Barley Bread Experiment

Barley Bread Experiment

Submitted by dobie on November 21, 2015 – 1:55pm.

This is my first time milling and attempting to bake with barley flour.

At this point I have a levain of 42g starter (AP, 100% hydration & just fed to active) with 156g water and 156g barley flour (just milled & whole, not pearled, unsifted). It is about 16 hrs ripe and smells wonderfull.

I’m thinking that I could build a dough about now, but thought I would ask for advice before I commited.

I noticed the barley levain (at 100% hydration) has a fairly weak gluten structure (almost cake-like) yet is not thin at all, in fact, very near a final dough in consistency. It is thick.

I did a search on TFL and came across Pmccool’s post of Tom Jaine’s Baking Bread at Home recipe for Barley Bread (posted all the way back in 2006). It seems like a good jumping off point, but I don’t know.

I’m thinking I will build 50/50% barley to bread flour and not add any other various flours at this point, to highlight the barley. The original recipe comes in at about 72% hydration, but I wonder if that will be enough?

Do you think if I put the levain in the fridge overnight, that I would be doing it harm? I’m thinking not, but with barley, I don’t know. In the morning, I will have 5 different types of berries that should be at least chitted, that I would consider adding raw.

I don’t have any heavy cream, as the recipe calls for, but I do have some nice sour cream I could use. Perhaps no cream of any kind is not really going to be an issue.

When I do build the final dough, I think I will add some more active starter.

Any thoughts at all are welcome. I am only constrained by the levain I have built so far and am open to all suggestions as to how to move forward.