I admit it. I have a weakness for sandwiches of all kinds. I like cold cuts, especially salami, for instance. Oh, and pastrami. I love a good roast beef sandwich with a sharp mustard and a kosher dill on the side. I'm supposed to avoid things extra salty, btw, so you can see how that's working for me. (We 'll leave aside my snack weakness for potato chips, just for now). That said, I also love dairy sandwiches, especially a good sharp cheese like a Swiss Emmental or a Gouda from Holland. Again with the same mustard. This is a way of explaining to you, dear readers, why I bring you another great sandwich bread. This time, I experimented with barley flour. The flavor is similar to rye but the color is not as dark, and it seems to rise a little more readily as well. The result is a strong bread, slightly 'grayish' in color that holds a big stack of filling without falling apart! I shaped this loaf in the classical 'batard' style which is to say a kind of 'boule' that is tapered at each end. Although this shape is sometimes used as an intermediate stage to making baguettes, it can be a final shape in its own right. What I like about it, is that the tapered ends get very, very crispy. I mean very, very crispy. Make an open-face sandwich and crunch away... BTW, this post has been submitted to Yeastspotting.
Here's What You'll Need:about 2 1/2 cups AP flour
about 1 cup barley flour
1 Tbs. dry yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. milk powder
2 Tbs. oil
about 1 1/4 cup warm water
Here's What You'll Need To Do:1. In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer) add the barley flour and the yeast. Add 1 cup warm water, cover, them let the mixture sit at room temperature for about an hour.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the salt, and mix to form a rough dough. Adjust for dryness by adding a little water or white flour as necessary. Finally, add the salt mixing thoroughly.
3. Knead the dough vigorously for about 10 minutes until smooth and even. The dough will be slightly gray in color because of the barley flour. That's OK.
4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covered and let it rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly taking care not to remove all the gases trapped inside. Form the dough into a 'batard' shape applying slightly more pressure on the ends so they become tapered. Place the shaped dough on a parchment covered baking tray and cover for the second rise. This should take about 45 minutes.
6. About 15 minutes before bake time, preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Spray water into the oven to create a steamy atmosphere and bake the bread for about 35 to 40 minutes, removing the steam for the last 15 minutes or so. Cool on a rack.