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What is barley flour?

organic barley flourBarley flour is just what it sounds like: a non-wheat flour made from grinding whole barley. It’s a popular alternative to wheat flour because, unlike many non-wheat flours, it contains some gluten. This obviously doesn’t make it a good choice for those with celiac’s, who cannot tolerate gluten, but it does mean that it is an excellent option for more conventional bakers looking to expand their skills by working with alternative flours.

Barley flour has a mild, but very slightly nutty, flavor the complements both regular and whole grain flours. You can substitute it into a regular recipe for up to 1/2 of the ordinary flour without compromising the texture of the baked good (with the exception of very delicate/sensitive baked goods, like angel food cake, that rely on the presence of a precise amount of flour to work well). In fact, because it has a low gluten content, it can actually help to tenderize baked goods while still lending enough gluten to the recipe to allow it to rise properly. When compared to regular all-purpose flour, there are some nutritional benefits to barley. It has slightly fewer calories and more than 4 times the fiber of all-purpose. It also has slightly more fiber than whole wheat flour.

It is a good flour to substitute into quick breads, muffins and cookies for a little whole grain twist and is an easy ingredient to play around with in the kitchen in general. You can find it at just about any natural foods store (Whole Foods, etc.) in the baking or cereal aisle.

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  • Katie
    January 19, 2008

    I have not heard of a barley only flour mix before. It sounds good and very healthy. I’ll make an effort to look out for it.

  • TISH
    October 5, 2009

    Received 100 lbs of barley flour. I need alot of recipes. Where do I go for barley flour recipes?

  • nana
    June 5, 2010

    its amazing i made seasme cookies from it so good so soft and you dont need alot off fat just little yuo get soft dough im gona use it for all desert it is healthy

  • Taaseen
    August 1, 2011

    Talbina is made by adding 1-2 tablespoons of barley flour (must be 100% wholegrain barley flour) to one and a half cups of water. Place on low heat for 10-15 minutes (optional: add milk or yoghurt and sweeten with honey). This may also be used as a food thickener for gravy, soups, lasagnes dishes etc. Alternatively you may add 1-2 tablespoons of barley flour (must be 100% wholegrain barley flour) to one and a half cups of milk. Place on low heat for 10-15 minutes (optional: add water or yoghurt and sweeten with honey).

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