Making Spent Grain Bread

Living in an urban area can leave a homebrewer with a lot of leftover spent grain, and nothing you can really do with it besides throwing it out. In rural areas you can compost, or give the grains to a local farm, but neither are really do-able in a city. However, you can make bread from a portion of the spent grain, so not all goes to waste. Best of all, making bread from spent grain is an easy and rewarding venture.

Spent Grain Bread Recipe

Yeast Starter Ingredients

• 1 1/4 Cup Warm Water • 1/4 Cup of Sugar • 1 Packet of Baker's yeast

Other Ingredients

• 3 Cups Wet Spent Grain • Flour (as needed) • 1 Egg (beat) • 1/4 Cup Milk • 1 tsp Salt

 

Process

1. Mix the three ingredients in the "Bread Yeast Starter" section together, then allow them to sit for up to 30 minutes. 2. Once the yeast is bubbling (around 30 minutes), mix in everything else  (Other ingredients column) except for the flour. 3. After everything is mixed in well, slowly add the flour (about 4-5 cups), kneading it until the dough stops sticking to your hands and begins to form a ball into a ball. 4. Place your kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel, allowing it to rise for 30 minutes. 5. Once the dough has risen to twice it size, punch it down. This releases the gas created by the yeast. Note: Punching should be more like a push with a fist than an actual "punch". 6. Then split up the dough into the amount of loaves you want to bake and set them up on a baking sheet. Make sure you throw down a layer of fine cornmeal first. 7. Pre-heat your oven to 375F. 8. Allow the loaves to rise again, another 30 minutes. Score them with a knife then bake  for about 30 minutes or until you can stab it and the knife comes out clean. 

Troubleshooting Spent Grain Bread Issues

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• Your spent grains retain moisture so you may need more or less flour than what this, or any other recipe recipe states. So it's important to add the flour incrementally to ensure the right amount is used. • Keep a bowl of warm water in the oven. This adds some humidity, which keeps you bread from drying out while rising or while baking. • Don't let the dough rise in the oven (Step 4 above). If your oven exceeds 90F during rising, you risk drying out your dough. (Which when baked leaves you with a tasty, but dense bread) • Choose a fine coarse cornmeal to layer on your baking pan or just use a better baking pan. This helps keep the bread form becoming hard on the bottom. • Bake directly on the pan (with cornmeal) for a oval, rustic bread type shape. Let the dough rise (Steps 6-8) and bake in a loaf pan to create a more generic loaf shape for sandwiches and toast. • Punching vs Folding - The more you punch your dough (Step 5), the denser the final bread will be. If you are going for a more airy approach, punch gently and fold the dough lightly to keep those big air pockets. This will give you a lighter, more airy bread. • A darker mix of spent grain will bring out darker flavors in the bread. The bread is hearty, malty and full of flavor. It pairs well with butter, honey, garlic, cheesy soup, salad etc. It also pairs really well with the beer you made the with the grains in the first place. Just freeze them till the beer is ready, then make the bread. This recipe gets a big star for its simplicity. It may be time consuming, but is definitely worth it. {{block type="hbs_hbs/wordpress_articleFirstSliderBlock"}} The next time you brew an all-grain batch, save some of the spent grain and give this recipe a shot!