Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add barley to pan; cook 10 minutes or until evenly toasty-brown and fragrant, stirring frequently. Add 8 cups water to pan. Increase heat tohigh, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a heatproof pitcher. The barley likely won’t be done at this point, but you can return it to the pan, cover with fresh water, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so or until tender; then it’s ready to use in recipes. Serve hot, or allow to cool to room temperature and chill.
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