The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Spelt-Whole Wheat Spent Grains Sourdough

Isand66's picture

Spelt-Whole Wheat Spent Grains Sourdough


I’ve been wanting to make a bread with spent grains for a long time. My good friend Mike has become quite the home brewer and he graciously gave me some spent grains from his latest brew. He’s making a dark Stout type beer and the spent grains were a rich mahogany color full of flavor. They really ended up turning the dough a dark brown color reminicient of a pumpernickel style bread.

I milled the berries with my Mockmill 200 and the Big Country Whole Wheat from Barton Springs Mill was sifted and milled twice with a #30 sieve, and then sifted with a #40. The Spelt was also from the same mill and only sifted once with the #30 and milled twice.

I added some nice organic honey for a touch of sweetness.

The spent grains added a little extra hydration since they were very moist so overall this was a nice hydrated dough.

I really like the way this came out. You can really taste the maltiness added from the spent grains and the combo of fresh milled flours made this a keeper.


Levain Directions 


Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.

Let it sit at room temperature for around 6-7 hours or until the starter has almost doubled. I used my proofer set at 76 degrees so it took around 5 hours for me. Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Note: I use an Ankarsrum Mixer so my order of mixing is slightly different than if using a Kitchenaid or other mixer. Add all your liquid to your mixing bowl except 50-80 grams. Add the levain in pieces and mix for a few seconds to break it up. Next, add all your flour to the bowl and mix on low for a minute until it forms a shaggy mass. Cover the mixing bowl and let it rest for an hour.   Next add the salt, honey, spent grains and remaining water as needed and mix on medium low (about speed 3) for 24 minutes.  If you are using a more traditional mixer you would only mix around 7-10 minutes.

Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 1.45 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours. I use my proofer set at 79-80 degrees. If you are leaving it at room temperature 72 degrees I would let it sit out for 2 -2.5 hours before refrigerating. Depending on how developed the dough is after the initial mix you may not need to do as many S&F’s.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours or if using a proofer set at 80 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove the dough and shape as desired and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  (I use my proofer set at 80 F and it takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours). You will need to judge for yourself if you have a nice fermented dough before baking in the oven. I also added the topping mix directly to the bottom of my bannetons and rolled the dough side to side to make sure I had good coverage. You can also spray a a tea towel and then sprinkle the topping on the towel and roll the dough onto the towel.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for around 35 minutes or until the breads are nice and brown and have an internal temperature around 200-210 F. 

Take the bread(s) out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist. 



Benito's picture

That’s a great looking loaf Ian, the spent grains sound like they really flavour and colour it well.  Based on that crumb I’d say it is delicious.


Isand66's picture

I really love the way this one turned out.  The spent grains gave it such a rich dark color it looks like a pumpernickel.  If you get a chance to pick some up from a local brewery I hope you give it a try.

Best regards,