Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Meatless Monday: Eggy Barley Bread
We had a beautiful sunny weekend, but today looks like a chilly rainy day again, so lunch is vegetable barley soup and fresh-baked eggy barley bread. You don't get much more warm and cozy than that!
I'm a big fan of barley, which for some reason does not get the attention today that it did in the previous century. As a whole grain, it's got a chewy, hearty texture and wholesome flavor that is the perfect accompaniment to soup; you can also make risotto with it instead of rice. As a flour, it brings a lovely rich warm flavor and a creamy softness to breads.
This is a good recipe for the bread machine, if you have one. If you don't, you should get one! I don't often bake my breads in the machine, but I do when I'm busy and it still churns out hot, delicious, crusty fresh-baked bread with only five minutes of effort from me. It's cheaper than storebought bread, as well as fresher and more delicious. So get you a bread machine post haste, and then make...
EGGY BARLEY BREAD
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup barley flour
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp yeast
Get the water in your measuring cup and then crack the egg in. Beat the egg and water together slightly, then pour into the bread machine. Sprinkle the flours over so that they float on top of the water. Cut up the butter into chunks and drop it into two corners of the machine, then add the sugar to another corner and the salt to another. Make a little well in the middle with your finger and pour the yeast into it. Switch the machine onto its basic setting and let 'er rip.
Come back when it's done, and transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool. Make sure you cut a big slice for yourself (and anyone you like) and butter it while it's still hot. Have that slice with vegetable soup. Watch the rain fall as you eat and think about how much you love life.