Sunday, March 13, 2011

free ingredient: spent grains

Ian has been brewing his beer from whole grains (malt, barley, etc).  After boiling out all the sugar and starches from the grains, they still are full of protein and fiber and have many uses:
compost (of course), livestock feed (chickens love them), and baking! here's my favorite spent grain recipe i've adapted from Alewife:

Spent Grain Pizza or Focaccia

1 pkg. dry bread yeast (or catch your own)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp local honey
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T local honey
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup bread flour
1 cup spent grains
1/2 cup water
2 ½ - 3 cups bread flour
olive oil for bowl
flour to sprinkle bread board
course corn meal

Proof yeast by mixing with ½ cup warm water and ½ tsp honey. Let sit a few minutes until a layer of foam appears. In large mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, honey, and salt. Blend in yeast mixture and 1 cup flour. In a food processor, buzz 1 cup spent grains and ½ cup water for a couple minutes until semi smooth. Add grains to yeast slurry and mix together well. Add remaining 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well with each addition. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well until elastic and shiny. then, form into a ball. Drizzle a little olive oil into a bowl, add the dough ball and turn to coat. Cover bowl with one of those plastic grocery bags you’ve got shoved in a drawer and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour. When ready to use, push dough down, deflating it. Bring sides in to center and flip dough over. Put dough out onto floured board and pat out evenly.

For pizza: cut dough into 8 equal sized pieces for individual pizzas. Shape each piece into an evenly round ball and place on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with course corn meal. Cover with those plastic bags and let rest for a ½ hour. Place baking stone or quarry tiles in oven and preheat at 500º for a ½ hour. Pat and pull pizza dough to flatten add desired toppings and let rest, covered, another 15 minutes. Carefully transfer to the baking stone and bake about 8-12 minutes.

For focaccia: form half the dough into long loaf on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Decorate focaccia with slashes, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt or top with herbs, garlic, or caramelized onions. Cover and let rest for about a ½ hour. Preheat your baking stone at 400º and bake focaccia for about a ½ hour.

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