I have discovered a new love...yeast breads. Well, ok, maybe I'm still a bit nervous about yeast breads in general (I'm trying to get over it) but I have absolutely fallen in love with Peter Reinhart's spent grain bread. Spent grains, as I found out, are the grains left over from brewing beer.
When I first read about this bread I knew that I had to bake it. Maybe it was the name ("Spent Grain" just sounds so, well, rustic and homey) Maybe it was imagining the flavor of whole grains slightly sweetened with just a bit of honey. Whatever the case, I immediately set about figuring out how to get my hands on some spent grains. I debated calling up local breweries but I absolutely HATE calling people I don't know to ask for things, even businesses, and so I shelved the recipe in the back of my mind as something I would absolutely have to make...someday.
Flash foreward to this weekend. My boyfriend is perpetually coming up with new and usually complicated projects. He constructed a forge and began creating beautiful hooks and knives. He made himself a carving knife and took up whittling. He became a computer technician of sorts (a skill that I am often grateful for). Do you see where I'm headed?...No? Well, his most recent hobby was beermaking. An idea that I, imagining loaves and loaves of bread, enthusiastically encouraged him in.
And so, finally, this weekend I was able to bake my first batch of this amazing bread. The flavors were even better than I could have imagined. Slightly nutty whole wheat flour combined beautifully with the sweetness of honey and the earthy flavors of the grain (which also contributed wonderful crunch and texture).
By the end of the weekend I produced 4 loaves and 15 rolls. More bread than I have any idea what to do with, but I'm sure I'll find something...
By the way, you can find the recipe here. Be warned it makes a lot...and I made it twice! :)