Whole grain barley is one of the oldest heirloom grains cultivated for agriculture. Its use dates back as far as 10,000 years—a testament to how versatile and hardy the crop can be. Barley is a highly nutritious cereal grain, containing large amounts of protein, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals.
When ground into flour, barley is a healthful alternative to the all-purpose white flours common in the west. Its mild, nutty flavor makes it a great option for baking sweets, breads, cakes, and more. Barley flour contains small amounts of gluten, making it unsuitable for those with gluten sensitivities. However, barley flour is a great option for all-purpose baking, as its low gluten content helps to tenderize baked goods while still providing enough gluten to help the products rise.