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.

sourdough bread with barley flour

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. So I highly recommend to try including barley in your diet.

I am glad I included barley in this sourdough bread and from now on will surely have more courage to include it in various recipes, like these digestive biscuits or oatmeal cookies. 

sourdough barley bread

If you like making homemade bread, either with sourdough starter or simply with yeast, I recommend adding some barley flour into your recipe in order to enjoy its benefits.


sourdough barley bread section

Sourdough Barley Bread

5 from 1 vote
Nutritious, healthy sourdough barley bread recipe. The bread tastes good, the exterior is still crusty and with a delicious chewy, big wholes crumb.
Servings 2 servings
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Proofing Time 5 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes


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


  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Add the salt and knead by hand for 5-8 minutes. 
  • 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. 
  • Let the dough ferment at room temperature for 2.5 hours with folds at 50 minutes. The folding is shown here.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Bake for 15 minutes with steam then remove the pot with water from the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes without steam. 
  • Cool on a wire rack. Let it cool completely before cutting  for at least 2 hrs.


Serving: 1gCalories: 1462kcalCarbohydrates: 311.2gProtein: 43.7gFat: 5.5gSaturated Fat: 0.9gSugar: 2.2g
Calories: 1462kcal
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barley, barley flour, bread, breakfast, healthy, sour dough, sourdough barley bread

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @homecookingadventure on Instagram and hashtag it #homecookingadventure.

Join the Conversation

  1. Alatanu Author says:

    How do you determine level of hydration in your starter?

  2. Ellie Author says:

    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.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

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

  3. casandra Author says:

    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.

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      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. 

  4. Joyce Author says:

    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

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello Joyce.

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

  5. Alice Author says:

    I am inspired to try this but with white spelt instead of wheat as I am intolerant to it.

  6. Phil de Canillas Author says:

    Hi, I will follow your recipe apart from the starter.
    I always start with 60g of my mother dough (a mix of 7 different flours) adding 60g of flour and of water every day for at least 5 days to develop the sour and rich starter that I like.
    And thanks, barley flour is the one that is missing from my baking cupboard, I must look for some but prefer not to buy 5kgs for an experimental bake. 😉
    Saludos de La Axarquía.

  7. Joe WHite Author says:

    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?

  8. Claudia Author says:

    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,

  9. Shannon Author says:

    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!

  10. Shannon Author says:

    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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