The commercial cellulase product Celluclast 1.5, derived from Trichoderma reesei (Novozymes A/S, Bagsv ae rd, Denmark), is widely employed for hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks. This enzyme preparation contains a broad spectrum of cellulolytic enzyme activities, most notably cellobiohydrolases (CBHs) and endo-1,4-beta-glucanases (EGs). Since the original T. reesei strain was isolated from decaying canvas, the T reesei CBH and EG activities might be present in suboptimal ratios for hydrolysis of pretreated lignocellulosic substrates. We employed statistically designed combinations of the four main activities of Celluclast 1.5, CBHI, CBHII, EGI, and EGII, to identify the optimal glucose-releasing combination of these four enzymes to degrade barley straw substrates subjected to three different pretreatments. The data signified that EGII activity is not required for efficient lignocellulose hydrolysis when addition of this activity occurs at the expense of the remaining three activities. The optimal ratios of the remaining three enzymes were similar for the two pretreated barley samples that had been subjeced to different hot water pretreatments, but the relative levels of EGI and CBHII activities required in the enzyme mixture for optimal hydrolysis of the acid-impregnated, steam-exploded barley straw substrate were somewhat different from those required for the other two substrates. The optimal ratios of the cellulolytic activities in all cases differed from that of the cellulases secreted by T. reesei. Hence, the data indicate the feasibility of designing minimal enzyme mixtures for pretreated lignocellulosic biomass by careful combination of monocomponent enzymes. This strategy can promote both a more efficient enzymatic hydrolysis of (ligno)cellulose and a more rational utilization of enzymes.