Barley and Spelt Sourdough Ring and Epi

Barley-Spelt Sourdough

Alright I know I had promised to write down and publish all the formulas of the breads I made in the past few months but there has been a couple of accidents: my daughter’s birthday party and a nasty flu.
Good thing is that during the flu I had a day which felt like “yeah I am ok again” and I could bake.
The result is this ring and a couple of epi, the latter made for our virtual baking school on Panissimo group (to which you are all welcome to join).
The dough had the special addition of barley flour, which contains a type of gluten that do not make bread rise, so it cannot be used alone. However, when used with other, more “bake-able”, flours it confers to the bread a very distinctive and yummy flavor, plus it gives a very appealing bronze color to crust and crumb.

Barley-Spelt Sourdough

I apologize if the pictures are not as good as my usual standard, but, oh well, after the happy baking I realized that my cold was back. But this bread was outstanding, believe me, and back to bed I go…

450 g mature 100% hydration sourdough starter
150 g whole-grain barley flour
200 g whole-grain spelt flour
650 g all-purpose flour
650 g water + 150 g to be added later
3 teaspoon sea salt

Note: all my flours are organic, the whole-grain are also stone ground

1. Combine the starter with the water (650 g), add the flours (already combined) and knead for 8-10 minutes by machine at low speed or by hand
2. Let rest covered for about 1 hour
3. Add the salt and some of the extra water (150 g) and start kneading again at higher speed, continuing to knead until all of the extra water is absorbed and the dough appears well developed (about 10 minutes)
4. Let the dough rest, covered, for a couple of hours, folding it a couple of times, gently
5. Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and fold it on itself. Cover it with a large deep bowl to create a vacuum
6. Fold the dough on itself a few more times every now an then, always covering it with the bowl after each fold
7. Passed 4-5 hours from the moment you combined the flour with the wild yeast, shape the dough as you wish. I made a couple of epi and a round
8. Place the shaped dough in banettons covered with kitchen towel and heavily floured or on heavily floured heavy kitchen towels, if you want for instance to shape an epi
9. Let rest, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, while your oven gets hot with the baking stone in (if you have it)
10. Bake at high temperature (250 C/480 F) creating steam in the beginning. Keep the high temperature for the first 20 minutes for bigger loaves, 10 minutes for smaller loaves/buns, then reduce the tmp. To 210 C/410 F, until they feel lighter wehn lifted

Barley-Spelt Sourdough

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Barbara Elisi

Hi there! I am the "soul" behind Bread & Companatico. My main interest is the preservation of bread tradition and craft, with an eye to health. I hope you are having a good time reading this blog, and please don't be shy to connect with me through comments or emails and do keep on bread-ing! 🙂

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19 replies
  1. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    That sounds and looks so good ! I love spelt flour, but have never baked with barley flour. Not sure whether I can buy it here. Can I just mill regular barley ?

    • Barbara
      Barbara says:

      actually… yes, it was epic 🙂 I have just eaten the whole thing after reheating it in the oven. that crunchiness was out of this world (and I am feeling better thank you dear, I saw you published some amazing new stuff lately, I’ll pass by super soon)

  2. Che Foodzeit
    Che Foodzeit says:

    First of all, I wish you a fast recovery. I hate those flu. Get better soon. And the bread, it looks like a combination of big holes in the crumb. I never managed to make it look like this. Another very successful bake, even in your condition 🙂 Well done. Back to bed now and have a chicken soup


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