The Fresh Loaf

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Rosemary Cranberry Sourdough with Seeds and Barley Flakes

Danni3ll3's picture

Rosemary Cranberry Sourdough with Seeds and Barley Flakes

At the one of the local bulk stores, I came across some barley flakes. I had been wanting to try barley based on Ian’s porridge breads so barley flakes came home with me. I love cranberries (as if you didn’t know by now) so cranberries were something that needed to be added. Searching TFL for a fruit/barley recipe, I came across a recipe from 2014 by Emkay: It was very helpful in creating this recipe.  Then I found my rosemary cranberry pecan crisp recipe and though why not: Rosemary and seeds too! The rosemary can be omitted but I know it gives an amazing flavour to the crackers but I also know that a little goes a long way. So here goes:


Makes 3 loaves (Note that I make 4 batches at once so some pictures will show this)


90 g barley flakes

180 g boiling water

30 g yogurt


100 g dried cranberries

50 g pumpkins seeds

50 g sunflower seeds

20 g sesame seeds

1 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary


660 g unbleached flour

220 g freshly milled Selkirk wheat flour (255 g Selkirk berries)

110 g freshly milled rye flour (127 g rye berries)

7 g vwg

50 g fresh ground flax seeds

715 g water

22 g salt

245 g levain (Explanation follows)

A night or two before:

  1. Mill the Selkirk and rye berries. Sift out the bran and reserve for the first stage of the levain.

The night before:

  1. Boil the water for the soaker and add to the barley flakes. Let cool and add the yogurt. Let sit overnight.
  2. Toast the pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds in a dry frying pan. Once cool, add the cranberries and reserve. 
  3. Before going to bed, build the first stage of the levain by feeding 42 g of water and 42 g of reserved bran to 18 g of your starter. You won’t see much activity by the morning but your nose will let you know that things are happening!


  1. Early in the morning, feed the levain 84 g of water and 84 g of bread flour. Let rise until it is very bubbly and has peaked. This took 5 hours at 73 F room temp.
  2. Mix all of the flours and the vital wheat gluten very well. The vwg has to be well dispersed before the water hits the mix. 
  3. Add the dough water to the soaker and stir to loosen. Then mix it in with all of the flours. Let autolyse with the salt sprinkled on top while the levain finishes rising. 
  4. Chop the rosemary very finely and add to the cranberry/seed mixture.
  5. Add 245 g of levain. Mix well to integrate the salt and the levain. So a few stretches and folds to continue developing the gluten.
  6. Do 3 sets of folds each 30-@45 minutes apart. Add the toasted seeds, cranberries and rosemary during the second fold (Put the dough on the counter and do envelope folds and sprinkling the add-ins on the bare parts of the dough; Thank you Dab for the explanation on how you do this!) Then do hourly folds until the dough is showing bubbles on the edges and on top. It was our wedding anniversary (39th!) yesterday and hubby took me out to dinner, so that meant a side trip to the fridge while we were out. The dough was almost doubled by the time we got back and I let it warm up on the counter for an hour or so. 
  7. Carefully remove the dough from its container (try to not deflate it) onto a bare counter, sprinkle it with flour and divide into 3 equal portions. Sprinkle tops with a bit of flour. Round into boules using a dough scraper and let rest for 45 minutes to an hour. Sprinkle more flour on the balls and flip the balls over. Reshape the balls into boules by cinching, flip the boules right side up and tighten the skin by spinning each ball. Be sure that each boule has a nice tight round shape. 
  8. Sprinkle some rice/ap flour into the bannetons and then place the dough seam side down. Cover and place in a cold fridge (37F) for the night. For me this was 9-10 hours. 


  1. Preheat the oven and the pots to 475F for an hour. Place parchment rounds in the bottom of each pot and carefully place the boules seam side up. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 450F. Uncover and bake for a further 20 minutes at 425F. Final internal temp should be at least 205F.

The dough felt really silky as I was doing the folds. I don’t know if it was the barley or what but it was nice!

I also like using no flour on the counter when I turn out my dough and rounding using only the dough scraper. This is only the second time I have tried this and it sure makes a lot less mess. I still get a bit of dough on my fingers but nothing like usual. 


In the end, they turned out quite nicely with decent oven spring. Crumb shot when we cut one open. 


dabrownman's picture

 This has to be some kind of tasty bread.  Lots of stuff going on in them for sure.  Can't wait to see the crumb.  Very nice and 

Happy baking Danni

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

You've gotta find a way to ship to London. And fast! 

Lovely, Danni.

As a side note the barley flakes I'm familiar with are rather like jumbo oats. The ones you use seem to be like grains. 

Today I did a recipe which called for toasted caraway seeds. A first for me. I've always put caraway seeds in as is.

Danni3ll3's picture

in the final flavour of the bread. 

My flakes are similar to oats, just a bit thicker. There they are soaking, here is a picture of them dry. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

They look more like rolled oats

Danni3ll3's picture

Yours do look a lot more like rolled oats! They would absorb water a lot more quickly!

Elsie_iu's picture

I always thought that I don't have access to barley flakes in my area but that was so wrong! Yours (not Lechem's) look exactly like those sold in the supermarket here! Only that they are suggested to be cooked with rice to increase the nutrient content. They are sold by Japanese brands with only the translated Chinese name '押麥' which I translates to rolled'押'wheat'麥' rather than rolled barley. This is due to the fact that wheat is translated to 'small wheat'小麥'' and barley is translated to 'large wheat'大麥'' in Chinese so both are called wheat'麥" ! I figured out I actually have a large bag of rolled barley in the cupboard! Time to make a barley porridge bread!



Danni3ll3's picture

Not terribly open but very moist! The rosemary gives a nice top note when you first bite into it then you taste the cranberries. I am glad I didn’t use more rosemary otherwise it would have been overpowering. 

alfanso's picture

but they all are, and they help to tell a story.  I'm waiting for your Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme bread.  Simon says!

Beautiful, as usual!


not.a.crumb.left's picture

and I can only imagine how tasty they are judging from the look.... Kat

isand66's picture

These must taste great.  Nice detailed write-up and the crumb may not be as open as you like but I'm sure it tastes just fine.

Beautiful bake.