The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Barley Bread

Mebake's picture

Sourdough Barley Bread

I delayed this bread long enough, i thought to myself. It was, afterall, the inspiration behind baking craziness. The bread is 1/3 Barley and 2/3 Wholewheat.

Taste? mmm.. it was sourdough, though some 1.6 tsp of yeast was used in the final dough. The bread tastes: Wholesome- Soury- Fibery- damp- chewy - Crusty. Thats is the way i felt when i took a bite. Regrets? Would skip the  Wholewheat starter and go for a yeast poolish to somewhat reduce sourness, though the bread was mildly sour.


150 g Whole Barley flour

300 g Whole Wheat Flour

80 g Ripe Stiff Wholewheat starter

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp Active dry inst. yeast

1 tsp molasses

265 g water


As instructed by Peter Reinhart's Wholegrain breads, i made a biga and a soaker.

Soaker: 150g WholeWheat flour + 75g Whole Barley Flour + all Salt + 130g water

Biga: 150g Wholewheat Flour + 75g Wholebarley flour + all starter + 130 g water

I let them sit for 1 hour, then i refrigerate them for 24 hours.

Next day, i removed the two doughs, biga and soker from the fridge and let them sit for 2 hours to warm. Next, i mixed the two doughs thoroughly , added all the yeast and 5 grams water, and knead  until both incorporated evenly (the final dough.)

I oiled a bowl and put the final dough in for bulk fermentation. This took 1.5 hours. I carefully scraped the dough into a floured workspace, and began shaping the dough into a Boule. Initial shaping was followed by final shaping, and into the proofing basket upside down it went. I preheated the oven to 450 F or 240 C with an empty load paf for steaming and a cast-iron skillet as a baking stone.

1 hour later I removed the Hot cast iron skillet, and inverted the dough from the basket to a parchment and unto the skillet. Into the oven it went and i poured hot water into the hot loaf pan to creat steam and closed the oven.

1 hour later, i turned the oven off, i opened the oven door for 10 minutes with the bread in for extra crust, and then removed it unto a cooling rack.

The Boule in the oven after 8 minutes

Sourdough Barley Bread


A crumb Shot

Another Crumb shot



rainwater's picture

We have these 25# bags of Barley flour at Whole Foods where I work, and I used to wonder, "Who buys these bags of Barley flour?".'s people from Middle Eastern countries, I think......maybe Pakistani also.  I asked them how they use the barley flour, and I was told that they make a flat bread similar to Indian chapati with the barley flour.  They said it's more digestable and nutritious!  ....and more delicious also.....I think I will try this barley chapati sometime.   I bet the bread tastes good????

Mebake's picture

Hi rainwater,

Barley bread is tastey, but tricky to bake. This hearth bread is 1/3 barley, and this is as much bake-able as you might get. Excessive Barley in any bread, however, does cause flatulance to some people. Barley is also less in calories, and as you have mentioned very good foor digestive tract.

One thing for sure, though: i may not bake a sourdough out of barley, it just sort of negates the subtle sweetness that barley has.

Iam sure barley is much versatile than for baking hearth breads, it is an ancient grain.


summerbaker's picture

Neat!  I'd never even heard of baking with barley flour.  I'll have to try it sometime.