Friday, 27 August 2010

Shall We Play Barley Break?

Fa la la, la la, Say dainty nymphs? No, none of those. But I did have some lovely red barley I've been playing with lately. Whole grains. Partly inspired by picking tender grains of barley, rye, oats, wheat, etc. in Finland last week. And discussing these very same in class today.
So why do people say you need wheat to make bread? This is about 80 percent barley, and the rest sourdough wheat starter. Rose nicely, though dense, and quite pungently sour. But this is SUCH luscious bread. Exactly what I was looking for.
And here's the weirdest part. I have no grain mill. Someday I want a rotary hand quern. Anyone know where to get one, has to be stone, please let me know. I never really wanted an electric flour mill - that's the only reason I still don't own one.
So I soaked the barley for a few days and hand ground the grains in my big stone mortar. No big deal. Not gritty in the least. I wonder why people in the past without mills didn't do this. Much easier than dry grains. And of course with corn in MesoAmerica, this is exactly what they did. Why is there no wet milling for bread in the West??? I am perplexed.

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