|New this morning: Barley Flour Soda Bread|
I will tell you why I so loved this first bread that I had to make a second loaf so soon after: It is moist and dense, chewy but not hard, smells sweet, somewhat like molasses, though there is none in the recipe, toasts beautifully, tastes great just with butter, goes excellently with stew (or eggs for breakfast, or a sandwich for lunch, if sliced thinly and for a lot more things, I am sure). I imagine you get my drift. I really loved this bread. And it is almost instant gratification. Only baking soda in the recipe, means no waiting for the bread to rise.
Not that I have a problem with waiting for breads to rise. I have been making yeast breads for almost 45 years. I am well-used to the waiting part!
|Irish Brown Bread with oats making little lines|
Once my second attempt this morning cooled enough to slice, I tasted a tiny corner (I had just finished with breakfast, but wanted to get some idea of flavor differences). I find that this one smells less of molasses (maybe it was the toasted wheat germ giving that flavor?) and has a more straightforward whole-grain flavor, but it is still nice and dense, moist and chewy, so I am very content. I might be on this kick for Soda Breads for a while, at this rate!
|Barley Flour Soda Bread|
Long and short, if you have the ability to grind barley and wheat, these breads, or any using whole grain flour, taste immeasurably better if the grain is freshly ground. Store-bought whole wheat flour has always tasted awful to me, and now I realize that this is because, once ground, the germ goes rancid very quickly. I would not recommend making these recipes of mine unless you have a grain mill of some kind and can grind your own fresh grain. This is what I did this morning:
|Barley Flour Soda Bread|
Barley Flour Soda Bread
makes one loaf
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole grain barley flour
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a large mixing bowl stir together all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in all the buttermilk. Stir, beginning in the center, with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating all the dry ingredients, until no dry remains. Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and "knead" gently by patting out the dough, folding it in half, flattening and folding, about 8 to 10 times. Form into a round loaf approximately 8-inches in diameter and 2-inches high. Set it in the prepared baking sheet. Cut a large "X" across the top (this allows for easier expansion and helps to have the loaf baked through in the center). Bake the loaf for about 50 to 60 minutes, until nicely golden and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If an instant read thermometer is among your kitchen gadgetry, the loaf should read at least 185 to 190 degrees in the center. Cool completely on a rack before cutting.
My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.