Live Below The Line: Barley Pancakes with Yoghurt & Peaches, 23P

 Makes 4 small pancakes

20g barley flour (pearl barley, ground in blender and sifted), 2p
40g natural yoghurt, 4p
1 egg, 14p
2 peach slices (30g), 3p
To make the barley flour, I put a few handfuls of pearl barley in my blender and pulsed it for 30 seconds, then repeated an absolutely laborious amount of times. Tipped it into a sieve over a mixing bowl and sifted the finely ground grain out, and jarred it up as flour. I was left with lots of tiny broken bits, and have put them in a separate jar to do ‘something’ with in the week – not sure what yet…
Combine 2 rounded tbsp of flour with the egg and half of the yoghurt to form your batter.
Heat a non-stick pan (I brushed mine with a little oil to protect it) and dollop the mixture on a tablespoon at a time. Cook for 2 minutes each side, then remove and serve with remaining yoghurt and diced peach.
This was a complete experiment for me and I must admit to being very nervous as I dolloped barley flour (a new concept for me) into a mixing bowl, with yoghurt in place of milk, eyeing it suspiciously and praying it would make something that resembled a pancake. Cheering with joy as I dolloped it into the frying pan and it did a pancakey thing. Thank goodness. I’ve a feeling I might be eating a lot of these this week… They’re this years bannocks! 🙂
I’m fundraising for Street Child by taking the Live Below The Line challenge, living off £5 for 5 days, and writing about it here. You can follow my progress here, and on Twitter and Instagram @MsJackMonroe
Please read why I’m doing the challenge and donate at 


  1. Our Weekend breakfast will feature these, thank you!

    “I was left with lots of tiny broken bits, and have put them in a separate jar to do ‘something’ with in the week – not sure what yet…”

    How about using them in a Minestrone style soup (along with any broken bits of pasta that live in every kitchen)?

  2. I’ve been looking fruitlessly for barley flour since seeing it required to make Cranks hot cross buns: now that’s sorted, you clever thing.

    Why not use the leftover bits to make mushroom kasha (see the Pauper’s Cookbook), which was the first and best way that I cooked pearl barley. It’s ridiculously cheap and very yummy – also, the small crushed bits should cook a lot faster than whole barley grains, so cheaper on energy too.

  3. Sounds and looks great.

    Don’t know whether they were featured here yet, but oats also make a great flour – made the same way as your barley flour.

  4. So glad your doing this, I can’t this year for health reasons but good luck and thanks for raising awareness!
    I’ve tried clicking the link to your donate page and the link on your instagram – they both say the link doesn’t work. Hope this is just me, but perhaps you could check this? I googled you and managed to find your page and donated anyway 🙂
    Good luck! x

  5. they sound yummy, I keep meaning to have a play with barley as it so cheap at the moment. Looking forward to whatever else you dream up to use it this week

  6. Asides from the very important message that this recipe is promoting, I adore the fact that Jack encourages me to use up all those half bags of something something tucked away at the back of my pantries and food cupboards. At the moment I’m taking part in The Rubbish Diet’s ‘Slim Your Bin’ and my take on it is to reduce the inevitable food waste that can happen when you are food mad and succumb to glam or unusual ingredients and the overload of recipes in weekend supplements.

    I shall combine the two very worthy activities and use up my barley to make this. Then I can write about it for the Rubbish Diet Suffolk – win win.

  7. Have you tried using the coffee grinder for the barley flour? Same tediously small increments, but much finer powder with no leftover bits. Obviously, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly with dry cloth from any coffee grind or else you’ll have flavoured flour!

  8. Why not use ground up basics rolled oats rather than pearl barley – just as good for you, and much easier! Otherwise, great recipe. Thanks Jack.

      • Breakfast – porridge of course! and those lovely porridge pancakes of yours. Lunch – try microwaving a beaten up egg mixed with a tablespoonful of rolled oats, tablespoonful water or milk, and any herbs or spices of choice (my fave is curry powder, or fresh herbs if I’ve got em) – makes a sort of scrambled eggs which you can spread on toast or stuff down as is. Dinner – oats in pastry, dumplings, casserole topping (ever heard of woolton pie with oatmeal pastry? Its better than you might think!) or as a topping for fruit crumble – oats first, over top of fruit, then a dollop of golden syrup – bake till gooey and fruit is soft. You’ve probably guessed by now, I’m an oats freak! Love the stuff.

  9. As much as I admire the politics and cause it’s not really living below the line is it? How many people below the line have a blender food processor and even money to spend on fuel to cook with? I love the recipes but the challenge has to be realistic for it to be effective.

    • I’ve had a blender for years. Mine was a tenner from the basics range of a supermarket and I’ve used it for a lot of my recipes, and in my book. It’s not a fancy food processor, it’s a blender, and one of the very few things I consider an essential in my kitchen.

  10. The link in your post did not work for me. I googled and reached the correct page, but I thought you might like to know that the link may not be working. I am a new follower. I had heard of you as I read a newspaper article some time ago and the recent articles in the news reminded me of you. Bye for Now. Sylvie

    Sent from Windows Mail

  11. Pearl barley tabbouleh is wonderful – I bet you could throw your little bits of barley in there with a handful of the regular-sized stuff for a good variation in texture.

  12. As a vegan, and as someone who has been following a most interesting Facebook page about how to turn tinned bean/lentil/tofu water into a whipped egg white substitute. I wonder if that would work in these pancakes? I am going to give it a try. Cheers for the share 🙂

  13. you used to be able to buy barley flour until recently. but fresh ground is better than a bag at the back of the cupboard!

  14. Wouldn’t the barley bits make a good Polenta substitute? Polenta being a cracked grain of sorts as well…

    I’ve been reading your blog with much interest since I’ve discovered it a few weeks ago and this weekend I devoured your book as well. I already made the (formerly) 9-p burgers, the peach and white chocolate traybake. I have a thermos with carrot and lentil soup with me for an office lunch. Your recipes all turn out great!

  15. “encourages me to use up all those half bags of something tucked away at the back of my pantries and food cupboards”.

    So true! I have part packets of hemp seeds, polenta, barley, linseed, quinoa, goodness knows what, taking up space in a crowded cupboard from which things keep tumbling out. My husband is very wary of these unfamiliar grains, and they must not be visible. Some of them I sprinkle onto homemade bread just before cooking, which he accepts withoput enthusiasm.

    The idea of making a flour out of these suspicious things in a coffee grinder and making pancakes is quite a solution! I am hoping I can add something savoury to the pancakes as his diabetes prevents him from eating sweet things unless exceptionally tempting. Egg and bacon and caramelised onions? Any ideas?

    (I’m sorry, slight drift from the central idea of living below the line. I tried this as a penniless student in the early 60s, spending many weeks eating daily boiled barley and a glass of milk, the occasional boiled egg, and lots of lettuce……not very successful, as I ended up on the floor of the library with concerned faces peering down at me, and realised I had to eat more to stay upright. Yes, I am aware that millions of people eat less than I did, and work in fields and on building sites, and somehow live on. I am writing from the perspective of a spoiled child used to serious parental cooking).

  16. Thanks for the inspiration about making flour for pancakes – I used ground up oats for pancakes this morning on my Day 4 of Live Below the Line and it was a welcome change from porridge. Good luck with LBTL!

  17. I know lots of people may not have one, but if you happen to have a nutri bullet it has a milling blade that is great for making rice flour and sounds like it may well work for this too.

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