Try Something New: Baking with Barley

Barley flour is generally used in bread formulas, often in combination with wheat flours.

If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that baking with the usual wheat flour isn’t the only option.

With the popularity of clean label, functional food and ancient grains, we’re getting better at expanding our horizons when it comes to grains and flours.

One to try: barley

A few highlights of this grain are:

  • Lots of flavor and a chewy texture
  • One of the oldest cultivated grains
  • Twice the protein and roughly half the calories of oats
  • Full of nutrition and can even reduce “bad cholesterol”

When it comes to picking the type, there are two options that differ in flavor and nutrition:

  • Hulled barley is minimally processed, with the bran and germ intact
  • Pearled barley has had the hull and bran layer removed

How does it bake?

Barley is generally used in bread formulas, often in combination with wheat flours. One great pairing is barley with sourdough! But it’s also used in other baked goods, such as chips, crackers, pastas and more.

What’s the nutritional profile?

A cup of hulled barley, weighing 184 grams (g) reportedly contains:

  • 651 calories
  • 22.96 g of protein
  • 4.23 g of fat
  • 0 g of cholesterol
  • 135 g of carbohydrate
  • 31.8 g of dietary fiber
  • 61 milligrams of calcium
  • 6.62 mg of iron
  • 1.189 mg of thiamin
  • 0.524 mg of riboflavin
  • 8.471 mg of niacin
  • 0.585 mg of vitamin B6
  • 35 micrograms of folate
  • 245 mg of magnesium
  • 486 mg of phosphorus
  • 832 mg of potassium
  • 5.1 mg of zinc

About the Author:

Lin Carson, PhD
Dr. Lin Carson’s love affair with baking started over 25 years ago when she earned her BSc degree in Food Science & Technology at the Ohio State University. She went on to earn her MSc then PhD from the Department of Grain Science at Kansas State University. Seeing that technical information was not freely shared in the baking industry, Dr. Lin decided to launch BAKERpedia to cover this gap. Today, as the world’s only FREE and comprehensive online technical resource for the commercial baking industry, BAKERpedia is used by over half a million commercial bakers, ingredient sellers, equipment suppliers and baking entrepreneurs annually. You can catch Dr. Lin regularly on the BAKED In Science podcast solving baking problems. For more information on Dr. Lin, subscribe to her "Ask Dr. Lin" YouTube Channel, or follow her on LinkedIn.

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