In the beginning, there was barley...
It was the nicest kind of serendipity that drew me into working with barley. A friend asked if I could make her some sprouted barley bread. She heard that sprouted grain breads are healthy, and she knows how much I enjoy a challenge.
Naturally, my first stop was TFL. Mini O, how did I miss that you were working with barley, too? I guess I was too focused at that point on "sprouted barley bread" as a search term. I found some references to other barley breads and looked further afield.I accumulated lots of info about barley in general, its different forms and many uses. See here, http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch410.html  if you want to delve further. Who knew what an important role this humble grain played in creating the world we know today?
Didn't find recipes for SBB, but I found references to a product made by the Alvarado Street Bakery of Sonoma County, California. They bill themselves as a global supplier of whole grain breads and bagels. Their loaf has sprouted barley and wheat berries plus a few other things including raisins. That wasn't what my friend had in mind. I kept looking.
My research ultimately led me to some non-sprouted barley breads that I really wanted to try. Also found a sprouted wheat bread recipe I figured I could modify for my friend to include sprouted barley as well. I reasoned that the plain barley breads would teach me what I needed to know to make a success of the sprouted version. Good excuse? We'll see how it works out. My wonderful friend said, "Carol, I'm sure I'll be happy to eat whatever you're happy to make." :)
First up was Jeffrey Hamelman's Beer Bread with Roasted Barley. That will be my next blog entry – with pictures.