Barley - Defined

Barley—A grain used by brewers in malting; generally found on the market in two sizes or qualities known as Scotch and Pearl. The Scotch is larger and has the inner husk left on; the Pearl is smaller and completely freed from husk, which makes it better adapted for culinary use; chiefly used in soups and gruels.

Barley is a cereal which grows best in a moderately dry climate and flourishes particularly in Germany, and at an elevation of between 3000 and 4000 feet on the Alps and on the mountain ranges of the Himalayas, 14,000 feet above sea-level. It is also largely cultivated throughout Europe, the eastern counties of England, and the Lothians and some of the northern counties of Scotland.

The chief use it is put to is conversion into malt for the making of beer, but at one time it was largely used for human food In the reign of Charles I, it almost entirely took the place of wheaten flour as a food among the people in the north of England, and in some districts in Germany it is still largely used in the manufacture of bread.

To a moderate extent in the north of Scotland, and in some parts of Ireland, it still bulks largely in the food of the people—some of the fishermen in the smaller islands off the coast being unable to use any other flour or meal than barley meal.

Stripped of the husk it is always a constituent in Scotch broth, and is then known as “pot barley.” The common form as used by pudding manufacturers is the well - known polished and rounded “pearl barley.”

BARLEY—For cooking purposes is of two kinds or more: Scotch and pearl barley; the latter is larger grain and whiter; either kind answers for cooking; both are cheap, costing less than rice and swelling to a great bulk in boiling water.

  • Barley Broth— Mutton, barley, turnips, onions, or leeks, and water; not thickened otherwise than with the barley.
  • Barley Soup—Meat stock and various vegetables cut small, some barley well boiled separately and added along with flour thickening.
  • Cream of Barley—A rich white soup of chicken or veal, or other white stock, with celery and mixed vegetables; barley rubbed through a strainer, cream or milk and little butter and parsley.
  • Barley Water—Gruel for the sick, made by boiling barley in two waters and straining off.
  • Barley Puddings— (1)-Boiled barley with butter and a custard mixture of eggs and milk; baked. (2)-Boiled barley stirred up with molasses and suet; baked.
  • Barley Bread—Made of a mixture of barley meal with flour. Scarcely known in this country but used in lands where there is no cornmeal.  
  • Barley Bannocks—Flat cakes of barley meal baked on a griddle; very thin.
  • Barley Sugar—Old-fashioned sort of clear stick candy. No particular reason for the name, but taste resembling barley malt.


Barley Bread

Put into a basin one and a half pounds of fine flour, one ounce salt, one ounce castor sugar, rather more than half a pound of barley flour, rub into it one and a half ounces of good butter till quite smooth, and add two ounces of Marshall’s Baking Powder; mix well all together and then make up into a light dough with cold milk and water, and form into two good-sized loaves; place them on a floured baking-tin, and bake in a rather quick oven for about one and a quarter hours. Use for breakfast, afternoon teas, etc. Small loaves in fancy shapes can be made from the same mixture.

Thick Barley Water.—Thick Barley Water is much more nutritious than Clear Barley Water. Well wash two ounces of pearl barley, then put it into plenty of cold water and blanch it by boiling it for ten minutes. Throw away the water, and wash the barley again. Boil the barley very gently in a quart of water for two hours. Put in one lump of sugar, strain the water from the barley, and serve cold in a jug.

Barley Milk. —Wash four ounces of pearl barley. Boil it gently with the peel of half a lemon in two quarts of water, till it is reduced to one quart. Strain, and put the liquid back into the saucepan with three-quarters of a pint of milk. Warm it up as required, but never let it boil. Or, boil half a pound of washed pearl barley in a quart of milk mixed with half a pint of water. Reduce to a pint, then sweeten it a little, boil again, and serve to be taken when nearly cold.

Barley Water with Honey.—Put two teacupful of well-washed pearl barley into a large jug, with the juice and rind of one lemon, and one tablespoonful of honey. Pour a quart of boiling water upon it, let it stand for half an hour, strain off the liquid, and serve.

Cream of Pearl Barley à la Victoria

Wash three ounces of pearl barley in several waters, blanch and drain it upon a sieve, and having allowed some cold water to run over it for a few minutes, put it into a stew-pan with two quarts of white consommé of fowls, and set it to boil by the side of a slow fire for two or three hours.

When the barley is sufficiently done to admit of its being bruised easily, set one-third of it aside in a small sauce-pan, and immediately proceed to rub the remainder through a tammy or sieve; then mix the cream of barley thus obtained with the whole barley which has been set aside. Ten minutes before serving up this soup, add to it a gill of cream.

Cream of Pearl Barley à la Reine

The process for making this soup is exactly the same as that used for making the cream of rice à la Chasseur, barley being substituted for rice, and poultry for game (see above).

Cream of Pearl Barley à la Printanière

Having prepared a cream of pearl barley as above directed, just before sending it to table pour it into a soup-tureen containing eighteen small quenelles of fowl and one gill of large heads of asparagus boiled green, and serve.

Cream of Pearl Barley à la Royale

The purée of barley being prepared as described in the foregoing directions, and finished in the same manner, pour it into a soup- tureen containing the cooked breast of a chicken, and cut into small pieces neatly trimmed.

Cream of Barley à la Princesse Alexandrina

To make this soup, white consommé of game should be used to prepare the cream of barley, the purée being finished according to the method observed in former cases; when about to send the soup to table, pour it into a tureen containing scallops of the fillets of one young red-legged partridge, roasted a few minutes and then cooked in the cream.

Cream of Barley à la Duchesse

Having prepared a steamed custard of fowl, as directed in the preparation for making Déslignac, cut the custard thus made (allowing it time to become cold and firm) into small pillars an inch long, then place them carefully in the soup- tureen with half a pint of consommé ; proceed to pour on them three pints of cream of barley prepared and finished in the usual way, and to which has been added a dessertspoonful of lobster butter and a little cayenne pepper.

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