Pearl barley is currently the most readily available barley product and may be found in most supermarkets next to dry beans, lentils and rice. Pearl barley may also be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets.
Barley flour and rolled barley flakes, while in more limited supply, may be found in the flour and hot cereal sections of some supermarkets. These products may also be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets. Barley flour and rolled barley flakes may also be purchased from small grain suppliers via mail-order catalogs or online stores.
Barley grits, while in more limited supply, may be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets. They may also be purchased from small grain suppliers via mail-order catalogs or online stores.
Whole grain barley products (made from hulled barley or hulless barley) are currently in more limited supply. These products may be found in the bulk foods sections of some supermarkets or in health and natural foods stores. Whole grain barley products may also be purchased from small grain suppliers via mail-order catalogs or online stores.
Prepared foods that contain barley as a primary ingredient include hot and ready-to-eat cereals, canned soups, multigrain pasta, heat-and-eat multigrain entrees, snack bars, crackers and multigrain pilaf mixes.
Raw/uncooked barley (pearl barley, whole grain barley kernels, barley flour, barley flakes, barley grits) should be stored in an airtight container in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator or freezer. If refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container, raw/uncooked barley may be stored for about 6 months.
Cooked barley (pearl or whole grain kernels) may be stored for a short time prior to using. Place cooked pearl or whole grain barley kernels in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for up to a week. For best results, bring refrigerated or frozen barley to room temperature before using.
To cook pearl barley: In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup pearl barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes about 3 to 3-1/2 cups.
In a crock pot or slow cooker: Place 2-1/2 cups boiling water, 1 cup pearl barley and 1/2 teaspoon salt in crock pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
To cook whole grain barley kernels: In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup whole grain barley kernels and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 50 to 55 minutes. Makes about 3 cups. Note: Because whole grain barley retains most of the outer bran layer, the kernels tend to absorb less liquid during the cooking process. It may be necessary to pour off any remaining liquid after 50 to 55 minutes of cooking time. Compared to pearl barley, whole grain barley tends to be chewier in texture and produces a more robust flavor.
Using barley flour: Barley flour adds a subtle nutty flavor and fiber to baked goods. While barley flour contains gluten, the protein that makes baked goods rise, the type of gluten in barley does not promote adequate rising on its own. So it’s best to use barley flour in combination with all-purpose enriched wheat or whole wheat flour. As a rule of thumb, barley flour may be substituted for about 1/4 of the total flour used in yeast breads. For most quick breads, muffins, cookies and bars, barley flour may be substituted for about 1/2 of the total amount of flour used.
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