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Spent Grain Sesame Bread

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Step 1: Ingredients

Baking bread with spent grains, requires you to get spent grains from somewhere. If you're not in the lucky position to be a all grain homebrewer like me and many others around the world, you might consider becoming one. It's very rewarding.
Let's get serious again. If you know a homebrewer, ask him or go to a brew pub or a microbrewery. You could ask in a homebrew supply shop as well.
For two breads, you need something in the range of 1-2 cups wet spent grains. I dried two cookie trays about half a inch thick. This will be enough for 5-6 breads. I set the oven to 100C / 212F first to let it dry. This takes a couple of hours with a spoon in the oven door to let the moisture out. Next time, i will let it dry under the sun to conserve energy.
When it's dry, i raise the temperature to 170C / 340 F for around 15-30 minutes to roast it a little bit. Maybe it's a good idea to take some of the unroasted grains to compare the color. Just roast it lightly, otherwise it will get burnt and bitter.
As a next step, i ground up the dried spent grains a little bit. Otherwise, there are whole husks in your bread and they will stick between your teeth.



spent grains 50g / 1.8 oz

sesame seeds 50g / 1.8 oz

bread flour 500g / 17.6 oz / 1.1 lb

active dried yeast 1-2g / 15-30 Grains (0.5-1 teaspoon)

salt 16g / 0.56 oz (2.5 teaspoons)

water 390ml / 13.2 fl oz



I also roasted the sesame seeds a little bit in order to enhance the flavour. As you can see on the pictures, the roasting darkened the seeds only slightly. (Roasting nuts, grains and seeds enhances the flavour in cooking and baking. The seeds, that are on the crust get roasted while baking, but the crumb won't get hotter than 100C / 212F so they don't roast)
Try to get your hands on a strong gluten-rich bread flour, you can look for a 11-13% protein content.

I have made this recipe several times after obtaining some spent grain from a local brewery. It is wonderful, chewy, crusty, delicious! The aroma when it is in the preferment stage is amazing! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

eiaukea2 years ago
I baked this bread last night and it was incredible! I used my bread machine to mix and knead as t.rohner advised and it was incredible easy. I use the no-knead method but with the machine it was just as simple - I used the pizza cycle in both the sponge/starter stage and the kneading and let it run just in the first kneading stage - I also let the rise happen in the machine. It made two large batard loaves with amazing crust (I use a pizza stone, pan of water on the bottom rack and mist several times during the first 5 minutes). I dried and processed (several cups at a time in the food processor) many cups of spent grains from my husband's weekend brew, which are now stored in pre-measured bags in our freezer in preparation for many more loaves. The only thing I will try differently next time is to substitute some of the bread flour for more of the spent grains - starting with 100g.

Cheers to t. roher for the awesome recipe and extremely complete and easy to follow instructions!
anipych2 years ago
My wife thanks you.
mr squeaky2 years ago
t.rohner, thanks for posting this.

I tried making this bread and it all worked well - however, after i added the second part of the flour, it was still very runny (too much liquid). I added quite a bit more extra flour (100 - 200g and it stayed very liquidly.

I was very careful about measuring the exact amounts of ingredents, apart from the yeast (I may have added too much). Could this be a problem?

Anyway, it was still quite runny when I did the final proofing and it didn't hold its shape (it made cow pat shaped bread!). Despite the shape, it tasted very nice - I think I'm hooked on bread making as well as beer making, thanks to you.

BTW, I used the spent grain from an Irish Red Ale - it gave the bread the texture of wholemeal bread.
t.rohner (author)  mr squeaky2 years ago
Hello fellow brewer.

I just checked the recipe and found, that the water content might indeed be a little high.
As a rule of thumb, you can say that 60% water makes a rather stiff "dry" dough, 70% makes a slack "wet" dough.
So for 500g of flour, that's a range from 300-350ml of water.
Your numbers may vary...

I sometimes make bread with a water content up to 78%, but this is best kneaded heavily with a machine. The dough needs special handling, I don't degas it and use water on my hands against sticking.
Then i somehow form it and immediately shove it into a very hot oven, before it can flow to a blob.

Back to the spent grain bread. If you dried the spent grain, it will take up some water. If i calculate the water takeup the same as for flour, it gives 385ml for 550g at 70%.

But then, different flours have different water holding capabilities.
As stated in my "plain bread" instructable, you probably need to reduce the water content. (70ml for 100g of additionally added flour)

I like breads with a water content at the upper end. It's has a chewier crumb, has a nice crust and a good oven spring. But the dough handling is a sticky business ;-)


