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Best Barley Bread

Ingredients

3 ¾ cups (925 mL) warm water
3 tbsp (45 mL) honey or sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) or 3 (8 g pkts) regular yeast
2 ¼ cups (550 mL) whole barley flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) salt
6 ¾ cups (1.675 L) all-purpose flour, divided
3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice
3 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil

Measure water and check temperature so that it is between 100 and 110⁰F (37 and 45⁰C). Pour water into a large mixing bowl and combine with honey and yeast. Let rest for about 10 minutes to proof the yeast. Stir the barley flour, salt and 2 cups (500 mL) of the all-purpose flour into the yeast mixture. Add the lemon juice and oil, then slowly add the remaining flour. When the mixture becomes quite difficult to handle, turn the mixture out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead* vigorously for 10 minutes or knead 5 minutes by machine, adding more all-purpose flour if necessary.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes, then knead by hand again for 2 to 3 minutes. Form into 3 or 4 loaves and put in greased 9 x 5 inch (2 L) loaf pans.** Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Bake at 375⁰F (190⁰C) for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Immediately turn out on racks to cool.

Makes 3 to 4 loaves, about 18 slices each.

* To knead dough, turn the dough onto a floured surface, pull the dough from far side towards you and push it into the centre with the heel of your hand. Repeat this action, adding flour when the dough or the surface gets sticky.

**If you want a shiny top on your bread, beat together one egg with 2 tbsp (25 mL) water and brush on top of dough just before placing the loaves in the oven.

Nutritional Information (per slice):

Calories: 126
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrate: 25 g
Fibre: 2 g
Sugars: 2 g
Fat: 2.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
Trans Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 198 mg
Potassium: 33 mg