The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Beremeal

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Beremeal

Has anyone tried baking bread with beremeal? I got a bag with an order recently, wanted to try it, but curious whether anyone has experience with it already.

Bere is some sort of ancient variety of Barley grown in the north of Scotland, and beremeal is a flour made from it (as far as I understand it's actually quite finely ground, more like slightly coarse flour than "meal" in the regular meaning).

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

I haven't heard of this grain and was curious. Some info, for anyone else who might be interested:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bere_(grain)

justkeepswimming's picture
justkeepswimming

I have GOT to learn to check what my phone inserts before posting! Above should read bere, not beer.... Tho apparently bere is often used to make beer, and Scotch whiskey, so there is that. 

Historically bere has-been used to make bannock bread, a quick bread of various types (savory vs sweet....). And indigenous people have made bannock from a variety of things, using different methods. This article shows a wheat based version that can be baked, cooked on a stove top, cooked on a campfire, or wrapped around a stick and cooked over an open flame. Interesting approach, I would guess oven spring is not a topic of discussion for that one. 

https://www.food.com/recipe/native-cree-bannock-bread-21818

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

Bannock is a very traditional kind of bread, with no oven spring considerations, that's true. I haven't actually tried it.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I forgot to mention, I think I tried a sourdough bread made with bere once. This summer we went to a very nice restaurant here in Edinburgh, where they served their own sourdough bread made using an ancient variety of barley which is only currently milled only at one mill in the world (in the north of Scotland), and that fits the bill perfectly. I am not sure whether the server actually said it was bere - the masks in combination with a strong accent make it difficult to understand some people sometimes, unfortunately. So that bread was perhaps the most delicious bread I've ever tried, soft and nutty. Back then my girlfriend also told me that I have to figure out how to make the same bread, it was amazing. I was still quite new to baking and didn't even try to figure it out, unfortunately. But then recently I learned about bere meal and now think that is what we tried, so want to include it in my next bake. So was just hoping perhaps someone here already tried using and could share if there are any "rocks under the water", as we say in Russian, i.e. not obvious problems when using it.