Stout and Beer Bread from Trub

Well the experiment I spoke about in my last blog worked!  I used the dregs from the stout barrel (called “Trub” I am told by a brewing expert) as the only raising agent in a loaf of bread.  Quite truthfully I had my doubts, but mixed up a batch or bread minus the dried yeast I normally include, and used the “trub” that I’d mixed with 1 cup of flour the day before.

I then left the dough on the bench, in the cold, on a cold day as well.  I went out to the kitchen some hours later and saw that the tea towel over the bowl was bulging.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I quickly kneaded it and put it in the bread tin to rise.  Sure enough, it rose again and made a beautiful loaf- well 2 actually – a large one and a smaller.  Not only did it rise well, but its texture is wonderful (moist and light) with a sensational flavour.

I am exceptionally pleased at this small victory.  I really hate wasting food and to my mind the “trub” had to have at least some valuable vitamins, so it would be a shame just to send it to the compost heap.  For anyone who’d like to try it, here is the recipe:

1 cup dregs from the brewing barrel (trub)

1 cup plain flour

Mix together on day 1, cover with a cloth and place outside (bring it in at night).

Next day, mix up the dough as follows:

4 cups plain flour

2 scant teaspoons salt

2 teaspons sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)

the trub/flour mixture and enough warm water to make a soft dough.  Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to rise until doubled (about 3 hours).  Turn out and knead on a floured surface for about 3 minutes, then cut off two x 600g portions.  Shape each into a ball and place side by side in a greased 13cm x 21cm (approximately) loaf tin.

The other piece of dough I shaped into a smaller loaf and placed in a greased small loaf tin (21cm x 9cm -this resulted in a french stick type loaf that I last night used, topped with cheese and grilled) in Fench Onion Soup.

Cover tins with a tea towel and leave to rise until the larger loaf almost reaches the top of the tin.  Meanwhile heat oven to 200 degrees C.  When bread is risen bake for 40 minutes, removing smaller loaf from the oven after 20 minutes.  Be careful not to slam the oven door when you take it out or it may make the larger loaf sink.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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