Here’s a fragrant sandwich bread I’ve been making a lot lately. Like so many of our favorites, this one features barley and wheat germ; both give the bread a beautiful texture and flavor. This loaf has barley flakes as well as barley flour. Be sure to soak the flakes right before making the dough. I don’t know if it is the weight of the flakes, or if they are like shards breaking the gluten strands, or if there is some other explanation, but I do know that you get a much better rise, and a more even, chewier crumb, when you soak the flakes. This makes great toast and is particularly well suited for panini. Enjoy!! —AntoniaJames
1 good sized loaf, boule or batard
517 grams (1 ½ cup / 354 ml) whole milk
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
405 grams (scant 3 1/4 cups / 755 ml) bread flour
40 grams (6 tablespoons / 90 ml) toasted wheat germ (Different suppliers' products vary in their mass/volume. Please use a scale for best results.)
Scald the milk. Pour it over the barley flakes in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to cool until just warm to the touch.
Add the yeast, oil, honey and wheat germ. Stir well to combine. Add the flours and salt. Stir just to moisten the flour.
Run the dough hook for 3 minutes, scraping down to ensure the flour if fully incorporated. Let rest for 20 - 25 minutes.
Knead using the dough hook for 12 minutes. The dough may be sticky. Don't worry; the cereal and flour will continue to absorb the liquid.
Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil into a large bowl; flip to coat. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, 60 - 90 minutes.
Press the dough gently into a rectangle that’s about as long as your loaf pan. Shape it by rolling tightly, starting with one of the long sides. Gently pinch the ends. Put the dough, seam side down, into a well-oiled loaf pan. 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 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (You can also make this as a boule, as shown in the photo above: shape into a ball and let rise, seam side up, in a flour-dusted banneton or bowl lined with a tightly woven tea towel. When it's not quite doubled in size, invert onto a parchment lined baking sheet with one open side (or a flour-dusted pizza peel), slash and bake on a hot pizza stone.)
Slash the top of the loaf and bake for 45 minutes, tenting with foil after 25 if the crust seems to be darkening quickly. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. Brush the top immediately with butter. (I use the end of a stick of salted butter for this, rubbing it over the loaf, holding the butter in its wrapper.) Allow the loaf to sit for at least an hour before slicing. I hope you like this.
This recipe was contributed by Food52 user, 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)