Make Ahead

Buttermilk Barley Bread

April 24, 2011
Photo by AntoniaJames
Author Notes

Did you know that the word “companion” comes from the Latin, “companio” meaning literally, “"with bread"” or implicitly, "those with whom you share bread"? In my entire adult life, there have been few things I ha’ve enjoyed more than baking bread and sharing it. This loaf represents the old and the new in my bread baking. I started putting toasted wheat germ in my sandwich loaves when I started baking four or five of them every week, when my sons were very young. Barley flour and barley flakes have made their way into my cupboard more recently. If you are afraid of making yeast breads, consider this: once you get to know them, you'll see that they are actually quite flexible and forgiving. As we all should be. Enjoy!! ;o) - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

Test Kitchen Notes

This tasty bread lends itself more to the sweeter spectrum (honey + jam), than the savory. The quantities and times for kneading and rising are as close to perfect as you can get when making bread. I added the gluten with the second addition of flour as wasn't sure from the recipe when to add it. Be sure to heed AntoniaJames's advice and wait until the bread has completely cooled before slicing into it. - thehappycook
Victoria Ross

  • Makes 1 good sized loaf, boule or batard
  • 295 grams (1.2 cups 285 ml) buttermilk (1% is fine)
  • 54 grams (½ cup / 120 ml) rolled barley flakes
  • 7 grams (2 teaspoons / 10 ml) instant yeast
  • 36 grams (3 tablespoons / 45 ml) olive oil
  • 42 grams (2 tablespoons / 30 ml) honey, warmed
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram / 1.25 ml) baking soda
  • 6 grams (1 teaspoon / 5 ml) kosher salt
  • 405 grams (3.2 cups / 755 ml) bread flour
  • 14 grams (2-3 tablespoons / 30-45 ml) unsweetened toasted wheat germ (Different suppliers' products vary in their mass/volume. Please use a scale for best results.)
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup / 120 ml) barley flour
  • 10 grams (1 tablespoon / 15 ml) gluten
  • Olive oil for the bowl and the loaf pan
In This Recipe
  1. Warm the buttermilk until hot to the touch - about 1 minute in the microwave. In the bowl of a stand mixer, soak the barley flakes for at least ten minutes in the buttermilk.
  2. Add 60 grams / 60 ml / 1/4 cup of water, and the baking soda, wheat germ, honey and olive oil; stir to blend. Add the yeast and stir again.
  3. Add the flours, gluten and salt. Stir just to combine. Run the dough hook for 3 minutes, stirring down once or twice if necessary to ensure that the flour if fully incorporated. Let rest for 20 - 25 minutes
  4. Knead using the dough hook for 12 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky. That's okay, because the dry cereal has not yet been fully absorbed.
  5. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil into a clean bowl; shape the dough into a ball, put it in the bowl and flip it over a few times, making sure that the dough is entirely coated with oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, 60 - 90 minutes.
  6. Press the dough gently into a rectangle that’s about as long as your pan. Shape the dough into a loaf by rolling it tightly, starting with one of the long sides. Gently pinch the ends. Put the dough, seam side down, into a well-oiled loaf pan.
  7. Let rise until it domes about an inch above the rim of the pan. This should take about an hour, or a bit less. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Slash the top of the loaf and bake for 45 minutes, tenting with foil after 25 if the crust seems to be darkening quickly.
  9. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Allow the loaf to sit for at least an hour before slicing.
  10. This recipe was contributed by Food52 user, AntoniaJames.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • BavarianCook
  • chef_ub
  • AntoniaJames
  • lapadia
  • monkeymom

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)