I’ve always liked the nuttiness of barley bread. It thus bothered me a bit when I couldn’t find whole barley anywhere… That’s until recently, I discovered some hull-on barley in a tiny Indian grocery store. Of course I ended up sprouting it for this week’s bake. Since the hull is inedible, it was sifted out and discarded after milling.
30% Sprouted Barley Sourdough
Flour (All Freshly Milled Except*)
Sprouted Barley Flour (from 90g hull-on barley)
Whole Kamut Flour
Whole Spelt Flour
Whole Pearl Millet Flour*
White Whole Wheat Flour (Starter)
Whole Rye Flour (Starter)
Vital Wheat Gluten
Starter (100% hydration)
Barley hull sifted out
Sift out the bran from dough flour, reserve 29 g for the leaven. Soak the rest, if any, in equal amount of whey taken from dough ingredients.
Combine all leaven ingredients and let sit until ready, about 3.5 hours (29.5°C). Roughly combine all dough ingredients. Ferment for a total of 3 hours. Construct a set of stretch and fold at the 15 and 30 minute mark.
Shape the dough then put in into a banneton directly. Retard for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven at 250°C/482°F. Score and spritz the dough then bake straight from the fridge at 250°C/482°F with steam for 20 minutes then without steam for 25 minutes more or until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 208°F. Let it cool for a minimum of 2 hours before slicing.
It was boiling hot in HK in the past week so my home almost reached 30°C. I had to let the dough ferment at room temperature for 3 hours to suit my schedule. Unsurprisingly, it was beginning to degrade at the time of shaping. Thanks god it still turned out fine (read: not liquefied…yet)!
Updated: The bread is a bit too dense for my liking, probably due to the high percentage of gluten free flour. That said, it's still much lighter and softer than 100% rye bread. Pearl barley is relatively mild so it didn't really shock me that sprouted barley has a subtle flavor as well. To be honest, I might not be able to detect its presence if I weren't the one who baked it. Its flavor might better come through when used with white flour. Moreover, this bread is quite sour thanks to the elevated temperature. This has certainly masked the delicate characteristics of barley further.
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