This is my last bread from the Central Asia region, from Tibet. Barley is a staple in Tibet. This recipe comes from the northern Amdo region, wherefrom the present Dalai Lama harkens. It is a region known for its monasteries. This bread is the Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of Jewish Challah. Very rich and tasty!
Tibetan Barley Skillet Bread
Adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors
3 cups barley flour
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup chilled buttermilk
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp yeast (or one cup sourdough starter)
½ cup lukewarm water
Toast the barley flour in a skillet. Allow to cool.
Add 1 cup white flour, the whole wheat flour, and salt to the barley flour and mix well. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
Combine the buttermilk, boiling water, and sugar in a medium bowl and mix well. Cool to lukewarm.
Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water (or, if using sourdough just add as is) and stir into the buttermilk mixture. Make a fountain well with the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the well, stir five minutes until dough forms. Knead on a floured surface, adding more white flour as necessary, for 10 minutes.
Place dough in an oiled boil and let rise, covered, for 1 ½ hours.
Butter an oven-proof 10-inch skillet.
Punch down dough and knead into a round. Place the dough round into the skillet and cover with plastic wrap until doubled in volume, 30 min-1 hr.