Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Billy's Malted Grain Bread

This recipe was developed by Billy, my husband, who is an avid-home brewer. He noticed that once in awhile he had left over grain after brewing a batch of beer. He had also been curious about using brewing yeast in making bread. He put these two thoughts together, and based a batch of dough around his leftover brewing ingredients. He had told me what his intentions were, and so I assisted with the technique and baking process. The dough was lighter in color, maybe hinting at light caramel, but after baking the bread, it turned into a beautiful dark loaf. The interior is slightly marbled from the second addition of flour, which makes it look almost like a marbled rye. The dark caramel color is so appealing along with the subtle roasted flavor from the malted grains, that this bread seems perfectly fitting for fall. The taste is marvelous, it has so much depth of flavor and the interior crumb is a medium texture. So far as we've tried, it is really delicious with butter or used for sandwiches.

This bread recipe is perfect for those of you who brew at home, just make up 12 ounces of leftover grains of whatever you used, we listed what we used below. Also, if you happen to want to make this bread (which we highly suggest) without having the grain leftover from brewing, check out your local brewing supply store, or order online. The liquid Belgian yeast may impart sourdough like flavors, and it didn't really activate the dough enough so we ended up adding baker's yeast to give it a better kick start. Overall, we loved this bread and will be glad to have this recipe tucked away for the next time we have a little leftover malted grains.

Malted Grain Bread
Note: This is a No-Knead recipe, as we are dedicated to the methods of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
Yield: 2 - 3 loaves
Active Time: 45 Min Inactive Time: 2 days

5 cups white-whole wheat flour, divided
12 ounces malted grains:
  • 4 oz Crystal 20L
  • 4 oz Special B
  • 4 oz Caramunich I
1 tbsp salt
2 oz Belgian liquid yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp baker's yeast

How To:
1) In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, malted grains, salt, liquid yeast, baker's yeast, and warm water. Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours, covered with plastic wrap and a towel.

2) After two hours, place in fridge overnight. If you want to bake the day of rising proceed without refrigeration.

3) On the day of baking, examine your dough. If it seems really loose and almost "liquidy," add the remaining one to two cups of flour. Gently fold in the flour without kneading. Let dough sit at room temperature for two hours.

4) After the dough's second rise, flour your hands well and pull one portion of dough out (you will have two or three portions depending on how big you want your loaves). Pull the dough up with one hand, and pinch off where you desire. Try not to apply too much pressure, the goal is to let as many air bubbles remain in the dough so that you have a puffier, more airy loaf. {View Pictorial}

5) On a floured surface, place piece of dough. Gently tuck in ends of dough so that the top begins to dome. Place roughly shaped ball at opposite edge of board. With hands cupped around ball of dough, with the sides of your hands resting on the board, pull ball of dough to yourself. By doing so, the edges are sucked in under the ball you formed and the top is "stretched" to create a tight exterior surface. (For more information, check out the Fresh Loaf's pictorial that helped me immensely with shaping a free-form (Boule) loaf.

6) Let ball of dough rest for an hour or until oven is heated. Place a dutch oven inside the oven and preheat oven to 450ºF allowing the dutch oven to heat gradually.

7) Once the oven has reached temp, gently place your ball of dough into the center of the dutch oven. Place the oven-proof lid on top. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. The internal temperature should reach at least 200ºF. Remove loaf from oven and let rest at room temperature for at least 40 minutes before slicing into.

Notes on our bread baking methods:
Since we live at a higher elevation, I've had better luck with the dutch oven process, but a pizza stone or cast iron skillet would also work really well especially if elevation doesn't affect your baking. I have also had great luck with "fridge-rise time" as prescribed by ABi5, for high-altitude baking. Form the loaf but place it in the fridge (covered) for 10 - 12 hours, immediately after removing from the fridge, bake the loaf and the oven spring is amazing. This method has allowed me as a high-altitude baker to achieve light and airy crumb interior.

If you are going to bake all of the loaves on the same day, form them but keep them in the fridge as the first ones bake. The heat in the kitchen from the oven always causes my secondary loaves to over-expand, leaving them with a dense interior and ugly exterior. Placing them in the fridge to slow down the expansion has helped immensely. 


  1. I am so jealous. My dad used to brew when we lived in Alaska, but gave his equipment away when they moved. My hubby and I would love to start brewing but it wouldn't be very possible in our little apartment...someday we will have the space and I will make this bread. Such a wonderful idea.

  2. Thank you! I hope you guys get to start brewing again, when we lived in a tiny house, my husband started with partial mash/ extract brewing. It took up a lot less space than all grain brewing and was still a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by, happy cooking!


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