April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
Anyone else out there have a freezer full of blackened bananas that you threw in when they got a little too ripe on the counter, and now they are just waiting for their chance to be banana bread? Oh yeah, and a bunch of spent grains in need of a home? Well, this might be my favorite spent grain recipe yet. The nuttiness of spent grains subs well in the classic banana-nut combo (but without the nut allergies, if you or your homebrewing buddies have issues with that), and the texture of whole spent grains plus spent grain flour is a great counterpart to this moist bread.
Spent Grain Banana Bread
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
for three loaves (just divide by three for one loaf… I had a lot of frozen bananas… but the bread freezes well, so why not make a big batch!):
- 2.5 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (6 oz) spent-grain flour
- 4.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2.25 sticks butter (18 tablespoons) at room temperature
- 6 eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 3 cups mashed banana (from about six-eight bananas) at room temperature
- 1.5 cups (about 7 oz) loosely packed spent grains (not flour)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease and flour three loaf pans.
- Cream butter and sugar until creamy on medium speed with a hand or stand mixer or a rubber spatula.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
- Beat the eggs and the banana in to your butter/sugar mixture.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three additions, beating each time until thoroughly mixed.
- Gently fold in the whole spent grains.
- Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
- Try not to eat the entire loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Or try spent grain banana muffins! (Just reduce the baking time.)
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…
April 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
While the Brew Captain brews, I wander around and try to be helpful. But if left unsupervised I tend to start baking. So thanks to Brooklyn Brewer, this happened while we brewed Bonne Idee. Check out their website for a whole bunch of spent grain ideas, and stay tuned for some more experimentation…
Belgian Special B Spent Grain Scones
- 3/4 cup spent grain like Belgian Special B
- 1.5 cup all purpose flour
- 6 oz shredded low-fat cheese (we had a Trader Joe’s blend on hand)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter – 2 melted with the milk, 4 cold
- 1/2 cup skim milk and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, mixed to curdle
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
The instructions are the same as the Brooklyn Brewer recipe, so wander on over there and check out their site because it is awesome.
- I used the spent grain straight from the brew bag, but if you are making the recipe later you have to either dry them out really really well (in a dehydrator, or in a barely warm oven for 8-24 hours thinly spread on cookie sheets) or just freeze them.
- I didn’t have buttermilk so I subbed it with milk and vinegar as above, which is not the same but works in a pinch if you have a spontaneous scone-making session.
- Once you cut your scones and before you put them in the oven, space them out more than I did above because they will rise and spread a bit.
How did they turn out? Well, let’s just say I was too distracted by eating them to take a picture once they came out of the oven… Recycling is delicious!