Hearty Barley Fruit Bread

This image courtesy of Celine Steen

This bread is an old family favorite, inspired by a recipe in a Swiss cookbook called Le Livre du Beurre (The Butter Book). We’re calling it bread because it isn’t a fluffy, ladylike teacake. It’s more like a granola bar made into a sturdy bread, packed with loads of fiber from the dried fruits and barley flour, making it especially ideal to take along for a hike or simply to munch on when in need of a seriously delicious energy boost.

NotesA lot of store-bought candied orange peel contains high-fructose corn syrup, which is why we recommend you be on the lookout for a more natural kind when I you shop for groceries or even make your own with healthier sweeteners and organic oranges so that the peel is safe to eat and pesticide-free.

1 loaf

Cooking Methodbaking



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe Coursesnack

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealbreakfast, brunch, snack, tea


Type of Dishbread, quickbreads


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 96 g (½ cup) Sucanat
  • 149 g (1 cup) dried figs, chopped
  • 80 g (½ cup) raisins
  • 3 ounces (85 g) diced candied orange peel
  • 120 g (1 cup) walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 210 g (1¾ cups) barley flour
  • 16 g (2 tablespoons) arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (235 ml) vegan milk
  • 120 g (½ cup) plain or vanilla-flavored vegan yogurt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly coat an 8 x 4-inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf pan with cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl. combine the Sucanat, figs, raisins, orange peel. walnuts, salt. cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, arrowroot powder or cornstarch, and baking powder.

  3. In a medium-size bowl. whisk together the milk and yogurt.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry, and stir until combined. scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, until golden brown and firm on top.

  5. Carefully remove from the pan and place on a wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing. This bread will keep well for at least a week, tightly wrapped in foil. It also freezes well.


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Dear @mary14889, Thanks so much for reaching out. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are serious health issues, which is why we're careful not to tag any recipes as gluten-free that include gluten. This recipe was never tagged as gluten-free. I'm not sure which comment on the AARP website you're referring to, but feel free to reach out to me at with a link so I can look into it! All best, Kara Rota Editorial Director

I just saw this recipe on the AARP website where there's no place to comment. The comment said that this recipe is gluten free, but it is NOT. Wheat, rye and barley all contain gluten that is harmful to those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. It's OK for people with wheat allergy but that is different than gluten intolerance.


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