A while back we wrote a post about using spent grain from brewing to make bread, an idea we nicked from Aran Brew.
Tom Fryer, of Oxford Bottled Beer Database, has taken the idea to it’s logical conclusion by replacing the milk with stout. His recipe, and our attempt at it, is after the jump.
“Recipe for spent grain/unspent grain/beer bread
(Note to self: might need a catchier name)
- 5 cups of white flour
- 2.5 cups of spent grain (from a pale ale grist in this case – mostly pale with a dash of crystal)a mixed handful of unused malted grains (as an alternative to mixed seeds – I used pale, crystal and wheat malt)
- An ounce of fresh baker’s yeast
- A teaspoon of sugar
- Most of a 500 ml bottle of stout
- Mix the flour, spent grain and fresh grain in a warm bowl, then make a big dent in the middle and leave it somewhere warm.
- Mix the yeast and sugar together in a smaller warm bowl, then add some of the beer (about a quarter to a third).
- Pour the resulting murky liquid into the dent in the dry ingredients, dust with a bit of flour and leave somewhere warm for 20 minutes or so, by which time the surface of the liquid should be bubbly. This is also a good opportunity to inhale the delicious malty yeastiness
- Mix up all the ingredients (with or without the help of a small child – only recommended if you have a relaxed attitude to chaos). Use enough beer to make a moist dough (I used a little over 400 ml). Knead it until it leaves the sides of the bowl and your hands (but not the small child) relatively clean. Cover it and leave it in a warm place for about an hour and a half. Remove excess dough from small child’s hands, face, hair and clothing. Finish beer.
- Show small child how much the ball of dough has grown – this helps to rekindle enthusiasm. Inhale some more.
- Knead the dough again for a bit (small child stays much cleaner this time), shape it into loaves and place them in warm, lightly greased loaf tins or baking trays. Leave them somewhere warm for another 20 minutes.
- Place in a hot oven (without help of small child) at around 220°C for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to around 190 for another 30–40 minutes, or until you get a hollow sound when you knock the bottom of the loaf.
- Cool under a damp tea towel for a softer crust.
I was delighted with the results of this, as were my wife and son, but unfortunately we had invited some friends over that afternoon and they demolished both loaves, so I only managed to eat a couple of slices. Next time I might try increasing the spent grain proportion again, and maybe even see what happens with yeast skimmed off the top of a fermenting beer instead of baker’s yeast – any idea if this is likely to work? I suspect there’s a limit to the number of different beer ingredients you can turn into bread.”
I had a go at Tom’s recipe — like him, I can’t help tinkering with a recipe, so I used 3 cups of plain flour, one cup of wholemeal and one cup of rye. I also used a mix of pumpkin and sunflower seeds instead of grains. We didn’t have fresh yeast, so I used two tsps of dried. Finally, on Tom’s advice, I added a couple of teaspoons of salt.
I also found that I only needed about 300ml of stout (we used one of our homebrews). I found that the dough didn’t rise much outside the oven, but once in it rose very respectably. It tasted pretty good — moist and wholesome. When I do it again, I’ll probably add another tsp of salt and perhaps a tablespoon of honey or even treacle to sweeten the stout a little.