Ricotta Whey and Barley Bread

By • March 7, 2011 • 5 Comments

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Author Notes: I made ricotta over the weekend and had an enormous quantity of whey left over. I used some in my latest barley and wheat flour sandwich loaf, which is now a family favorite. The result is extraordinary, so much so that it’s worth making ricotta just to have the whey for this recipe. For more ideas on how to use whey, please see my notes following this recipe's instructions. AntoniaJames

Makes one good-sized loaf

  • 43 grams of warm water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 235 grams of ricotta whey
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a bit more for rising and baking
  • 2 tablespoons of warmed honey
  • 2 teaspoons of regular molasses
  • 320 grams of bread flour + a tablespoon or two for kneading, if necessary
  • 100 grams of barley flour
  • 23 grams of toasted wheat germ
  • 19 grams of rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Proof the yeast in the water with a pinch of sugar.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the whey with the oil, honey and molasses, and 1 cup of the bread flour. Stir well, all in the same direction, to make a thick paste.
  3. Add the proofed yeast mixture and stir well to combine. Then add all of the other ingredients, holding back a few tablespoons of the bread flour, to use if necessary in kneading. Stir it as much as you can, then turn it out onto your work surface.
  4. Knead the bread for three or four minutes to combine all of the ingredients. Let it rest for about ten minutes.
  5. Knead again for eight to ten minutes, or until the dough is smooth, supple and elastic. If the dough is very sticky while kneading, add flour only a teaspoon or two at a time. You shouldn’t need more than a tablespoon, at most, of additional flour,but don’t worry if you do. . . Just make sure you don’t add too much.
  6. Wash your mixing bowl and dry it, then drizzle a teaspoon or so of olive oil into the bowl, put the ball of dough on it, and flip it over to coat.
  7. Cover the bowl with a very damp tea towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
  8. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and press it down gently into a 2-inch thick rectangle, pushing out the trapped gasses. Fold it into thirds, then pinch the ends and the long seam, pulling the dough lengthwise to shape the loaf.
  9. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and press it down gently into a 2-inch thick rectangle, pushing out the trapped gasses. Fold it into thirds, then pinch the ends and the long seam, pulling the dough lengthwise to shape the loaf.
  10. Set the shaped dough in an oiled or parchment lined loaf pan. Coat generously with olive oil and allow to rise for 30 to 40 minutes. You want it to increase in size by about two thirds.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Do not allow the dough to rise too much, or it will be too airy for use in making sandwiches. Watch it carefully, and have your oven hot so you can put the dough in as soon as it’s ready.
  13. Slash the top and bake for 50 – 55 minutes, checking after about thirty minutes and tenting lightly with foil if it seems to be darkening too quickly.
  14. Cool on a wire rack and allow it to sit for at least an hour before slicing.
  15. Enjoy!! ;o)
  16. Other ideas for using whey can be found in these FOOD52 recipes: By hardlikearmour, these Curds and Whey Biscuits with Infused Honey and Ricotta Spread ( http://www.food52.com/recipes/10541_curds_whey_biscuits_with_infused_honey_ricotta_spread ) and By lapadia, Infused Ricotta Whey (http://www.food52.com/recipes/6791_infused_ricotta_whey) and the very similar Miss Muffett's Infused Ricotta Whey (http://www.food52.com/recipes/10409_miss_muffets_infused_ricotta_whey ). There are also several threads on the Hotline on this topic.
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over 1 year ago arielleclementine

I recently joined a raw milk coop and am knee-deep in whey! Thank you so much for this recipe- I made it today and it is so wonderful!


almost 4 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

So looking forward to making this. This week I'm in Cambridge (UK) and found some rennet. So I'm planning on making cheeses (ricotta and mascarpone) when I return. Plus I have barley flour - this is a must make AJ..............thank you!


almost 4 years ago SallyCan

I agree, whey works wonderfully in baking and breads, especially any that might use buttermilk or sourdough...nice recipe; like the bit of rye flour + wheat germ ;)


almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Genius! It never even crossed my mind to use the whey generated from making ricotta.


almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well, it's not an original thought, by any means. I just tried it and was astonished by the results, so I figured I'd pass it on. Plus, the barley + rye + wheat germ + regular wheat bread flour, with the olive oil and sweeteners, makes a really tasty bread with a perfect texture for a bread of its kind . . . . . .;o)