Natural Sourdough with Spent Beer Grains

The beer scene here in New Mexico has really taken off with some of the country’s top ranking breweries, and several of their recent entries in the Great American Beer Festival have earned gold, silver and bronze medals. Notably, Marble Brewery 1 was named Small Brewing Company of the Year — amazing thing for a city like Albuquerque. With so much beer talk and so many beer purchasing options for every night of the week, it’s also motivated many would-be-brewers to try their hand right in their own homes. Shops around town sell a multitude of grain varieties from all over the world and all the tools and necessities one would need to get started. Several of my good friends have picked up this (dare I say it?) important hobby and have made some stunningly good beer, so good I could have sworn they picked up a microbrew 6-pack and did a behind-the-scenes-swap before I could spot them.

It’s interesting to hear my friends talk about beer, because you know what, it sounds exactly like the sort of processes we bakers go through to make a great loaf of bread. Yeast, bacteria, fermentation, sugar & starches, and temperature control: all the things we wrestle and wrangle with to cajole those tall, dark loaves out of the oven. As one of my friends quipped, “fermentation, man, it’s a wonderful thing.” Indeed.

You might have heard somewhere, at some point, that beer is simply “liquid bread”. Well, there is actually a little bit of truth to that statement. German monks adhering to their religious duties at certain times of the year2 would abstain from eating almost all solid foods. One way to “cope” with this restriction was to cook and ferment their bread grains, thereby converting their bread into “liquid bread” to be consumed in copious quantities. Sounds more like a 46 day party than religious atonement.

Spent beer grains

I digress. As my friends and I chatted on, and I discovered more and more about their process, I found there is actually a fair amount of waste when a batch of beer is made. Grains that are soaked to release starches as food for brewer’s yeast are essentially thrown out after they produce what’s needed, wasting what could be used as a nutritious component to many dishes. More on the process below, but I asked a few of them to save their spent grains for me so I can perform a set of test bakes and determine what taste profile these grains would impart on the resultant bread. In a few words: a very hearty bread. I’ll get back to the taste and flavor later on but that sums it up in a nutshell.

What exactly are “spent grains”?

One of the first steps in brewing beer is to make food for brewer’s yeast to consume and produce alcohol. This step is dubbed “mashing”: hot water is mixed with grains, usually malted barley, which converts the starches in the malted grain to a sugary liquid that will later be used in conjunction with the brewer’s yeast to start fermentation. As fermentation progresses the yeast metabolizes the sugars in the liquid producing alcohols and carbon dioxide, essentially turning this liquid (“wort”) into beer. This is very similar to how our sourdough starters ferment, feeding off the sugars converted from the starches in flour, producing alcohols, acids, and carbon dioxide.

After the sweet, starchy liquid is extracted from mashing the leftover grains, these now, spent grains, are no longer needed. Some breweries will either donate or sell the spent grains to farms for feeding livestock or a variety of other uses. For the home brewer, however, it is usually thrown away or composted.

Instead of just pitching these grains, why not put them to good use, like, in bread.

Preserving Spent Beer Grains

Like other cooked grains I’d imagine these would last probably a week or so in the fridge. My friend’s small batch of beer produced quite a big bag for me to use and I ended up freezing three-quarters of the bag for a later date. I simply wrapped the grains up in several layers of saran wrap and placed them into two nested freezer bags.

Next time I receive a large bag like this I plan to split them up into small bags with a small amount in each, say 250 grams like I used in the recipe below, and then just defrost a bag at a time per my baking requirements.

Prepare the stiff levain – 9:30am

For a description of my stiff starter and levain, see my earlier post on its benefits and how it compares to my typical liquid one. For this bread I decided to use my stiff starter to help confer strength to the highly hydrated final dough.

Weight Ingredient
50g Mature stiff starter
50g Giusto’s whole wheat flour
50g Central Milling Organic Arstisan Bakers Craft (malted, unbleached white flour)
65g H2O @ 85ºF

Keep your stiff levain in a warm area and wait about 5 or so hours until it’s matured enough to leaven your dough. Time to take a walk with the dog, do some chores, or if you’re like me, read some more about sourdough and plan for the next bake.

