Barley Bread

My 4yr old has been begging me for weeks to make her some barley bread. I think in Sunday School they heard the story of the feeding of the 5,000 and the little boy with the loaves had barley bread. My 4yr old definitely thought there must be something special about barley bread!

So, I found some barley in the cupboard the other day and decided to give barley bread a try. Luckily I have a wheat grinder so turning barley into barley flour was noisy but pretty easy.

Next, I had to find a recipe that only contained ingredients that I have on hand. Fortunately, that wasn’t too hard and this is what I tried:

Ingredients (Makes 1 Loaf)
  • 3 cups barley flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus extra for skillet
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 inch cast iron skillet with some vegetable oil and place in oven while preheating. (Why a cast iron skillet? It is the secret to a perfect crust.) If you don’t have a cast iron skillet then grease an 8 inch square pan and set-aside (not in oven).

    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

    In a separate, smaller bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-low speed, mix together the sugar, 1/4 cup oil, eggs, and milk. Slowly add the egg-mixture to the flour mixture until everything is just moistened.

    Pour batter into the cast iron skillet or prepared pan and bake 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (internal temperature 190 degrees F. Cut into squares and serve warm.

    As you can see, it turned out light, fluffy, and crumbly, just like a cake. The barley was surprisingly mild tasting and my kids and I loved it!

    I’ll definitely be making this recipe again.

    Roasted Beef, Mushroom, and Barley Soup

    I made this soup last fall and love it! I’d been thinking about making it again and when I found mushrooms and stew beef on sale today (no I did not use sirloin steak as the recipe calls for) I decided that I had to make this soup again.

    The kids are napping, and I just finished eating a bowl, and it was just as good as I remembered it!

    Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) my husband does not like mushrooms so I’m planning to freeze most of this in individual serving sizes so I can enjoy it for lunches throughout the winter.

    I discovered roasted soups last year and I love them! Roasting the meat and mushrooms in the oven before you add the ingredients to the soup brings out a lot of ¬†flavor. It adds a pan to wash but it’s definitely worth the extra dish.

    Roasted Beef, Mushroom, and Barley Soup

    1 lb Sirloin Steak (I used stew meat) cut into 1/2 in pieces
    1 pound mushrooms cut into 1/2 in pieces
    2T olive oil
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    4 C low-sodium chicken broth (I used beef broth – and it was not low sodium) or water
    1/2 C quick-cooking barley
    Handfull of chopped parsley

    Heat oven to 425, toss meat, mushrooms, and oil in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beef and mushrooms are browned, about 30 minutes.

    Transfer to a medium pot and add broth, parsley, and barley. Bring to a boil and simmer until barley is soft, about 13 minutes.


    Chicken Barley Soup

    While not a fan of cold weather I do love trying all all sorts of new soups this time of year. The nice thing about soup is it freezes well and it’s usually a one pot meal! My first new soup of the season turned out really well. We ate half and I froze half for later this year when I’ve run out of soup recipes to try!

    Chicken Barley Soup

    1T oil
    4 carrots, diced small
    4 celery stalks, diced small
    1 med onion, diced small
    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 in pieces
    salt and pepper to taste
    6 cups chicken broth
    1/2 T thyme
    1 C quick cooking barley
    5oz baby spinach (5 cups)

    1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium0high. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until chicken is opaque at edges, about 2 minutes.

    2. Add broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is tender and chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

    3. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

    Few ingredients, simple, and easy to make, and very tasty!