The Fresh Loaf

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Question on ingredient: sprouted barley

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SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Question on ingredient: sprouted barley

The list of breads for June in the Mellow Baker's challenge includes Hamelman's Beer Bread with Roasted Barley


 


I heard that even if you manage to find barley, sprouting it is tricky - I doubt I'll be able to find it.


 


Any suggestions?  Are there online sources for sprouted barley or a substitute?


 


 


thanks!

dsoleil's picture
dsoleil

Actually, sprouting grains is not difficult.  It just takes some time.  Usually, you can find some organic barley at your local co-op.  Soak it overnight in cold water.  The next morning, put the barley in a colander or between moist paper towels.  In a few days, it will be ready.  Generally you want sprouts that are 75-100% of the length of the grain.  

plevee's picture
plevee

Dan Lepard has instructions in 'The Handmade Loaf' for sprouting barley and making malt.


Unfortunately my copy is out on loan, but someone else with the book could copy the instructions for you. 


Bob's Red Mill has lovely hulless barley for sale - I'm on on a run of adding up to 20% fresh milled barley to my multigrain loaves. It makes a really crisp crust, a very moist crumb and I love the taste.


Patsy

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I have the book!


 


Silly me.... I will check it out.


 


ok, but let me make sure I get this right:  I can order straight from Bob's Red Mill something called "hulless barley"   and that is what I need?   I mean, I buy the hullless barley and use the sprouting instructions from Lepard?

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Ok, me again


 


I found the instructions in Lepard's book - he doesn't sprout the grain, he does the malting by soaking in water, drying and then low roasting (at 50 Celsius)  -  in my lab we do have an oven that is kept at exactly 50 C all the time, and I could use it for this without any problem


 


However, the roasted barley used in the bread calls for the sprouted grain - I think I'll use Lepard's method instead - you guys think it could work ok?

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Sally - check out this forum:  Mini has the answer  Mini did the sprouting on her own,  she even had pictures about it.  It  worked for her.


I've tried myself - without much success as weather is getting warm and I think I still can't get the right ingredients to do the sprouting.  Good Luck!


 


 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Very cool stuff!!!!!


 


Thanks!


I will see if I can find the grain and try it....


 


I'll be reporting back - probably mid-June


 


Thanks again, you guys are great!

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Sally,


You can buy malted barley at any home brew supply shop, and there are dozens online too. If there is a brew pub near your home, or a microbrewery, stop by. I'd bet a six pack they'd give you the little bit you need for the recipe. (I just checked it.) 


If you go this route, I recommend either pale ale malt or pilsner malt. Get it with the hulls intact, roast it, then  chop it. Run it through your mill if you have one, or chop it fine in a food processor or blender. Don't skip the roasting. Hamelman points out the importance of roasting to denature the amylase enzymes present in the barley, as well as to enhance the barley's flavor contribution. 


I make bread with spent grain, the residue from when I brew beer. I freeze it still wet from the mash, and add it as a soaker. 


I've never made Hamelman's beer bread, I think I'll give it a try.


Good Luck.


David G

davidg618's picture
davidg618

The main reason barley is malted is to release two enzymes, alpha-amylase and beta-amylase. Beta-amylase is present, but inactive in barley grains before germination, and alpha-amylase only appears during germination. Both enzymes are catalysts that speed the conversion of starch to sugar. The sugar is the food the seed's embryo consumes until it can make its own food by photosynthesis. Malting stops the seed's growth by removing the water, leaving behind the two activated enzymes.  Both enzymes do the basically the same thing--the details reveal slight differences. Alpha-amylase acts faster, and is more abundant than beta-amylase in barley.


Wheat also contains alpha-amylase, but in smaller amounts. Millers add alpha-amylase to ensure an amount adequate to convert flour starches to sugars providing food to the yeast (and bacteria). (Most millers add alpha-amylase extracted from fungas, rather than barley--it's less expensive, and denatures at temperatures lower than does barley malt amylase.)


Brewer's rely on amylases to convert the barley's starch to sugar, and beer yeast to convert the sugar to alcohol. Consequently, brewers try to convert, as much as possible, all the grain's starches to sugar. 


Baker's however, only want to convert enough of the flour's starches to sugars so that the yeast inflates the dough with gas, leaving most of the starch to gelatinize converting the dough to bread. And, of course, sugar also feeds the bacteria in sourdough, who convert it to acids which contribute to the breads flavor. However, too much amylase in bread flour is not a good thing: sticky dough, and a weak gluten network result.


Back to Hamelman's Beer Bread with Roasted Barley. My edition of Bread doesn't mention sprouting the barley; it does call for Malted Barley. I assume this is because Malted Barley contributes more flavor than un-malted Barley, because he warns that the enzymes present in the Malted Barley must be denatured by roasting, to avoid complications during the dough's fermentation.


David G

EvaB's picture
EvaB

with a beer, wine and distilery worker/maker for many years, the malting is the sprouting of the grain, and then drying it. You don't get the amalase without the sprouting process happening.


By the way scotch is made with sprouted barley, which is dried using peat smoke which is what gives the malt liqour (scotch) its distinctive smoky flavour. Best scotch is single malt or made from a single batch of malted barley, most cheaper scotches are made with blends or are therefore non single malts.


My brother rescearched the whole process at great lengths. And while I agree that most brew houses should have malted barley to hand, mine doesn't not in cans as syrup, or in grains. I know I've asked. I do know there are couple of cans around here somewhere, just haven't found them yet!

