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Old 09-18-2016, 08:31 AM   #1
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Barley, a thread about

So I thought I might post a thread about my favorite ingredient. Barley.

You might be familiar with pearl barley, or ready-to-cook barley (that is probably if you are in Britain), They all suck. Seriously, suck.

Why is this? Well barley is a complicated beast, it really doesn't very much like being cooked. The starch in it, comes packaged in layers of inedible cellulose.

Strip the hulls off and you get hulled barley. That is my go-to on the barley spectrum. It takes a while to cook, think 45 minutes to get soft, So stews and soups, and casseroles oh my!

pearl or instant barley is barley that has been abused rather horribly. Most of it's flavory goodness has been stripped off to make it a convenient starch. Yes it is quicker to cook.

Hulled barley is my go-to grain. It is somewhat a difficult thing to get consistent. I don't have any connection at all with these folks, other than being a customer, but I like them:

Welcome to The Bread Beckers - Woodstock GA Natural Foods Cookbooks Georgia Nutritional Education

They took over a grains company I used to use, and when they did, results in an amusing story about barley. I thought I was buying a gallon pail, It turned out I was buying a ten gallon pail. (they were going out of business so their prices were reduced) So I have a ton of both barley, and Oat Groats, hanging out in my basement.

Drawback? Hulled barley takes a while to cook, 45 minutes to an hour, But it is great for soups, stews and casseroles. I substitute it for rice often, much more nutrition. It is also starchy as all heck, good thing is it soaks up flavors, and you can easy make a risotto out of it. If you are gonna use hulled barley in a recipe, increase the fluids, it soaks them up.

A barley beef stew is probably one of my best recipes. When I have time to make my own stock, and I give it a bottle of red wine, it is a thing to behold.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else uses my favorite ingredient.

Best,

TBS

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Old 09-18-2016, 08:35 AM   #2
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I precook barley to al dente, then add it to soup to finish. This way, my broth isn't as starchy.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:39 AM   #3
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I precook barley to al dente, then add it to soup to finish. This way, my broth isn't as starchy.

Excellent technique. Barley is starchy as all heck.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:43 AM   #4
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Excellent technique. Barley is starchy as all heck.
At the deli, it sits in a cauldron all day so this also helps prevent it from absorbing too much broth and becoming stew by mid afternoon...
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:07 PM   #5
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I like it best in a beef stew just as you do. I like the starchiness. I bought the ready to cook barley once by mistake. I made my stew with it and it sucked so bad I threw the barley in the trash and treated the dogs to stew.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:17 PM   #6
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Love barley in beef barley soup. Once I mistakenly overdid it on the barley, and ended up with a big pot of glop. Despite my frugality, it was unsalvageable, so I pitched it.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:25 PM   #7
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Another vote for vegetable, beef, barley soup. Sometimes added to chicken soup.
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Old 09-18-2016, 01:55 PM   #8
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I too like beef barley soup/ stew. I've only used pearled barley. I will have to look in the bulk food section or co-op for hulled barley. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:01 PM   #9
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Oh I thought you meant barley as the grain, like flour.

I bake with barely a lot, makes bread more golden. I do barley porridge from time to time, it really lovely.

Barley cookies/ biscuits is something I used to have as child.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:41 PM   #10
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I'm curious about your barley biscuits. Would you share your recipe?
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LizStreithorst View Post
treated the dogs to stew.
Good day for the dogs!

Yeah, the pearl or ready to cook barley you find is not very good. I get whole or hulled barley, it takes a bit of time to cook but it is worth it in flavor.

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Old 09-18-2016, 05:32 PM   #12
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Unlike you, fox, I don't have 10# tubs of barley in storage. I love a mushroom-barley soup with a beef stock during the wintertime. I usually use a longer-cooking barley and have been caught with too much barley/too little broth on occasion. Don't remember quite the term Himself used, but I think it was mushroom-barley pudding. I now pre-cook the barley in its own beef stock, then add to the mushroom/onion/broth cauldron once it's mostly cooked.

I ran out of barley recently and decided to try something I hadn't noticed before: Whole Hull-Less Barley. Bob's Red Mill states that it's grown from "an ancient variety that grows in a loose hull" It's supposed to cook up quicker, like a pearled barley, but it contains all the nutrients present when it is harvested. It will be interesting to see how absorbent it is.
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Old 09-18-2016, 05:47 PM   #13
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I ran out of barley recently and decided to try something I hadn't noticed before: Whole Hull-Less Barley. Bob's Red Mill states that it's grown from "an ancient variety that grows in a loose hull" It's supposed to cook up quicker, like a pearled barley, but it contains all the nutrients present when it is harvested. It will be interesting to see how absorbent it is.
That sounds rather interesting CG, as even ten gallon tubs of barley run dry, someday. Ancient variety, eh? Sounds like Oat Groats, and I have a ten gallon pail of them as well. I really should have paid attention ordering from NE Grains when they closed. I think to ship two ten gallon pails I spent as much on the shipping as the product.

