Spent Grain Pizza Dough

Get your scrollin’ finger ready–this is the tale of spent grain pizza dough told through many, many pictures.

After home brewing, you are left with a heaping mound of spent grain. You can compost this, trash this, or you can dry this and use it later. To dry it, put a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 200 degrees for about 8 hours, stirring and turning the spent grain every 2 hours or so. You probably won’t be able to dry all the grain you amassed while brewing, but a few cookie sheets’ worth will be more than enough.

Here I’ll show you how to make a double batch of spent grain pizza dough with your dried grain. It’s a good recipe to double since there is a bit of waiting to do while the dough rises. If you make a double batch on a Sunday, you can keep the second dough in the fridge for a quick weeknight meal.

Double batch of spent grain pizza dough:

  • 2 packages active dry yeast (not beer yeast, mind you; baking yeast)
  • 1 cup warm water (around 110 degrees)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups spent grain, wetted with 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp salt
  • olive oil

 

Awaken your yeast in the warm water, letting it mingle for about 5 minutes. Talking to it speeds up the process.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, spent grain, and salt.

Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.

Mix it together with a spoon or your clean hands.

Prepare a floured work surface. Romantic lighting is optional.

Plop your lumpy-ass dough onto the floured work surface and wonder if this will ever turn into pizza.

Beat the crap out of the dough for a solid 10 minutes. Set a timer. This 10 minutes will feel like far longer. There are a few different ways to knead dough, but my favorite is to make it into a ball, press it away from me with the heel of my hand, pull it toward me, and repeat. This ensures that everything is getting mixed in. If you lose some bits of dough at the beginning, just press them into the center and keep kneading. It will all work out; I promise.

After 10 minutes of taking out all your aggression on the dough, it should look happy like this:

Since we’re making a double batch, this is where the separate doughs break up. It can be quite emotional for the dough. Ignore this.

Prepare 2 bowls with a bit of olive oil at the bottom. This is where the 2 dough balls will work out their issues in solitude.

Plop the emotionally-scarred doughs in their own bowls and turn them over to coat in the olive oil.

Put the bowls in a warm place and cover them with a  towel. They need their privacy.

After rising for 2 hours, the dough will have about doubled in size. Behold:

Now that the dough has risen and gotten a big ego, punch it down.

The dough needs to remember its place. Admire the fist dent you made in its face.

Cover the doughs again and give them 30 minutes to recover from the embarrassment of being punched in the face.

After 30 minutes, roll out the dough you are using tonight. The other dough gets wrapped up and put in the fridge for later. Tip: when using this dough later in the week, give it some time to come to room temperature before rolling it out. It makes it easier and more malleable.

Now that your dough is rolled out, put it on a baking sheet and bake by itself for 10 minutes at 350. Optional: put cornmeal on the baking sheet first so the pizza doesn’t fall in love with your baking sheet and refuse to leave it. The damn dough is so clingy and emotional sometimes.

Next, add your toppings. In this case, we have a typical tomato pizza sauce:

Mozzarella! Luigi! Mario!

Olives and heirloom tomato!

Throw this in the oven for 12 minutes at 350. It’s done when it looks more or less like this:

Now eat it. (Or I will.)


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