Barley Flour

Hordeum vulgare

Wild Barley (Hordeum vulgare spontaneum)is a common grass in the region of the Fertile Crescent where it was first domesticated.  It can be found throughout North Africa and around parts of the Mediterranean.  There is evidence of its cultivation which goes back to 8,000 BC.  The first and oldest cultivar has a two row seed head and is generally termed  Two-row Barley (Hordeum vulgare distichum). This type of barley was traditionally used to make English Ale.

               
Two-Row Barley used ion the brewing industry

Naked Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a variation that is easily de-hulled.  It is a more digestible form of grain. With a single genetic mutation, the more recent Six-row Barley (Hordeum vulgare hexastichum) has six rows of seeds in its seed head.  This is a higher yielding species and is used for animal feed and for food processing additives.

     
Four-Row Barley

Four-row Barley (Hordeum vulgare hexastichum) is a variation of six-row barley, being genetically identical in almost all respects.  It is the same subspecies and can show either 4 or 6 row variance in its progeny.

In Roman times, Barley was used to feed Gladiators who were known as hordearii; barley-eaters.

 

 

Back

This part of the Bread Pages looks at the The different types of Flour used throughout history.

Einkorn Wheat

Emmer Wheat


Durum Wheat


Spelt Wheat


Khorasan Wheat


Clubwheat


Common Wheat


Oats


Barley


Rye


Maize


Chickpea


Millet


Rice


Buckwheat


Teff


Potato


Beans


Vetch