Spent Grain Beer Bread

After you brew a batch of all-grain beer, you end up with a lot of leftover spent grain (usually 10 to 15 pounds worth depending on the batch). Most of the sugars have been extracted and passed on into the beer, but there is still plenty of goodness left just waiting to be used.  So, we’re taking a little bit of a turn for this next post. I’ve heard that making bread with spent grains is pretty common, so I looked online and found some recipes for “beer bread”.  I scooped up a few cups of wet, spent grains from my Hefeweizen batch and got to work. This was the first recipe I found after doing some google-ing.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 cups spent grain
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup milk
I ground up half the grains in a blender with the milk, then just threw in the rest of grain in its current state (still moist from the mash). I have a small bread machine and it’s pretty great for making small batches of bread. Put everything in (dry then wet), then I set to the “light” crust mode and let it go!

The result? Delicious.  Very dense and hearty – the grains really do add a nice malty sweetness to it which tastes amazing.  It’s a little too heavy for a sandwich, but a slice toasted with (or without) a thin layer of butter is really a treat.  This will be great in the mornings for breakfast with milk, or as a late snack paired with a beer before bed. The second egg might have made the dough a little too wet, so I might knock it down to just one next time. I saved a few containers of grain and froze them to make later.

Success! And man, was this easy. Three hours to bake and you have some quality bread to munch on after having brewed beer all morning. Amazing.

UPDATE (1/5/12):  I’ve actually gotten away from using the bread machine for making this. The dough is really heavy from all the grains so it has a hard time cooking thoroughly in a smaller confined baking kettle. I still use the machine to mix the dough (just set it to “dough” mode), and then let it rise to the top of the kettle. Once it has risen to the top, take it out, split it into two equal sized dough balls, put into two smaller baking pans. Beat them down and let rise one more time in the oven on the lowest temp (mine is around 170F). Once the dough has risen to the top of the baking pan, turn the oven up to 350 and bake around 45 minutes. Place a piece of tin foil over the tops of each pan to prevent the bread from browning too much.  Stick a fork/knife in the middle make sure the inside is fully cooked and doesn’t stick to any dough.

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