I didn't realize until the other day that barley is Canada's 3rd largest crop after wheat and canola and more barley is grown in Alberta than any other province.
Even better, barley is GOOD for you. Health Canada recently approved a health claim linking the consumption of barley beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre, to reduced blood cholesterol. Barley also has insoluble fibre, important for healthy intestinal function.
I love barley as a whole grain in beef and barley soup or as a side dish, but I've never used barley flour. After listening to Julie van Rosendaal on the Calgary Eyeopener, I was eager to try.
I gather barley flour can be successfully substituted for other flours in recipes using baking powder. (You'll have trouble getting top results, however, in yeast recipes.)
I experimented first with my crepe recipe - very pleased and I'd definitely do this again, especially if using a savoury filling.
I also tried substituting barley flour in my corn muffin recipe. Turned out great! I could detect a slight difference in taste from my usual version, but certainly no difference in texture or rising action.
Finally, I tried the pancake recipe on the back of the barley flour package. Good results, but take care not to use too high a heat as they seem to need longer to cook completely through.
(Hamilton's Barley flour)
2 cups Hamilton's Barley Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine dry ingredients.
1 egg (whisked) plus enough milk to make 2 cups liquid
Combine with dry ingredients.
Ladle onto a hot, greased skillet and flip when bubbles appear and edges appear dry.
Next up? Barley flour chocolate chip cookies.... : )
From the kitchen,