Stiff sourdough starter and levain

You can see above just how stiff my levain is, so stiff you almost tear it out of the bowl to lay on top in preparation for mixing. It makes for a bit more work when incorporating the levain, but it does help strengthen up the dough.

Autolyse & Mix – 1:40pm

We will do a one hour autolyse with this dough.


You will want to keep in mind with this recipe that spent grains will still have quite a bit of water contained within, unless whomever gave them to you dried them out. When I received my bag they were still very wet, almost like a porridge. Adjust the hydration of your dough to suit: start with lower hydration, maybe around 700g, and increase in small increments. I ended up here at 800g total water and I could have done with about 20g less in the end, but the crust & crumb didn’t suffer — I got lucky.

Gather the following:

Weight Ingredient Baker’s Percentage
100g Giusto’s whole wheat flour 10%
50g Bob’s Red Mill Dark Rye Flour (optional) 5%
850g Central Milling Organic Arstisan Bakers Craft (malted) 85%
800g H2O @ 97ºF 80%
20g Fine sea salt 2%
200g Ripe, stiff levain (amount increased from last time due to cold weather) 20%
250g Spent beer grains 25%

Perform the following for your autolyse:

  1. In a thick bowl add all the flour
  2. Add 750g of your water (the rest is reserved until later when we add in the levain & salt after the autolyse)
  3. Mix these ingredients by hand until all the dry bits are incorporated
  4. Cover with wrap and keep near your levain for 1 hour (in my case in the oven to keep warm)

Slap & Fold Mix after your autolyse – 2:40pm

After our one hour autolyse has elapsed, and you’ve done all the research for your next bake, break up the stiff levain on top of the dough and pour on the 20g salt. Pour the remaining warm water on top to help dissolve things and to prepare for mixing.

Lately I’ve eliminated the two-step process of adding levain, mixing, adding salt, and mixing. Now, this doesn’t mean I only do one set of slap and folds, but I haven’t noticed any significant difference if mixing is done first without salt and then with salt. I could conjecture here, though, that adding salt might do some damage to the gluten network while strengthening after so many slap and folds, but I haven’t seen any proof of this.

Add the salt and levain at the same time and then proceed with mixing.

Slap and fold for about 5-8 minutes until the dough looks smooth and doesn’t stick to the counter. Return dough to the bowl and let rest for just a minute, then proceed to do another slap and fold session for about 5 minutes until the dough again looks smooth and has some strength to it.

We do a fairly intensive set of mixing here to help get things started quickly: we want to build up strength in the dough before we add much more hydration later, in the form of spent grains.

Final dough temperature: 74ºF (yup, still cold here!)
Ambient temperature: 80ºF

Bulk Fermentation – 3:00pm

Transfer your dough to a clear container to be used during bulk fermentation and let rest for the first 30 minutes. After the first 30 minutes has transpired, perform your first set of stretch and folds.

  1. 4:30pm – Turn Set 1
  2. 5:00pm – Turn Set 2 – Gently fold in your spent grains after turn set 2
  3. 6:00pm – Turn Set 3

After your second set of stretch and folds add in your spent grains until well incorporated. No need to brutally mix in the grains, just pour them on top and fold them in gently. Subsequent folds will further incorporate the grains. You might need a small splash of water here to help the grains mix in thoroughly.


I found that my dough only needed 3 sets of stretch and folds thanks to my initial medium development achieved during the two slap and fold sessions. If you find your dough is super slack and not holding shape in your container, continue to do stretch and folds until it feels right to you. I know that’s a nebulous statement, but really it’s hard to give any more description to this — deciding when to divide and shape your dough is one of the hardest things in baking.

Pre-shape – 7:45pm

Gently pour out the dough from your bulk container and divide the dough roughly into two halves. I sometimes misjudge here and have one loaf larger than the other, but c’est la vie. If you’re more of a perfectionist, cut down the middle and lift one side up onto your scale and compare to the other half. Do it quick!

Using almost no flour, spin the dough around with your bench knife in one hand and floured second hand. You want a somewhat tight boule resting on the counter, but no need to over tighten here. We’ll let these two rounds rest for 20 minutes until they spread out a bit and relax, this way we can do our final shaping with much more pliable dough.

