The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does barley flour has any means to rise?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Does barley flour has any means to rise?

Hi,


besides rye another passion of mine is barley.


I was wondering it barley flour has any means to rise, just like wheats have gluten and rye has pentosans.


 


I know fo sure that in Sardinia bakers have been making a 100% barley bread for centuries, but now it's only a memory of the far past and I couldn't find the recipe.


 


I found several recipes here, but all tainted with wheat.


 


Thanks.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Barley has a tradition in flat breads.  I haven't tried boiling the flour (water roux) and then making a loaf, might be worth a try.  I've observed it does gel just a little and can thicken a soup, so maybe there's a chance that way.  Let us know. 


The Scotts are known for their barley bannock scones:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannock_%28food%29


and here is a bakery that specializes:


http://www.argosbakery.co.uk/bere.htm


It may be possible to make a barley starter but keep in mind, it may not rise but there will be lots of gas activity.  Evidence is cracking of the surface of a firm starter.  The texture is very much like rye, like puddy.  I have increased elasticity in low gluten flours by adding egg, or milk (proteins) but haven't done extensive experiments with barley flour.  I have cooked pearl barley and added it to wheat flour breads. 


I stopped using barley in my kitchen here in Korea because the last time I did, I had a messy rope problem.  A word of prevention, I may offer.  Be sure you contain your barley flour to a separate closed container, try to keep the dust level low and bake and age a small bread loaf first before letting the flour into your flour cupboard.  Wash the mixer bowl and utensils (including counter top & the baking form) well finishing off with vinegar (10%) water spray.  Treat it like a contaminate until it proves itself. 


I would go so far as to not let it into the house until then.  You want to bake something with it (throw in some wheat) and let it age inside a plastic bag at room temp.  After two days cut a slice and press the cut edges together and then separate slowly, look carefully for any "strings" that may form between the two pieces.  Pay attention to any off smells, ripe mellon for example.  Wait another day and repeat cutting off a slice, and do this for several days.  If it follows the normal aging process of old bread then you are fine, but if it starts getting wetter with time and putting up a stink, then get rid of it and the barley flour.  Don't forget to clean knives and anything the bread touches as you're testing with soap and hot water and spray with vinegar solution (and let drip dry.)   I know this sounds extreme but you will have saved yourself a lot of trouble cleaning the kitchen and everything in it. 


Mini

inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

I have a ton of barley flour someone gave me as a gift and was wondering what to do with it. I looked at the top question here, and came across your answer, Mini.



I stopped using barley in my kitchen here in Korea because the last time I did, I had a messy rope problem.



What is a "messy rope problem"?


Sounds bad whatever it is, and I want to make sure my barley flour isn't contaminated...


I tried to google it and look at other barley posts on TFL but still can't quite figure out what you are talking about. Could you explain please?


Ugh, what is it??!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/bakedpotatobread#comment-2856


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8539/rope-thankful-small-kitchen


Lots of links on that last one... so no need to continue and hijack here on this thread.  Any rope discussions can be done on that last forum topic.   Thanks


 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Aaaaaaargh, if I had known I wouldn't even have started.

Thanks Mini, you are a blessing!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Nico, I didn't mean to scare you!  Keep going but run a test loaf or if you have anything baked with the flour, set it aside for a few days.  I've had barley flour in China and in Austria that was just fine.  See if it contains rope, if it doesn't... green light! 


Barley is a good healthy grain.


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

In order to play safe I put the flour (that was already tightly closed in its cellophane bag) in another, thicker, bag and put it in a different room.
Yesterday I began a sour wucth wholemeal flour. Let's see what comes out.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mini

clazar123's picture
clazar123

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/barley-bread-recipe/index.html


The review comments state this turns out with the consistency of corn bread-rather crumbly.


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A Link that's very helpful in mixing barley flour...


http://tsampa.org/tibetan/tsampa/theory_and_practice/


The roasted flour is eaten as dough not baked like a bread however is easily digested.


(I think I just found a use for this bag of assorted roasted flours I've been playing with.)


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I started 2 nights ago with 30 grams of milk whey and 20 of wholemeal flour. Yesterday night it showed some shy sign of activity, now -after this morning's refreshment with 20 gr of water and 20 of flour- it's like this:



 


I'll try to make it a bit thicker and if it goes on fine I'll test it.


