, let us know of any corrections.

Method

Mix all the ingredients together adding the salt last.  The dough feels like a wet clay.  I placed the dough in a oiled bowl and let it ferment about an hour.  I then shaped the dough and place it into a brotform for about 10 minutes.

This was done just to get impression of the basket on the dough,  The dough was then turned out on to a parchment sheet and covered to finish fermenting.  I really didn't know what to expect but was hoping that cracks would develop like a rye bread indicating it was ready to bake.  The cracks did appear so I heated the oven up to 460°F and placed the bread on the stone covered with a large roasting pan.  The roasting pan was removed after 30 minutes and the loaf was cooked another 15 minutes.  I ate a slice of the bread after it had cooled for 2 hours and before I was done I was wanting another slice.  I was only able to resist the urge for a second slice for 5 minutes.  The crust is a bit thicker than a wheat bread and kind cookie like in texture.  The crumb isn't very open and was like a rye loaf in texture.  It is a good bread and people liked it.  Next time I make  I might try adding a little bit more water to see what it will do.

25 comments

How does a barley starter differ from a wheat or rye starter, in terms of flavor?

 

Jacob

Hey this is really nice to see. I have wondered about barley bread before.

My mum makes a kind of finnish barley bread called "ohrarieska" but I am yet to try it

 manicbovine I didn't taste the starter so I don't know.  I also haven't taste a wheat or rye starter.

Jem that looks like an interesting bread, maybe it can be made with sourdough?

 I meant to ask how it affects the taste of the final bread as compared to rye or wheat.

 manicbovine this is a recipes for 100% Barley bread for people who are allergic to wheat.  I have not tried to find out if different starters will make a bread taste different.

Looks like a great loaf LD.  I haven't tried barley flour - only buckwheat, spelt, rye - what is the favour like?

K.

 

 It tastes like barley.  Well I don't really know how to describe it other than it was good.

 After I posted my question I kinda thought that might be the answer!  Guess I'll just have to try it to find out!

K.

good stuff dawg...looks really edible!...would make a great bannock. Which barley flour did you use?

 You know it was edible and I'm sure I could live on it if I had to.  I had to google bannock because I had no idea what you were talking about.  The barley flour is home milled and the sifted to about 95% extraction and I got the grain from http://www.josephsgrainery.com .

Thanks, Bannock is the traditional way to make a barley bread in Britain, but its very ancient. throughout the world...it means you dont have to worry about a conventional bread aesthetic, that is height and architecture...so means its easier to make a barley bread as a "flatbread" which is how bread was mostly made in the past..an example is the Bere bannock of the Orkneys, still made from the unusual "bere" barley. I agree, barley bread is very nice. Sometimes, a proportion or toasted barley is added which really improves the flavour....roast the whole grains until lightly coloured and pleasantly smelling...cool it and grind...mix in as 25% of flour.

best John 

 Hey John do you have a sourdough recipe or guidelines for making Bannock?  Or was it unleavened?  I would like to give it a try.  I'll try some toasted barley next time I make Barley bread.  Thanks for the tips.

I thought the bannock was a cowboy bread. You know where they wrap the dough around a stick and hold it over the fire turning slowly so it cooks. i bought some barley flour today and can't wait to use it. I love my barley malt powder and syrup, the taste and color. I think I will try a flat bread first.

M

First post here, but been a lurker & sourdough slave for a while. Hello!

Bannock is traditionally leavened with bicarb soda. I have a couple of recipes in 'The Scots Kitchen' (First printed 1929, reprinted 1947) that I inherited from my mother. This is the 'modern' method - the 'old' method does not use bicarb.

Mix a pound of barley meal with 4 ounces of flour & 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Put 3 cupfuls of buttermilk into a jug and stir in 2 teaspoons of bicarb. Stir as it fizzes and mix into the flours.

Make a soft dough and handling as little as possible, shape into rounds 1/2 inch thick and bake on a girdle(a flat hotplate).

 

Umm. Don't forget to stir the liquids in 'Deiseal' or clockwise. The other way (widdershins) is unlucky:-)

I have a couple of recipes in 'The Scots Kitchen' (First printed 1929, reprinted 1947) that I inherited from my mother.

 

Hi, I am in the UK and the ingredient "Sourdough Barley Preferment 68% hydration" does not mean anything to me, please could you give me some idea of what it is.

Regards,

Dave.

Hello palmydays,

Basically this is a sourdough made with barley flour.  As LeadDog said, he started with his wheat starter and converted it to barley flour over a period of time I would guess by feeding it with progressively greater proportions of barley flour.

The hydration of a starter (or dough for that matter) is a measure of the ratio of water to flour (by weight) in the mix.  A 100% starter would have equal amounts of flour and water while the 68% starter would have three parts flour to two parts water (about).

Pre-ferment is often used to indicate an amount of starter that has been prepared to make a loaf by feeding in the last several to 24 hours to ensure that it is properly active before preparing the dough.

Hope this helps.

Farinam

Thanks Farinam,

It make a bit more sense now. The thing I need to find out now is how would I start making a barley only starter? I see form some other posts I could use even quantites of flour & water in a bowl but are there some things to watch out for & how do you proseed with the feeding but?? As you can tell I've never done this before!! :\

Regards,

Dave.

You can make a barley starter the same way that you make a wheat starter.  The hydration can also be explained like this, for 100 grams of flour you add 68 grams of water.  That will give you a starter that is 68% hydration.

Hi LeadDog,

I think you meant 68g of water /:-{)}

Farinam

Thanks.  I have corrected it now.

So if I put 100g barley flour & 68g water in a bowl (metal??) then what do I add on days 2 etc?

Regards,

Dave.

Hello Dave,

LeadDog was only trying to explain the concept of hydration a bit better than I did.

If you follow SourDom's method but use barley flour instead of wheat (maybe still include the rye) you will eventually get what you are looking for.

Regards

Farinam

I would follow SourDom's method but used 100% barley if that is the starter that you want.  When you get an active starter them you can make the 68% hydration preferment that this method uses to make the bread.

Hi Dave,

If you haven't already, I recommend that you read SourDom's beginners blogs on this site (link at top right of page).  If you follow his technique you will probably not go wrong.  You need to be a bit patient sometimes and whatever you do, don't go off chasing around for 'magic' recipes, all you need is flour and water (and a sprinkling of aforesaid patience).

If you start off using the rye/white wheat flour blend (a reliable and well tried method) until you get the starter going and well balanced and active, then you can convert it to barley (or whatever) by changing the feed to barley (or whatever) flour.

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam