Sourdough Barley Bread

Sourdough Barley Bread

I've been reading about the benefits of barley bread and the next thing I did was to search for barley flour. When I did as soon as I got the chance I made this sourdough barley bread which turned great. I didn't know how this flour will behave so I used only one part barley flour and 2 parts wheat flour. Next time I will add some barley flakes as well to make it much tastier and more nutritious. The bread tastes good, it remains still crusty and with a delicious chewy crumb.


Barley has many health benefits. I posted an article about barley here.


Barley is one of the richest sources of fibers among the cereals. Barley grain is an excellent source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, both of which may benefit gastrointestinal health.  Barley helps in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and can lower cholesterol.


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  • Makes 2 loaves
  • Overnight Starter
  • 22 g 100% hydration sourdough starter, unfed
  • 137 g water at room temperature
  • 110 g wheat flour
  • Final Formula
  • 280 g whole barley flour
  • 400 g wheat flour
  • 6 tbsp wheat bran
  • 370 ml water
  • 16g salt
  • Overnight Starter


  1. To make the overnight starter, in the evening stir down the 100% hydration sourdough starter, and remove 22 g in a bowl. First add the water and stir well. Add flour and stir. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for 12-14 hrs (overnight). (For the 100% hydration sourdough starter - you either make it to have it your own as shown here - or take from a friend who has or buy from a specialized store).
  2. In the morning, in a large bowl mix the flours and wheat bran with water and the overnight starter until well combined. Let the dough rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and knead by hand for 5-8 minutes. 
  4. Wipe the inside of a wide bowl with a little vegetable oil. Place the dough into this wide bowl so the dough can be stretched and folded without removing it from the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. 
  5. Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 2.5 hours with folds at 50 minutes. The folding is shown here.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide it in two pieces. Shape them in form of a loaf. Sprinkle the loaves with flour, cover  and let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile prepare two oval bowls with 2 kitchen towels, sprinkled with  flour.  Add the dough loaves seam-side-up, cover with the edges of the towel and proof for 2 or 2.5 hours at room temperature. You will know it's done when pressing the dough with the finger the it comes slowly back.
  8. Preheat the oven to 475 F (240 C) with baking stone or in case you don't have one preheat a baking sheet. Place a small pot with  water at the base of the oven to create steam. 
  9. Turn the proofed loaves onto a parchment and score it. You can see some tips here. Carefully transfer it to the preheated baking stone or back of the baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes with steam then remove the pot with water from the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes without steam. 
  11. Cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely before cutting  for at least 2 hrs.


Sourdough Barley Bread -1
Sourdough Barley Bread -2
Sourdough Barley Bread -3
Nutrition facts 1 Loaf - Calories:1462, Fat:5.5 g, Saturated Fat:0.9 g, Carbohydrates:311.2 g, Sugar:2.2 g, Fiber:25.9 g, Protein:43.7 g, Cholesterol:0 mg, Calories from Fat 49, Sodium 2393 mg, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 0%,Calcium 10%,Iron 95%, Nutrition Grade B+, Daily Percent Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
On June 22, 2012 at 02:54 pm, Alatanu said...
How do you determine level of hydration in your starter?

I know my starter is 100% hydration because this is the way I wanted it to be. I made it with equal quantities of water and flour which makes it 100% hydration, as shown here

If you want to know how to convert starter hydration according to the recipe requirements here you can find a good tutorial:

Hope it helps. If any other questions let me know. 

On June 25, 2012 at 02:30 pm, Ellie said...
Hi, Just wanted you to know that I nominated you for the Versatile blogger award! Really looking forward to trying out this sourdough barley bread, it looks beautiful.

Thank you for nominating me:)  Hope you will try this barley bread, not only is healthy but really tasty too. 

On June 23, 2015 at 11:49 pm, casandra said...
is their way l could make this recipe but a wheat free version. have searched everywhere but am having no success its for my 2 year old - He loves barley sour dough that we buy that's 100% organic Barley sourdough and l want to make something like itin my thermomix.

The reason why barley flour is mixed with the wheat flour is that wheat flour contains gluten which is the protein that strengthens and binds dough in baking. If using only barley flour the results won't be the same. 

On November 07, 2017 at 04:55 pm, Joyce said...
Hi, This looks like a great recipe. I have 2questions: what is the internal temperature of the finished loaves and can they be baked in a cast iron Dutch oven? Thank you Joyce

Hello Joyce.

It is perfect to bake it in a cast iron pot.

On September 06, 2020 at 05:56 pm, Joe WHite said...
Just put this dough together. What should the dough look like? Even after the 30 minute autolyse the dough seems rather dry. What is the hydration ratio of this recipe? I added another 100ml (470ml total water) more than the recipe called for, and the dough almost appears now to be workable. Is the 370ml a typo?
On October 01, 2020 at 03:35 pm, Claudia said...
I am wondering if I can make this with instant yeast and how much of it I should use or alternately, I have a Platinum Instant Sourdough packet (18g) that I could substitute. Your advice please. With thanks, Claudia
On November 09, 2020 at 12:40 am, Shannon said...
I know this post is old, but I was wondering what kind of wheat flour is best in this recipe - whole wheat? Bread flour? All purpose? I am making it tomorrow :-) Also, if I don’t have wheat bran, should I substitute in more flour? Or just leave it out? Thanks!
On November 09, 2020 at 02:08 pm, Shannon said...
I know this post is old, but I was wondering what kind of wheat flour is best in this recipe - whole wheat? Bread flour? All purpose? I am making it tomorrow :-) Also, if I don’t have wheat bran, should I substitute in more flour? Or just leave it out? Thanks!

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