I'm happy if my friends are getting away from pearled barley, or heck, cooking with barley at all.

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Old 09-19-2016, 02:03 AM   #14
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So no one of you ever used barley as flour????

Barley Biscuits ( Elsabröd)
150 gram of butter
70 gram of sugar
110 gram of fine barley flour
105 gram of fine wheat flour / plain flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla or ½ teaspoon of fresh ground cardamon .

Swift the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the butter and vanilla or cardamon quick make a dough.

Divide the dough into 2, and roll to a sausage, about 20 cm long. Leave to cool in the fridge. Heat the oven to 200 C. Line a tray with parchment paper. Cut the dough into 1 cm disk , stab with a fork and bake for 8- 10 min or until golden.
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:17 AM   #15
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Barley porridge
200 ml pearl barley
200 ml water
1 teaspoon salt
600- 700 ml milk.


Mix grains, water and salt in a large pot, let it come to a boil. Add the lower amount of milk simmer on low heat for 30 min with lid on. Remember to stir.

Lazy way. Poor everything in to a pot, let it come to a boil. place on thick wooden board with lid on and covered with a warm blanket for 4- 5 hours.

Check the porridge for texture, it should be thick and creamy, add more milk if needed, if it is runny, cook it with out lid for a moment. Serve with milk , a pat of butter and/ or sugar or fruit.

Priest porridge or Holiday porridge.
The same recipe as above but 2 tablespoon sugar added to the pot and either 1 stick of cinnamon, or 5 cardamon pods or a bit of vanilla to taste.


The non sweeten version is use to make pölsa, it softer form of haggis and not cooked in a sheep stomach. And also in few other meat and fish dishes.

Seven Layer Porridge:
Same recipe as the holiday porridge. Take a round cake tin or souffle tin. Add a layer off porridge, sprinkle with sugar. Burn the sugar with torch or in the oven or with hot iron. Keep doing this until you have seven layer of burnt sugar. Serve as dessert with fruit preserves.
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:52 PM   #16
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So no one of you ever used barley as flour????
Yeah, Cakepoet, I kind of hoped you would chime in with some barley flour recipes, I know in Scandinavia they are common.

A reason I don't use barley as flour is that I don't have a flour mill. Had one but it broke, and somehow never got replaced. So I have a ton of barley in grain form, but no easy way, other than a mortar and pestle, to grind it.

Great recipes though, I am going to try the porrige as a recipe with grain barley, I think it might come up like a risotto? Worth a shot at it, let you know how it comes out.

TBS
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:29 AM   #17
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When we use grain barley, we use water for the porridge, because isnt as fancy as pearl. Then it just bog standard working day porridge. You can add dry fruit to it, finely chopped, pre soaked and that gives more flavour. And when I was little the porridge was done the night before and reheated for breakfast.

I have a lot of barley recipe because my family comes from an area where barley is common, or rather was common but tradition stays. I will dig up grans flat bread, gahkko and barley loaf.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:39 AM   #18
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When we use grain barley, we use water for the porridge, because isnt as fancy as pearl. Then it just bog standard working day porridge.
I really love legacy recipes and working people's food. And by the way, if I wasn't already married I'd propose to you just for using the phrase, 'bog standard working day porridge'. it nearly made me hug my computer when I read it.

And yes, pearl barley is much more fancy ;)

I appreciate the porridge recipes. Thanks for hanging out here and contributing recipes and thoughts from Sweden. It is a great perspective, I truly enjoy talking with you, whether about meatballs, porridge or even cow poop.

Best,

TBS
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:47 AM   #19
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Lets not combine, those three last mentioned. ;).

I am also married and you know the punishment for bigamy is? Two mother in laws! ;)

I am still looking for the recipes, I hid my grandmother's cookbook when my daughter was little and now I cant find it.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:02 AM   #20
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Your husband is lucky to have a cook as a wife. I know my wife is lucky to have me, while my Beloved has many good qualities, the girl can burn water. I don't let her near the kitchen. Honestly think if I hadn't met her she would have starved to death.

Most nights when she comes home, she asks, "when do we eat"? and does the baby bird face, you know the one birds do when they want food?

I do like to cook, it relaxes me, that and camping are my hobbies. I'm wondering about the poet in your name, when I'm not cooking for my Beloved Wife, I write and teach.

And I do write poetry, mainly formal forms, sonnets, sestinas, etc... The Swedish moderns are kind of important, not my style, but interesting. I am sure you might have read Tomas Tranströmer? Civ Sedering is also interesting.

Anyway, that is a digression from barley. If you want to have a parallel discussion about poetry that does not involve porridge and cow poop, feel free to PM me. (be warned poetry conversations may involve both porridge and cow poop).

Best,

TBS
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