Monday, January 26, 2015

Spent Grain Slider Rolls

Do you have any microbreweries near you? Chances are that you do. They seem to be sprouting up all over the place. Aside from making some amazing beer (which is a beverage that I happen to be a fan of), they are a great source for a delicious by-product: Spent grain. Spent grain is malted barley (sometimes roasted, too) that has had most of its sugars extracted for use in the fermenting process.

Any brewery will likely be more than willing to give you spent grain. You'll want to get it soon after it's done being used in the brewing process. I've read that it may begin to produce off-flavors if it sits too long. Your local brewery should be able to tell you when they are brewing so you can pick some up when it’s nice and fresh.

It's a shame to let this grain go to waste. It has tons of flavor left after it's steeped and can be used in cooking and baking. I finally got to try this for myself using a recipe from Donna's new book, Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day, which you can buy on Amazon! I adapted her Honey-Potato Buns into slider rolls using spent grain from Wild Heaven Craft Beers, a local Atlanta brewery.

To store your spent grain, put a few cups in a freezer bag, squish out the air, flatten the bag and put it in the freezer. This makes it easy to store and easy to break off a chunk when you’re ready to bake. Baking the rolls in an 8 x 8 glass baking dish makes 9 perfect slider rolls, ready to use for serving mini hamburgers or your favorite sandwich, with a beer of course!

Spent Grain Slider Rolls
by Jennifer
Adapted from Honey-Potato Buns in Donna Currie’s book Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-in-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day

2 ounces (1/2 cup loosely packed) spent grain
4 3/4 ounces (1 cup plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons) bread flour
2 Tablespoons potato flakes
2 Tablespoons dry milk
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon water

The day before you want to bake the bread, process the two ounces of thawed spent grain in a food processor until finely ground and set aside. Mix the next 6 ingredients (flour through the salt) in a medium bowl. Add the processed grain to the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Place the flour mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, stir in the water on low speed. Depending on the water content of your spent grain, you may need to add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Switch out the dough hook for the paddle and knead on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add the butter and knead until fully incorporated into dough, about 2 more minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand 45 minutes.

Spray an 8 x 8 glass pan with non-stick cooking spray. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 9 equal portions. Roll each into a ball and lay the balls in three rows of three, evenly spaced. Cover pan with plastic wrap and put pan into refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, remove pan from the refrigerator and heat the oven to 350°F for one hour. Whisk egg with one teaspoon water and brush mixture over the tops of the dough balls. Bake rolls for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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