sunshiine2 years ago
If I had everything I would be baking right now! Thanks for sharing.
suckrpnch3 years ago
I tried this around the time you first published it, but I skipped the preferment. Now that you have convinced me on the preferment, I am going to try it again on my next batch. My old breads actually weren't bad, it just took a bit of experimentation to keep it from being like a brick. I also have switched to all-grain brewing from partial mash and extract since I last used the grains in bread, so I have a lot more grain to get rid of. Thanks! Another idea for spent grains and bread is to take the wet grain and sprinkle it on top of your loaf before you put it into the oven, like you would sesame seeds for example. They get crispy and are kind of nice.
t.rohner (author)  suckrpnch3 years ago
A preferment is important for a good flavour, but you already found that out. To get a fluffy crumb, just give it a long enough final proof.(60-120 minutes) Doughs with high yeast content, (as recommended on the yeast packets) can also have depleted the available sugars for a decent final proof.(overrisen dough)
pscherer3 years ago
Had I read this two hours ago I wouldn't have thrown away the grain from a batch of beer I am brewing this morning.  Oh well next time.
t.rohner (author)  pscherer3 years ago
We just brewed a second batch of  "Berliner Weisse" on saturday. We didn't do it the traditional way. We made a mash on friday evening and after cooling it below 50C added 10% of the grist we held back. This way we added lactic bacteria and let it work overnight.
Saturday morning we gave the now soured mash another saccarification rest.
The PH fell from 5.5 on friday to 4.4 on saturday. We boiled it with not much hops and ferment it rather cool.
We also bottled our first batch on saturday. I think this turns out very refreshing, even now without carbonation and too warm.
I will go in the woods to collect some woodruff to make sirup. The woodruff sirup will be ready, when our Weisse has conditioned in the bottles.
I was thinking about brewing a Weisse for quite some time, but i was a bit intimidated by the fact that i need lactos in the fermenter.(HDPE fermenters)
Then i found this sour mash method somewhere online. I realized, that it fits on our equipement perfectly.
crazyboy5 years ago
Just made these. I used grain from an imperial stout so the bread ended up brown. I slashed the bread but it didn't turn out like yours after baking. The bread is very dense but looks tasty. It's still hot.
t.rohner (author)  crazyboy4 years ago
Ok, how did it rise in main fermentation. (Double size is about ok, depending on how much spent grain you added.) Then maybe you should prolong the final proofing another half hour, if it turned out too dense for your taste.
Do you have a pizza stone of some sort? It's really important to shove it into a very hot oven. The stone makes for a very fast heat transfer to the dough. You also increase the thermal mass of your oven with a stone. This is important to get a good oven spring, before the crust forms. This happens in the frist 2-5 minutes in the oven.

Imperial stout huh... Mmhh beer... Homer is drooling...

We just finished our wheat brewing season with a regular blonde wheat, a slightly overhopped (for the style) hop wheat, a raspberry and a sour cherry wheat. Last saturday we started our "Munich Helles" series, my all time favourites. (I'm only two hours away from Munich by car...)
By the way, do you know "Obatzta". It's a bavarian beer garden treat. Take this as a starting point. Wonderful with homemade pretzels.
http://www.recipezaar.com/Bavarian-Cheese-Dip-Obatzda-85034
bullet-head5 years ago
Thank you for posting this, 5*.
byoho5 years ago
I homebrew, so I'm gonna try this. I imagine if you are using grain from a batch of "hop heavy" beer like an IPA, the bread would be rather bitter though. Any thoughts? Great idea, by the way.
littlejon byoho5 years ago
The bitterness from an IPA comes from the hops not generally the 2 row and crystal grain bill. The only flavoring offsets youd get is if you had a stout grain bill or a porter, where the smoked malts and flavored malts like chocolate, etc may come through. not a bad thing though would taste pretty good i'd imagine!
t.rohner (author)  byoho5 years ago
How do you brew? Or better asked, do you mash-hop? I read about it, but i have never done it. In my "normal" brewing, the spent grains are separated from the liquids after mashing in the lautering step. Only after this, the hops is added in the boiler. So it won't come in contact with the spent grains. I think it's the same, when you do a partial mash. (I do all grain exclusively) If you don't add the hops to the mash, there is no bitterness in the spent grains.
byoho t.rohner5 years ago
In many of the recipes I've used, the flavoring hops are added toward the end of the grain steeping. The aroma hops are added later, after the grains have been removed. I haven't worked my way up to all grain yet, started w/ kits, went to recipes that usually include canned malt & grain. I will be "graduating" to all grain soon. I will definitely try your recipe with the next batch. You can't get much "greener" than that.
canida5 years ago
This sounds excellent! Fantastic details, and beautiful pictures. I can't wait to try it.
dan moulton5 years ago
Yum. How about a whole grain brewing ible? Would love to know more.about that too.
t.rohner (author)  dan moulton5 years ago
There already is one, search for "How to brew beer". The first in the list is quite a detailed instructable about all grain brewing. In the comments you can see some pictures of our "brewery"...
skeptikool5 years ago
It looks very wholesome. I've just finished making a bran beer and was quite happy to toss the used bran in with my morning oatmeal. Sure it would have worked in a bread mix too.
thingy5 years ago
That looks delicious. You've obviously made a loaf or two before.
t.rohner (author)  thingy5 years ago
In fact, i bake for 16 years now. But i made the breaktrough only a couple of years ago. This was because most of the baking books led me into the wrong direction. These have been filled with tons of recipes, but omitted the importance of the procedures.(or the authors didn't know it themselves) Living in a region with many good bakeries, this was a bit depressing. I didn't want to compare my work with supermarket industrial breads. Finally i found a hint on the net. This site had the right books mentioned in the bibliography. That was the point when i was ready to take off. When you understand the procedures, formulating recipes is a breeze.
LinuxH4x0r5 years ago
Looks really good! If killerjackalope didn't already do it, I would have featured it
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