A flat round loaf, similar to a scone. The triangular cuts are called farls. Traditionally cooked on the griddle, the oven is a more reliable approach. Overnight fermentation, makes for a great taste. Bannock native to Scotland. Good with tea, soup, ale or breakfast. Makes: 2 round flat loaves each cut into 8 farls
Overnight Ingredients 1 cup rolled barley flakes, toasted and then ground finely in a food processor 1 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 1 cup onions minced 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 cup cold buttermilk or milk kefir
Before baking ingredients ½ cup grated sharp cheddar ½ cup mixed fresh herbs such as, parsley, dill, coriander, thyme, marjoram 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 2 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon water to make the slurry
In the evening In a food processor, or by hand: finely grind oatmeal, add flour, and mix, add butter and pulse, or work in, add buttermilk or kefir, stir in onions. Let sit covered in a bowl overnight at room temperature.
In the morning → Preheat oven to 425F use middle oven rack → Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper → Add cheese and herbs to dough → Make a slurry of the salt and sodas and add to the dough mixing thoroughly. → Bring together with hands into 2 even sized balls → To Shape: Flatten balls into rounds cut each round into 8 (farls)
Bake bannock for 15 minutes, until both the tops and bottoms are golden.
Best served warm--great toasted With Love Enjoy!
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, An'corn rigs are bonie: I'll ne'er forget that happy night, Amang the rigs wi'Annie. Robert Burns
"On either side the river lie Long fields of barley and of rye, That clothe the wold and meet the sky; And through the field the road runs by To many-towered Camelot." Tennyson
The Barley Rhetoric
Everywhere, I read I come across the same rhetoric about barley's use in bread baking. The consensus being that it’s only used if wheat’s not available, and then eagerly replaced when wheat becomes plentiful; that it makes a coarse, mealy dry loaf, and that it’s only a survival peasant food…. Yet, the Roman gladiators were called hordearil (barley eaters) and renowned for their strength? Or maybe strong jaws?
A Barley Bannock for the Bairns
I love an underdog. Do we know whole baking truth about barley? Is this all actually true, or our we just passing on the hearsay that we’ve heard?A deeper aspect of digging into the truths about baking with barley, is that it’s rich in culture, history, and symbolic significances beyond just eating it. Take for instance the Barley Bannock. Who wouldn’t want to bake a Barley Bannock for the bairns? I need a Bannock to be delicious, and full of barley just so I can write a ballad about it.
Step out of Wheat Colonialism
I had the hunch that barley wasn’t a bad baker, after all it’s been in cultivation for more than beer for eight thousand years. The Egyptians, Koreans, Tibetans, Celts, Greeks, and Romans all cultivated and baked with it, even when other grains were available. I figured that we’d just forgotten how to best bake with it, and had probably tried to treat it like wheat. Wheat seems to be the measure, but I’d like us to stop comparing every flour to wheat, and start treating others as their own entities. We need to step out of wheat colonialism, and let the rest of the grains stand in their own right.
So, I set to bake a Barley Bannock
Each triangular piece of the Bannock by the way is called a farl. I knew flavor, moisture, and crumbliness would have to be addressed.
Flavor and fermentation are a good combo, so I soaked the barley mixture in milk kefir overnight.
I use potato starch, and butter for moisture
Sorghum for structural companionship
Flaxseed for cohesiveness
Onion, cheese and herbs for focus.
I use barley flakes ground fine, although I’ve made other renditions using whole soaked and sprouted barley, which I then ground, without any other flavor additions which were quite delicious.
The shape of the bannock is suited to the grain, round low yet appealing.
The eight farls pre-sliced are attractive and practical.
It’s leavened as a soda bread, which is also practical.
I like the flavors of fermented, and then baked barley. This bannock will be made many more times, it’s a winner.