Shape + Proof – 8:05, Then in Fridge at 10:40pm

It was starting to get into the darker parts of night at this point for me, but it wasn’t quite time to rest — we’ve got dough to shape. Shape each resting dough to your liking3 and place them into flour-dusted bannetons or kitchen bowls lined with a tea towel. Place these each into a plastic bag and let rest on the counter for 2 hours at room temperature (around 70ºF here). If it’s warmer where you are you can leave out just for 30 minutes to an hour and then into the fridge. We want to get that final proof off to a good start before popping into the fridge as the typical home fridge runs somewhere between 34ºF and 40ºF, whereas we really should be proofing for 12 hours or so closer to mid-40’s.

I always proof my dough in plastic bags in the fridge to prevent a thick “skin” from forming on the outside, inhibiting optimal oven spring.

After this two hour rest on the counter you should have noticed your dough rise just a bit with some air bubbles on top and possibly at the sides. Place your bannetons with wrap into the fridge to proof overnight, we will bake these in the morning.

Score + Bake – around 8:30am

Place your baking stone and Dutch oven in your oven and turn it to 500ºF for a 1 hour pre-heat. After one hour, take one of your bannetons out of the fridge and cut a piece of parchment paper to place on top. Take your peel and then put it on top of those two and quickly invert it so the dough is now resting on the parchment paper which is resting on the peel. If your dough has risen up above your basket’s edge don’t place the peel on top, smashing your dough. You want to be gentle here. You can quickly invert your basket with one hand on the basket and the other on the top of the dough to help it land softly on your parchment paper.

Score your sourdough

(Evidence of cold temps right above in that photo! My German Shepherd sure doesn’t mind, though)

Score the top of the dough quickly and assertively with whatever your imagination imparts in the morning. Here is where you might say my imagination is lacking given I always just do a crescent slash, well yeah maybe it is but there is just something about the look of that properly shaped batard with the ear reaching up to the sky — I just can’t get past that. Next time I do a boule I’ll spice it up, I swear.

Take out the shallow side of your Dutch oven and drag in your dough. Quickly place the pan back in the oven, cover with the deep side, and bake for 20 minutes at 500ºF. After 20 minutes, turn down the oven to 450ºF and cook covered for an additional 10 minutes. Once this 10 minute period is over, open the oven and take off the deep lid of the Dutch oven (set it next to the other half inside the oven), then cook for an additional 30 minutes or so, until the bread is to your desired doneness.


It’s a wonderful thing to be able to take what some consider excess and transform it into a splendid bread that has a very nutritious slant to it. Since making this natural sourdough with spent beer grains, and sharing with my beer-making-friend, we’ve come to an understanding. A gentleman’s agreement whereby he provides me with his superb beer and spent grains, and I bake him bread with said grains in return. A win-win and perhaps, just perhaps, the beginnings of my sustainable baking business/co-op…


A dark and brooding crust. When you spot it you know you’re in for a hefty piece. Reminds me a bit of rye, somehow. It was brittle no doubt about that, and crunchy in the mouth — wonderful. Because the grains held on to so much water this bread stayed moist inside almost the entire week I was eating it.



Tighter than my country bread, but understandably so given the addition of the sometimes sharp grain husks found within. To be forward, it is a great interior for this type of bread as it makes for the perfect vessel for that winter soup or stew. Heck, even a roast beef sandwich with heavy grain mustard, go all out with it.



A very hearty bake. I mentioned this in the beginning and I wanted to reiterate that here. Spent grains impart a very hefty, wheaty, nutty flavor to the bread — in a good way. After baking this I would hesitate to go any higher on the percentage of grains mixed in as it might overpower the other wheat and slightly-sour flavors in the bread. It almost has a whole wheat flavor to it, even though this was a predominantly white bread.


Hopefully I find some of you out there making this exact same bread, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on your results. Just remember to keep the added grain percentage at, or below, what I’ve used here to start. Additionally, if your spent grain source dries out the grains you’ll have to adjust the hydration of your bread to suit, and conversely, if you obtain grains in a “porridge” like consistency like myself be ginger with your dough hydration to start.

