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On using barley for soups and stews

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 January 2018 at 11:57
Regarding the barley for soups or stews, here is some good information:

Quote Firstly, you have let's say unprocessed barley grains.

Secondly, there's also a version called groats where around 15% of the grain is taken off (like they also do with rice); they simply grind off the outer tough skin.

Thirdly, there is pearl barley, where 30% of the barley grain is taken off. Pearl barley is more rounded; that's why they call it "pearled."

For Pearl Barley, the cooking time is 25 minutes, which might be perfect for most applications, because it matches much better with the cooking time of the vegetables. Also, it does not have to be soaked, like unprocessed barley; in fact, it's like choosing between brown and white rice, where cooking times and processing are somewhat similar: soaking plus 45 minutes cooking, or not soaking plus 20 minutes cooking...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2018 at 09:47
While we were discussing strategies for my Scotch Broth Project, Brook offered some good thoughts regarding the various forms of barley available, particularly pearled barley:

Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

I don't know how far back pearl barley goes, but it certainly isn't new. My mom and her cohorts were using it in the '40s and '50s, and I'm sure it was available long before that. Here is some information from Wikipedia:

Originally posted by Wikipedia Wikipedia wrote:

Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove its hull and bran. All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.

It is the most common form of barley for human consumption because it cooks faster and is less chewy than other, less-processed forms of the grain such as "hulled barley" (or "barley groats", also known as "pot barley" and "Scotch barley". Fine barley flour is prepared from milled pearl barley.

Pearl barley is similar to wheat in its caloric, protein, vitamin and mineral content, though some varieties are higher in lysine. It is used mainly in soups, stews, and potages. It is the primary ingredient of the Italian dish Orzotto.


One correction to the above: all other sources I checked say pearling does not, always, remove all of the bran.

The other usable format is hulled barley, which has the hull removed but the bran layer left behind.

Personally, other than experiments like our Mesopotamian bread, all I use is the pearled version. I don't think using it would detract from the Scotch Broth at all. We're not talking about a major flavor change. Pearling just affects the cooking time, sort of like the difference between steel-cut and rolled oats. Eaten alone, you can tell the difference. But, when incorporated into something else, they're basically the same.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 April 2018 at 15:17
Just to expand on the "eaten alone" thought. I believe what you'll experience is more of a textural difference than a flavor change.

No question, texture can effect perceived flavor. But that's all it is, a perception unsupported by reality.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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