I worked on this recipe for years- I wanted a good tasting sandwich bread with the nutrition of barley, one that would be very moist and keep well. I must have done it because so many people have told me that this is the best bread that they have ever eaten! And to top that, I won a blue ribbin and best of division award at the fair this year (2010). I admit that it is a little more work with the extra step of cooking the barley, but if you do as I do and do it in 3 steps when you have time- it fits into anyones schedule! Another bonus is that the dough makes killer hamburger buns as well as dinner rolls. My husband loves it when I make individual sized loafs so he can have a whole loaf to himself!!!! (For a video series on how to make this bread, go to you tube, Baking Whole Barley Bread video: http://www.youtube.com/user/Sweetgraces#p/u/0/YLmJFXIA1pQ Thanks!)
- 1⁄3 cup pearl barley
- 4 cups water
- 3 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 1⁄2 cups bread flour
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons instant yeast (SAF Brand)
- 3 tablespoons gluten (Bob's Red Mill)
On Bread Baking Day (use 1 batch of whole barley bread mix and cooked barley from above)
- 1 1⁄2 cups water (heat this up until very warm- about 105 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 -2 cup bread flour (add as much as needed to form a dough that sticks together and not to the sides of the bowl)
- Combine the whole barley and the water in a medium saucepan. Simmer on medium heat for about 50 minutes until the barley is very soft- like mushy oatmeal. Pre-cooked barley can be stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake your bread.
- Hint: Make at least one batch of the bread mix- I make up about 4 of these and store them in plastic containers. They will keep fresh for about a month and make bread baking go much faster.
- To make the bread mix, measure out the dry ingredients above and set aside for bread making day.
- Making the Bread Dough:.
- Combine the bread mix, the cooked barley, the water, oil, molasses and vinegar into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer (or regular mixing bowl if you are going to knead it by hand).
- Mix together with a spoon to get it blended.
- Now put the bowl on the mixer stand with the dough hook in place.
- Knead by machine for about 12 minutes on medium, adding additional flour a little at a time until the dough sticks to itself and not the mixing bowl.
- Spray a large mixing bowl or plastic container with cooking spray, add the dough (give the dough one more spray and then cover.
- Let the dough rest on the counter for about 2 hours, then either refrigerate for later use or form into loafs, rolls or killer hamburger buns!
- To form two loafs, flour your work surface and remove the dough from the raising container.
- Cut the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, shape into a log- rolling the dough back and forth to smooth the edges as much as possible. Place each dough half into a loaf pan, press it down and let it sit until doubled.
- Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the bread into the oven and turn the heat down to 400 degrees. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
- I like to use an instant read thermometer- when the bread is between 195-200 degrees I know that it is time to take the bread out of the oven.
- Let the bread cool and then devour!
- I have been working on this recipe to increase its available nutrition profile. The modifications are as follows:.
- 1. For the whole wheat flour, use sprouted, dried and ground whole wheat.
- 2. Make the barley ahead and soak it for 12 hours before cooking in 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
- 3. Soak the sesame seeds (they add a wonderful flavor and texture) for 12 hours prior to making the bread- add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the soaking water.
- 4. I have deleted the wheat bran as there was no useful purpose for it and there was no practical way to remove the phytic acid.
- 5. Add 1/2 cup sourdough starter to the dough to increase the acidity and give more rise to the dough.
- Planned future modifications:.
- 1. Increase the amount of sourdough starter.
- 2. Decrease the amount of bread flour.
- 3. Decrease the amount of wheat gluten.
- Good luck and email me with suggestions!