It’s time for the revealing of this week’s bread! First, I’d like to introduce you to Mike’s beer:
Umm, Laura, what does Mike’s beer have anything to do with bread and what you’re making us this week???
Ah yes, I will explain! This is a winter jubiale that is just about ready to bottle. Exciting stuff! Mike bought a beer making kit from F. H. Steinbart Co. last summer when we were in Portland for part of our honeymoon. He’d been inspired by my brother, who is a die-hard beer fan and master of beer making. We’ve made plenty of beer over the course of last year and have drunk even more. Making beer involves grains. At a certain point they are pulled out and discarded once the aromas and flavors of the grains have been imparted into the beer. After making beer with Mike a couple of times, I started to wonder if there was anything one could do with all this left over grain besides composting it, or feeding it to cows and chickens. Well, there is! It can be used in bread and this week I’m doing exactly that.
I tried out a loaf last week and it came out really delicious with big hearty grains dotted throughout the loaf. It was earthy and so flavorful and I’m stoked to be making this for you this week.
I also came across a recipe for spent grain burgers. Hmm, a little something to put between spent grain bread, or would that be overkill?? Oh, and a weird fact for the day: apparently spent grains are an ideal medium for growing mushrooms! Who knew?!
In other news, do you remember me mentioning that I left my mother some sourdough starter while visiting California a few weeks ago? Well, she finally pulled it out of the fridge this week and I have been receiving nothing but ridiculously comical emails from her since. I’m not sure if she actually wanted to make my ‘far more complicated than your average loaf of bread’ recipe, or if she perhaps felt obligated to try it, but alas, she did. There were a whole lot of questions, comments and concerns. It started with an email titled, “Concerned,” which had about a half dozen questions that needed responding to. I was starting to regret the whole thing, but then things became quite hilarious. I received an itinerary for the day, and how the bread fit into her schedule… “Then I have to strap the baby to a car seat and take him to Sam’s Club with me. I hope it’s not more than 80 degrees out there, he might get dehydrated … oh, the worries.” Eventually, the ‘baby’ was making her lose sleep at night. The second to the last one I got said, “Taking a break from all this stress. The baby is having a nap in a cozy little basket. Looks alive and well.”
And my absolute favorite, her latest email, titled, “SUCCESS!!!” states, “The bread tastes good, looks good, and by golly, it does you good. Nice and chewy, big holes, crust nice but not quite as thick as yours was. I was trying not to use too much flour while shaping it. I may just try this again…”
Here is ‘Mom’s Bread’
She ends the email, “I’m not just a pretty face… And talk about the egg teaching the chicken.” My mother cracks me up. Love you mom! Happy Bread baking!
And to you guys, happy bread EATING!