I really think this is going to be one of my staple breads for this year. Well, as long as my friend keeps brewing and providing me with his grains, and I think he will if I keep providing him my bread.

Buon appetito!

Recipe and method submitted to YeastSpotting.

  1. Marble is one of my favorite local microbreweries that has been in business here in Albuquerque for a long while now with a strong following.

  2. Strict rules for some monks denote that they are not allowed to eat solid food during certain periods of the religious calendar, most notably Lent.

  3. I seem to almost always default to shaping a batard, but sometimes a nice rustic boule is what’s called for.

  • Have you ever replaced all your water with 100% beer??

    • I have used around 200g but never the full 100%. I’m going to be revisiting my stout country sourdough bake and up the beer to around 400g!

      • I just made some bread with 100% home brewed beer and it was WAY too strong!! I have also used 100% O’douls and I just as well have used water…

  • I guess it depends on the beer that you are using…

    • I’ve tried with stout and the flavor was great, yes, I’d say it really depends on the type of beer you are using. I’m going to attempt this bake again here soon using a different type of stout with a few modifications. I think a wheat beer would also be great.

      O’douls… yes might as well be water!

  • the perfect loaf… I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

  • Maurizio, glad to have found your blog! I tried this formula last night and it turned out great. I did tweak it to my preference-same amount of rye but did equal amounts of bread flour and my own stone milled Red Fife. Increased the hydration a bit to account for the wg flour and my spent grain which was dehydrated. Bulk and proofing times went faster, I ended up skipping the cold proof because of that- so no beautiful blisters for me… but really no bother as the taste and crumb are just so fantastic!! Thanks again 🙂

    • Excellent news! That’s interesting you had dehydrated grains, where did you get them from if you don’t mind me asking. My friend always gives them to me wet, but dehydrated would be nice to use for a change. Also, do you mill your own flour? What type of mill do you have?

      I just love this bread, as you said the taste is fantastic! Happy baking, and you’re welcome 🙂

  • Hi Maurizio,
    Actually just checked with my cousin that gave them to me-they were fresh (dried) cracked German grains and not spent haha! He did give me some spent to try though…will have to compare taste of them both but I’m sure both will be good 🙂
    Yes I mill my own grains. A light industrial stone model made in Utah, All Grain Mills.

    • I’d be interested to hear how the taste differs. The spent grains might not be as sweet as the dried, fresh ones as the starches are boiled out — just a guess.

      I want to start milling my own wheat hopefully later this year when I can find myself the perfect mill for my home. The search is still on.

      • Will let you know!! Mine is great for my family use and my microbakery, I have friends that have been very happy with their Komos since they don’t need the volume that I do. Good luck finding your mill–trust me, it will take your baking to another level 🙂

        • Thanks — yes I’ve heard it takes you to a whole new place with baking. Just need to save up, or start selling some of these loaves 🙂

  • Janet

    Going to try this tomorrow with spent grains from my husband’s home brew. Sorry if this is obvious to everyone else but here goes… Your recipe calls for 850g Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft. What is that?
    Thanks for the help!

  • Janet

    Re: above question, more to the point, can i use unbleached white flour instead?

    • Janet,

      Awesome! I should have made that clear, Central Milling Organic ABC is simply unbleached white flour (around 11.5% protein). Yes, unbleached white flour will work well here. If you have access to something local that’s great, but otherwise King Arthur All Purpose or even a mix of AP and Bread Flour will work well with this recipe.

      Let me know how it turns out!

  • Devon

    Hi again! I actually have dehydrated spent grains (I dehydrated them myself after my boyfriend and I brewed some beer) and wonder about how much I should use? Please let me know! Thanks again. Looking forward to some bread baking this weekend!

    • Dehydrated grains should really act the same way, I’d start with 25% spent grains and go up from there on subsequent bakes. You could optionally soak the grains in some water during your autolyse step if you wanted to try to “reconstitute” them a bit, or just toss them in dry — either way just know you might need to adjust your overall hydration in your dough to suit (as I mentioned in the article above).

      Good luck, let me know how it turns out!

