Spent grain bread

We mentioned the historical practice of baking bread with the barm from the pot. Another thing you can do is use the grains leftover after you brewed, called “spent grains,” to make a lovely bread.

During the first two days of ferment, scoop out some of the foam from the top — about 1/4 cup is what Shelley used here.

Baking with barm is a bit of a novelty, we will admit. After all, you can pick up yeast at the store pretty much 24/7. But we’ve enjoyed the flavor and texture of spent grains in bread for quite some time. When you make your braggot, give it a try.

Looking down into a bowl, showing a pile of spent grains in the water/egg mixture.
The spent grains add moisture to the dough, so you need to be flexible with your flour addition and add more as necessary.

Shelley’s bread baking is a bit of an inexact science. She starts with a cup of spent grains, 3/4 cup of water, the scoop of barm, a dollop of honey or sugar (about 2 tablespoons), 2 teaspoons of salt, an egg, 1 cup of wheat flour and white flour to make a satisfactory dough.

A satisfactory dough — a little elastic, and just a little sticky to the touch.

Let rise, shape, bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes…

Where’s the butter?

This loaf probably would have benefited from an extra tablespoon or so of gluten to balance the grains and wheat flour–Shelley feels the crumb’s a little big–but it suits perfectly for a bowl of soup.