Carilee's picture
Carilee

Does the malted barley flour in bread flour add to the flavor of the bread, or does it contribute more to how the dough acts during the process of becoming bread?  I ask because I am allergic to barley, and have been knocking myself out trying to find a "work around" that will let me bake good bread that I can eat safely.  In fact, the reason I have gotten back into making my own bread is that my selection of breads to purchase is becoming inceasingly limited, and expensive.  If barley's contribution is mostly in adding flavor, I can just go forward without it; but if it does something important to the process, then what can I use as a substitute to achieve the same effect?  BTW, this is my first time posting here.  I have spent many hours reading on TFL, and I have to tell you, that there is so much information here, this is the first time I've felt the need to ask my own question.  My bread making is definitely improving, thanks to the generosity with which members share information.


Carilee

davidg618's picture
davidg618

increase the amount of alpha-amylase enzyme in the flour. The enzyme converts damaged starch molecules into sugar, which in turn feeds yeast. a. amylase occurs naturally in wheat too, but not at sufficient levels to make a satisfactory dough, in reasonable time.


However, not all, perhaps the majority of millers do not enrich their flour with malted barley, but with alpha-amylase derived from fungas. Unless you are specifically allergic to the enzyme itself such flour should be ok.


You will probably have to contact the mills to find out what they use, although KA and Gold Medal both list Malted Barley in their ingredients list.


David G

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Carilee,


You can purchase organic, unmalted flour.  Arrowhead Mills is one brand which is readily available at most organic/food coop stores.


The malt does add enzymes which digest starch into sugar. 


Conveniently, Susan of WildYeast just blogged about malt powder and the information there may answer some of  your questions.


Hope this helps - and welcome to TFL!

Carilee's picture
Carilee

Thanks, both for the welcome and for the link!  Susan's Wild Yeast blog is what really first got me started thinking seriously about sourdough, and I learn so much whenever I spend time there!


I have been using Arrowhead Mills, Bob's Red Mill, and Hodson Mills flours.  The grocery store where I usually shop has a good organic foods section, and I find myself getting most of my flour there.  I can also use King Arthur flours that do not add barley.  I would say that of the brands available to me, those are the flours that offer the most variety.


I am noticing that my bread, although no longer best described as bricks (yea!), could use something in the way of browning.  I have to rely on my probe thermometer to gauge doneness - not that that's a bad thing - but we come to expect things to look a certain way, and when they don't, part of the appeal is lost.  I guess I'm just trying to get closer to the ideal loaf of bread!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Carilee,


Are you steaming your oven when you load the bread?  Steam plays a big part in the browning process.


You might also consider using a wash - check out Floyd's comparison on the effects of different glazes


Eric just blogged about using General Mills organic (unmalted) flour, apparently a relatively new product.  The cost is substantially lower than most brands.


Congrats on leaving the brick stage!  We've all been there and done that.

Carilee's picture
Carilee

Lindy,


I have tried adding steam to the oven in the past but I am apparently not that coordinated yet, and did not get the results I was looking for.  Lately, I have been baking in my enameled cast-iron pan, in a clay baker, or I have been inverting a bowl over my pizza stone.  I'll check out the info on glazes, thanks.


I had been trying to work with just starter, flour, water, and salt to get my technique down, but have been adding sugar and fat lately because my husband prefers a softer sandwich loaf.  Someone on this forum recommended sticking with the same recipe for a while rather than going from recipe to recipe, so that it would be easier to see the differences from one baking to the next that could be attributed to one's improved skills (sorry, don't remember who, but I owe them thanks!).  I have been working with the 1-2-3 format, and when I see another recipe I think we will like, I modify the ingredients to follow that format, based on the amount of flour in the original recipe.  I've had much better results doing it that way, but since I don't think to stop and take pictures while I'm baking, I have none to show.  Soon though!


General Mills is a brand that is available to me where I shop, and they are happy to do special orders if they are able, so I will ask for that!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

And malt can also be made from wheat. If you cannot obtain the wheat malt powder, it is relatively easy to make yourself. For individuals, sprouting wheat is easier, more consistent and dependable than sprouting barley. It really is easy.


There are several threads here, and plenty of guides on the internet of the procedure. Just search if intersted.

Carilee's picture
Carilee

Thanks, I've been through most of the threads and was really hoping not to have to resort to sprouting my own.  I have two options yet to explore, though. One is a homebrewing store in town; I may be able to get malted wheat or rye there.  The second is actually a dairy farm in a nearby town that has an attached store that stocks products used by those following the Weston Price dietary guidelines, and I'm wondering if they also carry sprouted flours.  I have a trip planned to go there this month with a neighbor who belongs to the co-op and makes the most wonderful cheese with the raw milk she gets there.  I can also order sprouted flours online, but they are really not cheap, even before the shipping!

calliekoch's picture
calliekoch

Sprouting wheat is super easy. Just soak it for 12-24 hours and then drain. Rinse it 2-3 times per day and keep in a jar or container with a breathable lid. Should sprout in a day or two. Then dry it in the oven and grind into flour.


 


The thing with sprouting barley (as I recently discovered erroneously) is that the barley has to have the hull intact in order to sprout. I myself have had a difficult time finding hull-on barley in my area. All barley sold in bulk at grocery/health food stores is hulled and pearled.