  • Kevin Willden

    I’ve occasionally replaced the liquid in my sourdough bread with Guinness (an Irish import). The sourdough bread came out really good.

    • That sounds fantastic! I’m going to attempt to bake my stout sourdough recipe again here very soon (given the chilly weather out here!). I was thinking about using some Guinness or some stout from a local brewery here in my area. I think these breads are a great compliment to the winter!

      • Kevin Willden

        Im a little lost. I had left my recipe for sourdough bread for you. And now i can not find it. Do you know where it might be??

        • You left your recipe on my about page. Thanks for leaving it! I might have to try it out 🙂

          • Kevin Willden

            thanks…….If you want to make regular roll, increase everything by half. After kneading the dough the first time roll dough out to 1/2 to 5/8 thick. Then cut rolls out with a biscuit cutter. Dip rolls in melted butter and place on a cookie sheet with rolls bearly touching. Cookie sheet needs to have a lip all the way around. Let rolls rise untill double in thickness. Bake untill golden brown at 350 degees.

            • I like the sound of that — thanks for sharing!

              • Kevin Willden

                Maurizio how did you get interested in sourdough??

                • I think I’ve always had it in me, somewhere, but it didn’t really take hold until I received a copy of the Tartine cookbook about 4 years ago. The story really resonated with me, that searching for perfect bread. Once I started baking myself (after creating my starter) I was firmly hooked on the science & craft behind it.

                • Kevin Willden

                  Do have a seperete starter for each type of bread?? Or do you have one starter for all tpyes of bread?

                • Some bakers do keep a starter for different bread type (e.g. a 100% rye starter for rye bread), but I don’t do this. I modify the levain I’m building to suite the flavors/fermentation I’m after in my bread. I do tend to flip/flop between a “stiff” starter and a “liquid” starter. The only thing that changes there is the percent of water at each feeding.

                • Kevin Willden

                  I use one starter for every type of bread I make. If I have a little something left over from a meal (like mashed potatos, oatmeal, sour cream, milk, etc) I add it to my starter. That way if I need some extra starter for something, I’ve got it.

                • Manoah Gutknecht

                  Do you still obtain consistant results with your bakes?

                • I’d like to think so, yes! Every now and then I push hydration too far, or mis-judge my starter/levain but not too often. Each bake is a clean slate so you never know. I believe consistency is one of the hardest things a baker has to master, but with experience you get closer and closer 🙂

                • Kevin Willden

                  Yes I do…… very consistant

  • Kevin Willden

    What’s the purpose of having a thick starter??? I keep my 2 cup starter in a quart canning jar. (It’s about like pancake batter). It gives my starter to grow, and it allows me to have a extra starter to use when needed.

    • Whether your starter is “stiff” or “liquid” is really up to you. I’ve gone back and forth over the years, adjusting the hydration of my starter to test which I like more. I think it ends up being a personal preference and which is easier for you to maintain. Some suggest that a stiff starter makes bread that is more sour but I haven’t found this to be the case at all.

      • Kevin Willden

        Thanks for replying so quick. I’ve noticed that when I use milk instead of water, my bread gets more sour.

        • Very interesting. I’ve never done this but I’m guessing perhaps the additional sugars in the milk are increasing the fermentation rate of your yeast/bacteria in your starter.

          • Kevin Willden

            Try buttermilk….thats an interesting taste

  • Farzana Romine

    can i dry the spent grains and roughly powder them and use as additional flour in bread?

    • Absolutely. I have not personally tried this but it should work out quite well!

      • Farzana Romine

        Thanks for your reply. I tried it and it turned out pretty good. love ur breads.. so inspiring. I am new in sourdough baking and loving every bit of it.

        • Super glad to hear that — happy baking Farzana!

  • Johnathan Lardbuht

    Love the write up! I will have to try this recipe with spent grain from my own homebrewed beer! One correction to your article is that the starch from the malted grains is converted to sugars during the mash and not the other way around. The yeast then metabolizes the sugary wort to create alcohol, co2 and flavours. Cheers!

    • Thanks, I appreciate that! Since you make your own beer you’ll have a nice consistent source of spent grains to make delicious bread from — envious!

