There is nothing more DIY than brewing your own beer from grain, but all of that great brew comes with a hell of a lot of spent grain gone to waste. So what to do with it all? Don't throw it away, make bread!
That's exactly what Matt Weintraub and Zhi Long Yang from B.R.E.W. FIU
are doing, with a little help from chef Roger Probst from the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Yang and Weintraub were happy to share their recipe and the method to utilizing spent grain waste to make delicious tasting whole grain bread. It's not as hard as you think.
The bread is not completely made from spent grain, although it's possible if that's what you prefer. There are a number of different ways to use the grain. For instance, instead of making flour, you could simply toss the grains into a dough mixture to bake a loaf of whole grain bread.
This recipe maximizes the use of grain while retaining some of the chewiness of 'regular' bread. It calls for roughly 80 percent spent grain, 20 percent wheat flour and the reason for this is to give the final product some flexibility and texture.
2 pounds of stone ground wheat flour
One tablespoon of honey
16 ounces of warm water
One tablespoon of dry yeast
8 pounds of spent grain flour
4 cups of water
One cup of dry malt extract
60 ounces of beer
6 ounces of used brewing yeast
One teaspoon of olive oil
3 1/2 ounces of salt
7 1/2 ounces of butter
To begin you will need to make a "biga", or a starter dough. First measure the wheat flour, toss it in a mixing bowl. Measure the water, mix in the yeast, then let it bloom for about five to 10 minutes. Measure the honey, take the yeast water and toss it all in the bowl. Mix it around for a bit.
Most of you won't be using professional baking equipment, so just be sure to have a mixing bowl large enough to hold the ingredients.
The mixture will tend to get a little dry, so add about four more ounces of water to give it some consistency. The dough will start to form. Slap it around the bowl for a few more minutes.
The dough will be a little sticky, so coat it with some olive oil to make it easier to work with. Roll it into a ball, place it in a bowl, then cover with a cloth and place it in cooler for about 15 hours to let it ferment a little (the wait can be shorter, but the longer the wait, the deeper the flavor).
Meanwhile, grab your spent grain from your latest beer project. It will still be wet from the boil, therefore it must be dried. Dry it in the oven at a low temp, 160 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep moisture out. This prevents mold from growing and it's easier to grind into flour. To preserve the dryness, place it in the freezer until it's ready to use.
As the biga is fermenting, measure eight pounds of dried spent grain and grind it up, preferably with a stone grinder. If you don't have one, a coffee grinder works fine.
Presuming the biga is ready, mix the spent grain flour into it, adding 60 ounces of beer, the butter (cut the butter in chunks) and the salt. The chunks of grain will absorb more water, so a little extra cerveza may be necessary.
Measure the used brewing yeast. Before you add the yeast, you must prepare it first in order to make the bread rise. Combine four cups of water to one cup of dry malt extract and then boil it for 15 minutes. At this point you are making a "mini beer". Then take it off and put it a container and let it cool to a lukewarm temperature. Using an ice bath helps it cool faster. Then add the six ounces of used brewing yeast and let it bloom for three to four hours.
Now you add the yeast mixture into the secondary dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until you get arthritis, whichever comes first. You must knead the spent grain dough more because it is less flexible. The yeast needs to eat too, so maybe a bit more honey or sugar--and the salt--will help the bread rise.
Form the dough into an elongated roll, place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 45 minutes between 400 degrees, depending on how hard you want the crust. Take it out and let it chill.
There you have it. Pair the bread with the same variety of beer made from the brewing yeast Serve it with a compound butter of honey, thai basil and blood orange zest. You can also make pretzels from the same recipe. Other uses for spent grain flour: tempura batter, hamburger coating and pie crusts. Prost!
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