April 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
The next step in the Spent Grain Utilization Project was spent grain bread. You can just throw some of your spent grains into your favorite bread recipe for some extra grainy goodness, but I also wanted to beer-ify the backbone of my bread so it wouldn’t be just white bread with a sprinkle of whole spent grains. So I tried my hand at making spent grain bread with spent grain flour. This isn’t interchangeable with regular flour because the gluten/protein content is so low in pre-brewed malted grains, but it can be mixed with regular flour in your favorite bread recipe, or as below I tried it with bread flour to replace some of that lost protein. I’m lazy and forgetful, so Mark Bittman and Jim Lahey’s famous No-Knead Bread is right up my alley. A few minutes of work, then go poke around in the garden (or, you know, go to work) for 18 hours.
There are tons of instructions for spent grain flour around the internet, but I based mine on the instructions in Brooklyn Brewer’s Spent Grain Chef series. Because it is so cold in our house at this time of year, drying the grains in the oven was definitely key. There isn’t really a time I can be in the house near the oven and awake for eight hours or so, but it worked fine if I just turned the oven on low (“keep warm”) whenever I was around, turned it off when I was asleep or out, and repeated over the course of a day or so.
To grind the grains into flour, I can report the following experimental outcomes:
- The blender: lots of whirling, not a lot of actual size reduction. Fail.
- Old burr coffee grinder that has been used for spices now that we have a fancy coffee grinder: some grinding followed by a pathetic screeching noise and then a puff of fire and smoke out the back, prompting me to throw it into a handy nearby snowdrift. Epic fail, but points for special effects.
- Cheap blade grinder specially bought for this purpose in case it also dies screaming: success!
A few 5-10 second pulses in the blade grinder made my spent grains more flour-sized. If you want you can also try and filter out the remaining husk bits, but I have not noticed them much even when using the grains whole. In this bread, you are throwing in whole spent grains anyway so it doesn’t matter. If you want to make something more refined, shake the flour through a wire mesh strainer. If you brew beer, perhaps you already own one… the mesh does have to be pretty open for any of the flour to get through, though.
I used the spent grains from Big Chief Hazel. Yummy smoky nuttiness.
Spent Grain / Spent Grain Flour No-Knead Bread
- 1 cup spent grain flour
- 3 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup spent grains (not flour)
- 2 T salt
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 cups water
The instructions are unchanged from Mark Bittman’s version (my version is based off the ingredient list in the version of this recipefrom How to Cook Everything but the technique is the same). The spent grains can be added at the same time as everything else is mixed together in the beginning.
Tada! I sprinkled the top with more spent grains but they got a little too toasty so I would skip that next time. And I’m new to bread-blogging so I forgot the obligatory photo of the interior with the crumb. But I promise it was good! If only I had something to drink with it…