      Thanks for the correction, I’ll modify the above writeup. You’re right!

  • Eric Dillon

    Hi maurizio, so it’s funny you have this post because I do brew occasionally with my dad and brother. So I have a decent amount of malted grains. I actually have been using malted wheat for my diastatic malt powder that is called in recipes from time to time. I just use my food processor and flour it up best I can. That’s been working out pretty good actually.

    So here’s my thought, doing the same sort of thing with other malts (dark malts in particular) just to add a different flare. I know dark Malts have no diastatic power so they won’t lend to the bread in that way, I just want to get a dark malty flavor in there. So I was thinking of grinding up the dark malts, sifting out the husks then flouring the remainder. That may be a way for you to get more of a malty flavor in there as well without all the actual graininess in there. What do you think?

    • I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea! I love the sound of using darker malt. I actually keep meaning to stop by my local brewer’s store to pick up some of their used grains, diastatic malt, and see what else they have that piques my interest. I’d love to hear how this turns out for you!

      • Eric Dillon

        Hey Maurizio,
        So I finally remembered to grab some darker malt from my dads house yesterday. I got a type of crystal/caramel malt called “cararoma.” It literally smells like if you mixed caramel and chocolate together with a little malt in the background. So I am going to mill it up into a flour and use it for my bake this weekend.

        I’m not sure how much I should add in but I will play around with it. May go with 5-8% to start with and go from there. You think that’s too little or too much for a starting point?
        Thanks again for all you do for us sourdough obsessive bakers haha!


        • That sounds AMAZING. Wow, what I wouldn’t give to have access to things like that. I really need to stop by my local brew store.

          I’m not sure, I’d start with 5% and see how that goes. I’m assuming it’s not diastatic so it’s really just flavoring and it depends on how potent the malt is… 5% is usually my starting point (for example, with buckwheat, which is pretty strong, I started at 5% and eventually worked down to 3% for my liking).

          Let me know how it goes!!

          • Eric Dillon

            So I baked this weekend. Actually baked yesterday. Went pretty good. Would have liked for a bit more rise but it ended up pretty good. When I was shaping, I was thinking to myself, man I’m not sure if there’s enough strength. It had decent strength though.

            About the cararoma malt, I actually went with 7%. Made a huge difference in color. I mean it looked darn near like an all whole wheat loaf (or darker). The taste that came through was a little more bitterness than anything, but the aroma of the malt came through more which was nice. Had a decently strong aroma of caramel. But the flavor for the most part was of sourdough. I definitely liked it a lot though! I would recommend trying it out. Just make sure you grind that malt up as fine as you can.. it was more grainy than the white or whole wheat flour. It may be a good idea to mix some flour in to just the malt flour and treat it almost like a soaker.. I may try that next time as well.

            • Right on, thanks for the update! I like the idea of grinding and then scalding like a soaker. I’m hoping to stop by that brew store sometime soon. If I find anything expect a post here at my site with maybe a question or two on the malt if I don’t know what is what there. 🙂

  • Rick Batha

    Thanks for the recipe! Just made it, but tweaked it a bit, as follows. First of all, since I make beer too, besides the spent grain I had available to me the unfermented beer (called “wort”). I substituted 200 g of wort for some of the water. I also made an effort to dry the spent grain a bit, to lessen the hydration variable. Finally, after shaping I rolled it in flaked barley, to extend the beer theme a bit more. I think all these steps, besides the recipe, helped make this bread, (I’m happy to say) excellent! I found this bread a bit more moist than average and it perversely seemed to improve with time (who hears of bread aging?). Note: This “wort” is easy to come by for the brewer; when beer is made from grain the wort continues to filter through the grain well after the collected wort is set to boil, so I simply “harvested” this late runoff that otherwise would be tossed. The final result was a noticeable, and very pleasant, malty beer-like “nose” to the bread!

    • You bet! Great move on drying the grains. I just received another batch from my baker friend and I’ll do the same. I’ll probably leave them out in a colander to drain out thoroughly. Now that you mention using the wort I’ll have to request from my friend if he can save this for me next time! Great idea.

