Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spent grain bread, I will defeat you.

I've been on this mission to bake glorious bread out of all the spent grain created in the kitchen. Austin has really been picking up the pace on the brewing so it's a rather large amount and if I'm ever going to acheive my dream of beer cheese soup in a spent grain sourdough bread bowl I need to practice.

I was a bread baking machine as a child. I could bake anything and generally had really good results.

At least that's how I remember it. Maybe other people were just being nice because I was a little kid and I didn't know any better, but I think they would have brought it up at some point in the last 20 years.

Somehow I've lost my ability to bake since I moved back to Kansas which really irks me. I'd come to rely on my ability to make anything well on the first try and that hasn't really been happening.

At all.

I even burnt my own birthday tarte tatin. It was very sad for everyone involved.

My first go at the spent grain bread was pretty good, but the recipe claimed it made three loaves. I made it into three, but they weren't the three big beautiful loaves I'd hoped for. When baked in my seriously large loaf pans they were smallish and the slices was rectangular instead of roughly square.

No good, but easily fixable. I'd just put that same recipe in two pans instead of three.

The next week I attempted spent grain hamburger buns. The grain we have was obviously wetter than assumed in the recipe; I'd had to add quite a bit of flour to the dough the week before so I decided to ditch the milk entirely.

That's not a great idea.

You also should make sure the spent grain isn't practically frozen cold. It doesn't raise well and we basically had a collection of spent grain weights. They were pretty tasty though. Just exceptionally filling.

Sunday I made another attempt at loaves. I didn't get the grains warm enough and the dough took forever to rise. I ended up putting it in the microwave for 30 seconds several times and it eventually made some headway. I got impatient waiting for the loaves to rise, put them in the refrigerator, and went to bed.

I took them out Monday after work and let them warm up. I didn't wait long enough. They looked like they'd about doubled and would be perfect after baking. They were still cold in the middle, or at least that's what I assume based on the fact that they sank and were all doughy in the centers.

Lets hope my results improve.

Ever freaking onward.

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