Jaine's barley bread revisited
As Mini O said last year, this is a nice easy little loaf. But "easy" belies how much I've learned from working with Tom Jaine's formula. This loaf did its job in teaching me about barley!
First, it taught me how tasty barley can be and what a shame it is that this wonderful grain has been overlooked through much of history and especially in recent years.
Next, it taught me how best to combine barley with other flours to get the volume we are keen on in this period of history. Jaine's addition of whole wheat flour was fine up to a point. But whole wheat itself often needs a little help to "rise to the occasion." I tried adding bread flour at first, then a little vital wheat gluten. But in the end, I didn't need the gluten. The chief answer was in discovering the right percentage of barley versus wheat, a tidbit I found in Andrew Whitley's Bread Matters.
Another discovery related to volume is that the amount of yeast in Jaine's formula led too easily (for me) to over-proofing. He's got it at 4.2% based on the weight of the flour -- not crazy-high for a straight dough in days gone by, but high for current tastes. And probably higher than necessary with my having increased the amount of wheat flour. I have a loaf shaped and rising right now with much less yeast, and it's behaving better than previous ones. In fact, the yeast in my last loaf went wild in the first 30 minutes after shaping, then had nothing left for oven spring. In fact, it fell a little.
My revised formula follows. New amount of instant yeast is equivalent to fresh at 2% of flour weight. Oven spring is happening! Pictures follow. Anyone who's interested in seeing Jaine's original recipe can check it out in P McCool's post here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1054/oat-barley-loaf#comment-3565 
227 grams (8 oz) water
28.35 grams (1 oz or 2 T) whipping cream
3 grams (0.1 oz or 3/4 tsp) instant yeast
136 grams (4.8 oz) stoneground whole wheat flour
102 grams (3.6 oz) whole barley flour
102 grams (3.6 oz) bread flour
6 grams (0.2 oz or 1 tsp) salt
- Mix all dry ingredients together including the yeast.
- Mix water with whipping cream. (Adjust temperature of water to produce a desired dough temperature of 76F. Over the past year, my water temp has varied from 42.4F to 67F to produce a dough at 76 degrees.)
- Add liquid ingredients to dry. Knead for approximately 8 minutes. Leave to rise in a greased bowl covered with greased plastic wrap. Proof in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size. Turn out on to a lightly floured work surface, gently degas, preshape round, cover and wait 5 minutes, then shape to form a simple loaf to fit a greased 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 3" loaf tin. (I like doing "buns'o'bread or pain fesses, as they're called in Quebec). Let rise until almost double in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 F. Steam is an option when ready to bake, as is a glaze made of a little egg white mixed with a spoonful of cold water. Bake for 25 minutes. Makes one loaf.
A final note: I tried toasting the barley flour in one recent bake. That produced a lovely aroma in my home but not much difference in the taste of the bread. I did note, however, a big increase in how fast the bread went stale. But made according to the formula above, this is a delightful little bread with a creamy crumb and a taste that goes well with most foods both sweet and savory. It's especially nice with apricot jam! :)