Slideshow: Making Pizza from Spent Beer Grains

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Making Pizza from Spent Beer Grains.
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I made a pizza dough that used some spent grains from our home-brewed imperial stout beer.
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It was probably the ugliest pizza crust ever made, but the taste and texture turned out surprisingly well.
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This might have been the best pizza that I've created.
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The addition of the spent grains imparted a mild, earthy flavor, and the spent grains created a thicker and chewier crust.
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The grains colored the crust a dark grey, which was somewhat expected, based upon the stout beer, made from the grains.
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On brew day, I placed some of the spent grains in two, thick, air-tight, plastic containers, and I placed the containers in the freezer.
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A few weeks later, I pulled one of the containers from the freezer and dried the grains, which took about three days.
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On pizza-making day, I pulverized some dried spent grains in under 30 seconds, using our Vitamix.
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Stout beer spent grains. Ground on the right.
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The recipe:
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  • 110 g of spent grains, pulverized into mostly powder.
  • 550 g of all-purpose flower
  • 455 g of water (frig temp)
  • 13 g of fine-grain sea salt
  • 4 g dry active instant yeast
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After mixing all the dry ingredients, the mixture had the color of buckwheat flour. It was colored a medium grey.
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Some water added to the dried ingredients.
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After all the ingredients were mixed by whisk and hand to form a sticky ball, I placed the dough on the counter and covered it with a bowl.
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The covered dough rested for 25 minutes. This is called autolyse. Afterward, the dough felt great.
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I kneaded the dough for a little over 4 minutes. The dough became stickier near the end of kneading.
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The dough after kneading. Weird color.
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I placed the kneaded dough into a lightly oiled (olive oil) bowl, which I covered with plastic.
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A plastic dough scraper is a handy tool.
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The dough fermented for 3 hours. It rose higher than I expected, considering that the spent grains had little to no gluten.
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Dough after fermenting in a warm house.
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After fermentation, I used a plastic dough scraper to remove the puffy dough mass from the bowl and onto a lightly oiled counter.
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Then I divided the dough into approximately four equal parts.
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The divided dough.
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For each of the small four pieces of dough, I conducted a stretch-and-fold, and then I shaped the dough into a tight ball.
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I placed the dough balls onto a flour-covered board. (I used King Arthur white whole wheat flour on the board and on the wooden peel at baking time.)
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Ready for proofing.
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Note: I didn't use the white whole wheat flour in this pizza recipe because I wanted to taste as much of the spent grains as possible, therefore ...
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... I used only King Arthur all-purpose flour as the main pizza dough flour ingredient.
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Spelt, rye, red whole wheat, and white whole wheat flours could mask the mild flavors from the spent grains. End note.
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Back to the process. The tops of the dough balls were lightly covered with flour and then covered with plastic and left to proof for at least two hours.
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At the start of proofing.
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The dough proofed well. This spent-grains-enhanced dough had good shape. Bizarre color though. Fun.
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After two hours of proofing.
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Even though the proofed dough was airy, it was stiff and difficult to shape into a round because of less gluten. The shaping required patience.
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I went slow because I did not want to tear the dough, but I did tear it a couple times during shaping.
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When a hole developed, I pinched the dough together to seal the hole, and then I let the dough rest for a few moments before resuming the shaping.
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Normally for a proofed dough ball of this size, I can stretch the dough to the size of the wooden pizza peel. Not this time.
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The stiff dough after being stretched to its max and ready to be topped.
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I topped the dough with Scarpetti marinara sauce, Turkey Foot Creek plain chevre goat cheese, olive oil, and coarse red Hawaiian sea salt.
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Ready for baking.
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Note:We were out of my wife's canned pasta/pizza sauce, that she makes in the fall. Also when I available, I use my wife's homemade ricotta cheese.
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Prior to baking, I preheated the oven at 500 degrees for 40 minutes with the pizza stone placed in the middle of the oven.
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When all was ready, I slid the dough onto the stone.
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After 10 minutes of baking, I removed the pizza from the open, placed it on a cooling rack, and topped it with fresh basil from our backyard.
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Add the fresh basil after baking.
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I let the pizza cool for a bit before cutting. I baked two pizzas. I ate the leftovers the next day.
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Odd-looking but delicious.
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Some of the tools and ingredients used.
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Unfortunately, I didn't have any of our stout beer chilling at the time to compliment the pizza.
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During pizza assembly, I drank a Trappist beer.
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For dinner, I drank a different Trappist beer. I used greens from our garden to make the salad, which was topped with Nasturtium flowers, also from our backyard.
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Quality cannot be rushed.
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Our "Dark-eyed Junco Imperial Stout" home-brewed beer.
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Our stout beer recipe contained the following ingredients: Black Patent Malt, Chocolate Malt, Coffee-Franco Belges, and Pale Malt (2 Row).
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When we moved the beer from a primary fermenter to a secondary fermenter, we added a small amount of fresh, French press-pot brewed coffee. It was a delicious beer.
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The End.