Basic Spent Grain Bread

Basic Spent Grain Bread


I played around a bit and came up with this great, simple recipe for bread with spent grain. As with most recipes, it’s a starting point. Feel free to innovate and add other seeds, grains, flours, oats, sugars, etc. to make it your own. Just be sure to share your results! I certainly plan to keep trying new variations on it, and post some of the best recipes as I go.

The resulting bread from this recipe is hearty in the extreme. The spent grains give each bite a little crunch, which is wonderful. It makes for a great toast, and even small sandwiches. I was partial to the very un-Westerosi PB&J, myself. :)

Recipe for Spent Grain Bread


  • 3 cups of flour, plus more for kneading (I mixed in a little wheat)
  • 1 cup spent grain (dried)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 1/4 cups of warm water (or beer!)

In a medium sized bowl, combine the water with the yeast, honey, and a cup of the flour. Mix thoroughly. Add the salt and another cup of flour, mixing it all in. At this point, you should have a pretty gooey dough. Add the spent grain, followed by the remaining flour, plus any extra needed to keep it from being too sticky to knead.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until it bounces back when poked, about 5 minutes. Place in a clean, greased bowl to rise until doubled in size. This usually takes at least an hour, so go do some errands and come back.

Divide the dough into two pieces, forming each into an oblong loaf shape by pulling the ends around and tucking them under the bottom.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with extra flour, and place the loaves on top. Allow to rise for at least 30 minutes more, then slash the tops with a very sharp knife. Bake for around 30-40 minutes at 450F, and if you like, place another pan underneath, filled with water: the steam will help crisp the crust of your bread.

Remove from the oven when it’s a dark golden brown, and sounds a bit hollow when tapped. Let cool slightly before digging in. Enjoy!

Basic Spent Grain Bread

Basic Spent Grain Bread

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15 Responses to Basic Spent Grain Bread

  1. Al says:

    I just finished brewing a roggenbier and in my search for a spent grain bread recipe found your site. Thanks for the recipe and for the GoT connection. Winter is Coming!

  2. kaitlyn says:

    No olive oil?

  3. Mark says:

    I’ve made this bread twice now (third batch rising now). This time I replace the water with my home brewed IPA. I cannot wait to taste the difference! I think this bread would be really good with some more subtle sweetness ie. cranberries, raisins, or honey drizzled on top pre-bake. Thanks for sharing a really nice (and simple too) recipe!

  4. Nathan says:

    Great recipe! I modified slightly; subbed in one cup of whole wheat, added an extra Tbsp of honey, and a bit more salt.

  5. I added two tbsp of honey, a little extra salt, and baked it for only about 20 minutes. I also used the pan of water under it. The bread turned out perfectly. I can’t wait to try out more variations!

  6. Josh says:

    This may be a silly question, but I dried and then milled my spent grain down into a flour with texture consistent to that of bread flour. So, when you call for 1 cup spent grain, do you mean spent grain flour? Or the grains right out of the mash? I’m thinking it will be much more dense with fine flour vs the course grains. Thoughts?

    • Chelsea says:

      Not a silly question! I don’t have a mill (yet), so I’ve been putting my dried spent grain in whole. You might have to adjust the quantity of spent grain flour to get it right- I imagine it will take less than whole grain. Let me know! :)

  7. Jennifer says:

    Just made this with spent grains that were still wet from the mash. The bread is incredibly moist and dense on the inside and crunchy and flavorful on the outside. Wish I’d used a bit of whole grain to pull out more nuttiness. I’d be interested to see how this bread would end up if it were allowed a full day to ferment.
    Still, EXCELLENT recipe. Super great bread in under a few hours is always a great feat!

  8. I am in the middle of my first two batches. With the first batch I followed the directions you posted and didn’t get a very good rise. (it is VERY cold in Michigan right now though so the house is a bit cool). I also ground some of the grain in the blender, and used 1/2 cup of that in place of 1/2 cup of flour. For my second batch I mixed the warm water, yeast and honey in a separate bowl and let it work for about 5 minutes, then mixed it with the flour and grain adding the grain last. So far I seem to be getting a much better result. I can’t wait to taste it!

  9. Cindy says:

    Could you make the recipe using the dough cycle in a bread maker? And, could you use a standard size loaf pan instead of the longer rustic loaves? Any information would be great.

  10. I have just plain had to stop making single batches of this bread. Thankfully my stand mixer handles a double batch beautifully. Every time I bake I send a loaf to my brewers, (keep those grains coming). Now I really want to try a sourdough spent grain bread. Would appreciate your input!

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