Master Barley Recipe


1 cup barley

3 cups water

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Master Barley Recipe

Barley generally comes in two different forms, pearled and hulled. Pearled barley will cook quicker and have a creamier texture, but has less nutrients than the hulled barley, which is the ‘whole grain’. If cooking hulled barley, it is recommended to soak the grain for several hours or overnight to reduce cooking time as well as make the grain easier to digest. Unsoaked hulled barley will cook just fine, it will just take a bit longer to prepare.

Never add salt to barley before it is fully cooked. Like with dried beans, salting prematurely will inhibit the grains absorption of water. I usually salt the grain just as it finishes cooking.

The ratio for pearled and hulled barley (soaked or unsoaked) is the same.

1. Over high heat, bring 1 cup barley and 3 cups water, uncovered, to a boil. Cover, and reduce the heat to low. Allow the barley to simmer for 45 minutes.

If your hulled barley is unsoaked, your cooking time will double, to about 1 ½ hours. Cooked barley will always retain some chewiness. You'll know your barley is done when 20 percent of them have burst open.

2. Lightly salt barley, if desired, and use anyway you’d like!