The aroma is very earthly, in certain respects reminding the addictive rye;)

shakleford's picture
shakleford

I doubt that this is authentic in any way, but the most "bread-like" result I've obtained with 100% barley flour was by following Peter Reinhart's recipe for 100% rye sourdough in his whole grains book.  I coverted my rye starter to barley beforehand, then followed Reinhart's recipe and procedures.  The only change I made to that was in adding more water until the barley dough felt like the rye dough normally feels.


The result was tasty, but very similar to the original recipe (that is, with rye flour).  Since my main interest in baking with barley is for the flavor, I haven't tried repeating the experiment.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Do you mean that the dough felt jelly and that you were disappointed by the flavor of the bread? Too much like rye to justify the effort?

shakleford's picture
shakleford

Correct on both accounts.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would have been very happy in China if the barley had tasted like rye.  I found barley (in 2006) much lighter in flavor, "The taste has more bitter than a weak rye. The oats give it a nutty taste and balance the flavours."  By weak rye, I meant a wheat flour with a little rye flour.  I did not find the Korean barley to have a bitter note.


Just as wheat flours vary slightly from one to the other, I'm sure barley flours do too.  I would not say that rye and barley taste the same.  I taste differences.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

taste very different in soups. Two different delights!

shakleford's picture
shakleford

Do you recall if you noticed a greater difference in sourdough vs. yeast-leavened dough?  I really enjoy yeast-leavened barley bread, especially toasted, which seems to reduce the bitterness that barley flour otherwise has to me.  I was quite surprised in my one attempt at barley sourdough that this flavor did not persist.  Then again, it's been a while since I made it...perhaps I messed something up, or was just overwhelmed by the more assertive sourdough flavors.

Falsehat's picture
Falsehat

Barley is the fourth most widely grown grain in the world.
Barley flour is mostly used in Asia for bread baking.
It is low in fat. It should be combined with bread
or wheat flour. Use 1 part barley to 4 parts wheat
or bread flour.


It has a very low gluten level

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

The starter keeps on growing and has developed the most surprising aroma: of milk and chocolate! Very pleasant.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

starter to a barley one or at least put a combination together.  The best way is to introduce barley in a feeding and gradually increase the amounts while decreasing the rye.  Or just use the rye starter.


The milk above just may be sour and not a starter,  two days is too short if that's a new starter.  I could just be cheese.  Does whey separate out of it?


Chocolate ....  well that's interesting!


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I expressed myself incorrectly: I didn't use milk: only whey and only the first time; all feedings were done with just water and flour.
There's no separation of any kind, so far it's proceeding perfectly ;)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That is quite a stretchy starter, can you get it to rise in a wider bowl?  Barley does have, like other flours some unique lactobacteria.  Maybe you got the right combination using whey that may help you achieve a higher percent loaf.  The most barley I've seen in a loaf is 50%.  But that doesn't mean it can't be done.  I was reading at Sourdough com. that there is a baker in Australia that makes a 100% Barley loaf.  And Sourpuss has proposed many of the same questions that you have.  You two might want to compare notes! 


Mini

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Yes, yesterday I moved it in a larger bowl because it was already very high. Even in the new one it has almost reached the top. Maybe the combination of wholemeal flour and whey created a very favorable initial environment for our little friends ;)
I read that thread and of the australian bakers. Very interesing reading that rose a lot of questions.
Let's see what comes out.

Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

Wow, MiniOven, I've never even HEARD of bread rope until now. I had to Google it just to make sure it wasn't a joke. I wonder why nobody here has ever had it? Is it more common in humid environments? I live in a very arid climate. Also, I've gotten to the point where I put starter in almost everything, so maybe the lower pH inhibits it? I also read that it takes 3-4 days to develop, and bread rarely lasts that long in this house. I like FRESH bread, so I bake 3-5 times a week, and whatever bread is still around when the next loaf cools, goes outside for the squirels and birds. (Our deck has become somewhat of a wildlife sanctuary.)

clazar123's picture
clazar123

 


http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/mechanics/Engineer-Mechanic-Encyclopedia-Vol1/Barley-Bread.html


I just discovered a rather interesting reference on this book.The above link is just for Barley bread but the link below is for all of the topics in Volume I (there are 2 volumes.)


http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/mechanics/Engineer-Mechanic-Encyclopedia-Vol1/index.html


It looks fascinating for a glimpse into some historical bread recipes.I was looking for references to hops leavener when I found it.


Have fun!