Baking bread is one of my favorite things to do—especially bagels and cinnamon buns.
What Is Trub?
Recently, I was browsing through one of my favorite baking and cooking supply catalogs and came across a Brooklyn Brew Shop beer-making kit. Now, I do not drink, unless you consider sweet tea 'drinking.' And my husband is not a big drinker either; although he does enjoy a beer once or twice a week on a hot day. But since I am never one to pass up trying to make something on my own and it looked like a lot of fun, I purchased the Brooklyn Brew Shop beer-making kit for my husband for Father’s Day. It would be something we could do together and after it was made, he would be able to tell me whether or not it was good by tasting it.
Little did I know when we began this little endeavor that there would be something else in it for me in addition to spending time with my husband! You see, once the beer is made and has gone through all of the cooking processes and waiting periods prior to being able to bottle it, after the beer is actually bottled, there is something left over known as trub. Trub is the layer of sediment consisting of yeast, fats, and proteins left over after the fermentation of the beer. Never being one to just throw away something that could be used for another purpose and after smelling the wonderful yeasty aroma emanating from the trub, I decided to try to make bread by using the trub as a starter. After all, it is yeast-based due to the fermentation in the beer-making process, and bread is made with yeast, and the flour used in making bread is wheat-based, as was the beer, so why not?!
Believe it or not, my trub bread turned out beautifully and is delicious! We ate it fresh from the oven slathered with sweet creamy butter. The smell of my kitchen, while it was cooking, was indescribable—deep yeasty scents of fresh bread baking, heightened by the undertones of smooth yeasty beer. Easily one of the best breads I have ever made. The crumb is perfect and it has a moist texture unlike most other homemade yeast breads while the crust is rich and chewy. My husband took a few pieces back to work with him for a friend to try and I received an empty container back with a note attached that read “Send more beer slag bread, please!” (Slag is another term home brewers use for trub.) So, if you or your spouse is into beer-making and you have trub leftover, don’t throw it out! Make some of my delicious trub bread. You will not be disappointed.
- 1/2 cup trub
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Mix the trub, flour, and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. The mixture will be like a liquid paste.
- Proof the mixture by covering it with a dish towel and allowing it to sit overnight or until bubbles appear all over the top.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
- When combined, make a well in the center and pour in the proofed trub starter mixture. Add a little of the water and stir to combine, adding water a little at a time until the dough comes together and is not too wet or too dry.
- Turn onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a buttered bowl, cover with a damp dish towel, and let rise until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough and form it into a loaf. Place the loaf in a buttered 9 5/8 x 5 1/2 x 2 3/4-inch bread pan. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until doubled in size or until the top of the dough almost reaches the top of the pan.
- Bake in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes, reduce heat to 375°F, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. I like to gently remove the bread from the pan and make sure the bottom is somewhat golden as well just to be sure it is done.
- Remove bread from pan, brush the top of the bread with melted butter, if desired, and allow to cool on a cooling rack—or slice it when cool enough to handle and eat warm with sweet cream butter and apple butter or strawberry jam! It is also great toasted with just butter or butter and cinnamon sugar!
Note: After this first try at trub bread ... I realize the possibilities with this bread are endless and the next time I make it I will be adding a couple of tablespoons of molasses or honey for a different sweet richness—who knows—it may be even better than this first loaf. This bread would also be awesome with whole grains added to the dough and sprinkled on top for a healthy twist.