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Barley

Pearl barley is by far the most popular form of barley in the United States. Extensive processing removes the two outer hulls along with the bran layer resulting in uniformly-sized, ivory grains with very little fiber. This processing makes it less chewy to the bite, but it also removes a vast majority of the barley’s inherent nutrition. Its flavor is mild and nutty, and it cooks in 30 to 45 minutes.

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Barley Types – Forms of Barley

  • Pearl barley is by far the most popular form of barley in the United States. Extensive processing removes the two outer hulls along with the bran layer resulting in uniformly-sized, ivory grains with very little fiber. This processing makes it less chewy to the bite, but it also removes a vast majority of the barley’s inherent nutrition. Its flavor is mild and nutty, and it cooks in 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Rolled or flaked barley is similar to rolled oats and is used as a cereal.
  • Barley flour (also known as barley meal) has a low gluten content which results in a low-rise, so it is often combined with higher-gluten flours when used for leavened breads that need to rise.
  • Barley grits are toasted, ground barley grains used as a cereal or cooked side dish.
  • Hulled barley (also known as whole-wheat barley) has only the outer layer removed, leaving the bran layer intact. It is extremely high in fiber and nutrition, with a pronouced flavor that makes the toothy workout worthwhile. This form requires the longest cooking time.
  • Scotch barley has been husked, then coarsely ground. It takes a long cooking time to become tender.
  • Quick barley is pearl barley that has been steamed and dried. It will cook up the fastest, usually in less than 15 minutes.