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Old 07-24-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
Matt3989
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Default Making spent grain bread with more air.

Okay, so I know spent grain bread is an overdone topic here, but I just can't seem to get my bread to rise enough.

It's probably just my general bread making technique since I have absolutely no experience. Does anyone have tips for making a fluffier bread though?

I usually use a cup and a half or two cups of spent grains, bread flour, and honey or brown sugar for a little sweetness (although next time I make a batch I'm planning on just using a bit of my first runnings for sweetness). Haven't made a bread with eggs yet though. Oh and I use Fleishman's bread yeast (side question, anyone use ale yeast?).

Any tips for an amateur would be helpful. I'm a homebrewer, so naturally I like to tinker with everything.


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Old 07-25-2013, 11:52 PM   #2
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I don't bake but try increasing the yeast or adding baking powder. Just throwing things against the wall here.


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Old 07-27-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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You have to play around with the amount of water added to get a soft elastic dough. Also,be careful not to add too much spent grain flour. It can make a firmer dough that doesn't rise as well. I use 1C spent grain flour to 5C regular flour so far. I don't add sugars or honey either. The spent grain flour makes it sweet enough I think. I used two packets of yeast to the 6C of flours & kosher salt.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Biggest suggestion for you here, let it double in size no matter how long it takes. Recipes always say 1 hour, 2 hours, etc. but sometimes it takes a lot longer. Maybe you had a lot of dead cells in the yeast packet, maybe they died rehydrating.]

Also be aware that in general multigrain/whole grain stuff is going to have less trapped air than most of the artisan bread products made primarily with white flours.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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If you like baking bread or baking with yeast in general, buy yeast in bulk, not the tiny envelopes or the yeast cakes from the supermarket. I buy a double pack of 1-pound dry yeast bricks (Fleischmann or Red Star) at Sam's for $4.50. Store them well sealed (bulldog clip) in your freezer and they'll keep for years.

I typically use 1 Tablespoon of that dry yeast per 16-24oz of liquid for spent-grain bread. I don't dry my grains, I just store them in the fridge in a plastic bag. They'll keep that way for 2 weeks, and actually get better (slightly sour) over time. Proof the yeast in lukewarm water with 1 Tbs of sugar.

If you like moist "whole grain" bread you can use a volume ratio of 2:1 spent grains to flour. That dough is very wet and sticky, and cannot be hand-kneaded, just mixed with a (wooden) spoon. But the result is remarkable. The resulting dough, after the first rise, is poured into very well greased and floured pans. And it may still stick.

If you like more traditional bread, use 1:1 or less upon taste and style you're after.

Let your dough rise in a warm place for an hour.* I use a pre-warmed but turned-off oven (110F). You may have to punch down/stir once during this process if it gets too high too fast.

When done rising, punch down, or give a second knead. Form into loaves (or fill bread pans half way) and let those rise again.* Then bake until done at 450F. Strangely, the rising of the shaped loaves before baking is all too often omitted from recipes. That's what creates the fluffiness. If you don't do that you'll end up with dense bricks.

* When rising, cover the bowl or forms with greased/oiled plastic wrap, to prevent it from drying out and sticking to it.
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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try adding 1/2 a cup of Vital Wheat Gluten.

try making a poolish and letting it sit for a few hours.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:53 PM   #7
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Thanks, the bread had been much improved by punching it down after the first rise, and letting it rise a second time before baking. Also, smaller loaves tend to rise better so I've been turning out some pretty light hamburger buns.

Thanks for the wheat gluten tip, I'll give that a try sometime too
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:18 AM   #8
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I'm glad pnj brought up wheat gluten. The gluten is the elastic structure that holds the gas bubbles, and w/o extra gluten, the spent grains "dilute the gluten to total volume ratio", so to speak. A couple of tips to make better quality bread; if you are kneading in a bread machine or in a stand mixer, the first most important thing is proper moisture amount. The dough should be slightly sticky, as a "dry" dough will not rise properly, and a dough that is insufficiently kneaded and rested also will not rise properly. Before I go any further, if you need bread help, pm me. Or ask here.


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