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.