Monday, October 1, 2012

Hoppy Together

Hop time means only one thing, well not "only", but definitely it means home brew time. 

It means what has become an annual event - rye ale.

We have been enjoying, pizza crust and focaccia bread from the spent grains.  You can top like any focaccia bread, ours has cracked pepper and sea salt.  With rye, I shouldn't wonder if caraway seed would be great.  The recipe below is perfect for a 10" cast iron skillet.

This is the recipe I use with one change:
Alewife's Spent Grain Pizza Dough: 

1 pkg. dry bread yeast 
1/2 cup warm water 
1/2 tsp sugar  ***(We use 2 tbsp. barley malt, or molasses)*** 

1/4 cup olive oil 
2 T sugar 
1 tsp salt 

1 cup flour 

1 cup spent grains 
1/2 cup water 

3 cups additional flour 

olive oil for bowl 

flour to sprinkle bread board 

Proof yeast by mixing with 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 tsp sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes--a nice layer of foam should prove that the yeast is alive and well. 

In large mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, sugar, and salt. Blend in yeast mixture. Stir in 1 cup flour until well blended. Set aside while you prepare the grains. 

Add 1 cup spent grains (drained well, but still wet) and 1/2 cup water to bowl of food processor. Process until you have a semi smooth mixture. It doesn't ever get really smooth, but you don't want it too chunky either. 

Add grain mixture to yeast slurry and mix together well. Add remaining 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well with each addition. I do this by hand with a wooden spoon. It goes quickly, but you could do it in a mixer with a dough hook if you wanted. The last cup of flour will make the dough seem pretty stiff if you are mixing by hand, but it's ok! Don't worry. It's still a bit sticky, but will clean the side of the bowl. I just use my hands at the end and knead it together right in the bowl. 

When you have a rough lump of dough together and the sides of the bowl are clean, push the dough ball to one side and add a bit of olive oil to the bottom of the bowl. Push the dough into the oil and flip it over, smoothing the oil over the top of the dough. Reshape the dough into an even round. Cover lightly and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour. 

When ready to use, push dough down, deflating it. Bring sides in to center and flip dough over. Put dough out onto floured board and pat out evenly. Cut dough into equal sized pieces for each pizza you will make. If making all pizzas, you should have 8 equal sized pieces of dough. Shape each piece into an evenly round ball and place on a cookie sheet. Cover lightly and let sit 20-30 minutes. When ready to bake, take each little round of dough and pat it out on the floured board into an evenly round shape. You can use a rolling pin if you want to speed the process up a bit. I like them about 9" around for a thin crust pizza. Obviously, a thicker pizza would need to be pushed or rolled out to a smaller round. Once they are rolled out, top with what you like and bake as you usually would. 

This works better with a thin to medium crust pizza -- not so great in a Chicago or deep dish style. The grains add a nice crispiness to a thinner crust. It works well on a BBQ grill, too! :) 


P.S. If you use half the recipe for a focaccia, I just bake it for about 25-30 minutes at 350 deg. depending on the size of pan you use. Just top with your favorite focaccia ingredients.

 Here it is with all of the grainy, peppery bits.

Next is fresh out of the garden hop and habanero hot sauce.  Stay tuned!



I work until beer o’clock. - Stephen King



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