      I find that some breads do actually age well and taste better a day or two after — 100% whole wheat loaves for example, do really well after a day (also rye!).

      Your bread sure sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your modifications, I’ll be trying them out myself soon!

  • Jedediah

    Made this with spent grains obtained from my local brewery, Honolulu Beer Lab (thanks, guys). I toasted the grains to see if I could get more of a malty aroma out of them, although I am not sure if it made much of a difference. I was mostly surprised at how robust the denser starter turned out to be – the dough rose well over my proofing basket in the fridge overnight, puffed up like a balloon. It turned out really well – just like your photos in fact, and super tasty. Very crispy, chocolate-brown crust, firm and flavorful crumb, close in flavor to a whole wheat. I’m going to try it again the next time they’re brewing a stout, I bet the darker grains will make for a special bread indeed. As always, thanks for maintaining such an informative and interesting site, it’s a pleasure to read.

    • Thanks for the feedback and kind words, Jedediah! I find the same thing when making this bread: the flavor is hearty and full, almost like a whole wheat loaf. I’d assume toasting wouldn’t do too much as there should be little sugars left in these grains (most is used in the brewing process). However, it certainly would be interesting to try with the stout grains! Thanks again for the update and have fun, sounds like you’re making some delicious bread out there!

  • Scott Peters

    My bread is rising overnight right now! I have to say, I found it incredibly wet the entire time, so much so that I could hardly handle it. I found myself adding a lot of extra flour and this was all before even adding the grain.

    • I hope the bake turned out well! Yes, depending on how much moisture is still in the grains it can cause for a very wet dough; and couple this with flour that might not be able to take on the same water as mine and you’ll have a super wet dough! I’d say cut the initial dough hydration down by 5-10% and that should clear it up. Have fun!

  • Marcela RV

    Hola Maurizio, I’m so happy I found your blog! Thank you for your lovely and detailed recipes. I have been baking loaves for a few months now, following your recipes (as well as making pancakes, pizza, and banana bread :). They’ve all turned out great! I recently baked a loaf with spent grains (from our Oktoberfest brew!) and added sage, rosemary, and thyme to the recipe. My loaves develop a great crust and rise, but the inside is usually a bit gummy, and I can’t figure out why! I bake them in an iron dutch oven, and I have modified the water content in some recipes. Could it be the flour? I have been using King Arthur’s Bread Flour, and a local organic rye and whole wheat flour. I have been following the proofing schedule very closely and the bread is rising in the oven, so I don’t think the dough is under/over proven. I live in Michigan, so I’m not sure if the cold weather is affecting the bakes? I would appreciate if you have any advice! Gracias!

    • Hey, Marcela! Glad to have you along. I’m pleased to hear, for the most part, all of these recipes have worked out well for you.

      I typically find a gummy end result is either due to the flour used (I think your flour choice is probably fine, though), over hydration, under proofed dough, or it’s not baked out fully. It doesn’t sound like your dough is over hydrated as you’d probably indicate it was too hard to handle or very wet, so I’m leaning towards dough that’s under proofed and/or under baked.

      Cold temperatures will definitely affect your dough — fermentation will slow quite dramatically even if the dough is a couple degrees cooler than what you might be used to. Make sure you give the dough enough time in bulk and also when proofing. I’d say you could try letting the dough sit in the proofing basket after you shape it for 30 minutes or so before you place it into the fridge. This will give the dough more time at room temp to ferment before slowing things down drastically in the fridge.

      From there, try to make sure you bake your loaves completely — the interior should be somewhere near 208°F – 212°F. If you find the exterior is coloring faster than the inside of the loaf bakes, reduce the temperatures so you can bake longer at a lower temp.

      I hope these suggestions help, Marcela. Happy baking!

  • Jamey Chelius

    Hey Maurizio, I love the recipes you post. I gave this spent grain sourdough a run today and it turned out really well. I used all central Central Milling flour (bakers craft plus,
    100% whole wheat hi pro, and their dark rye), and grains from Fisher Brewing here in SLC. I dried the grains out a bit in the fridge and the crumb turned out awesome. Any way, thanks for all the great recipes and detailed baking logs.