Hops to Bread

We have Hops plants that grow on the west side of our deck. The thought had always been that they would provide nice shade and hey- Hops!. This year, being at home more than our normal schedule, David was able to build out trellis structure on the west side and the hops went crazy!. Not only have they been a great shade, but they have been lovely to watch grow.

One set of the plants had bines that were growing exceptionally tall, so David and the boys set up ropes over the “roof” of the deck and they grew and flourished there, making an arch of hops we walked under every time we went in and out of the house… As they matured, I watched them carefully for time to harvest. Since we no longer brew, I started looking around for a local homebrewer who would be interested in setting up some trades..

After the harvest, the plants stayed in place until just this past weekend, when I cut them down for the coming winter.

We ended up with a nearly full paper grocery sack of the hops… this was part way through the. harvest process. We were introduced to a local Brewer who agreed to trade our hops for the trubs from his future brews. The Trub is the discard bit that is left in the container after the brew. It contains lots of goodness.. and left over yeast. This is a great starter for breads, so I am excited to have an ongoing source of trubs of different styles, flavors and yeasts to experiment with. Watch as we move forward for new styles of Trub Bread and the results.

This was the first Trub that Mike dropped off for us, when he picked up the hops- after decanting the clear fluid. Notice it is still very liquidy. This needs to be proofed over night to show that the yeast is still alive. This is a Trub from a Light English Ale, and it had a very hoppy aroma.

I mixed flour into the trub to sit overnight and proof, thickening the starter.

The resulting proofed trub was added to dry ingredients in the mix. You can see the bubbles on the surface of the trub here where the beer yeast had been active. It was also much looser as some water was mixed in for the bread. I had enough trub to make 4 loaves of bread.

The mixed dough was kneaded and then covered and set for a first rise.

The first rise happened in about 2/3 of the time I expected, the combination of the trub yeast and the regular bread yeast was very very active. At this stage, the dough still had a hoppy aroma, so I started thinking about how I wanted to counter that bitterness.

I punched down the dough and started with loaf forming- the small loaves are quarter loaves and had fresh spinach and asiago cheese rolled in. One of the large loaves was created plain, as a pure taste test and the other large was filled with white cheddar cheese. Not shown here was a dozen small rolls made from the dough of the fourth loaf. Again, the second rise in loaf form happened in less than an hour and I put them in to bake.

The loaves all baked up beautifully…

And the crumb of the bread was very pleasing. The Cheddar bread had some gaps where the cheddar melted down, and I would add more asiago to the small loaves on a re-do. The crumb is shown here in one of the small rolls broken in half.

Overall, I as really pleased with the bread functionally, but it is very hoppy- as my youngest says.. this bread bites back. Plain, the overall hoppy bite is very strong. Using a trub from a batch like this in the future I would proof it, divide it into quarters, proof those and spin breads from eachof those proofs. However, balance with something that is on the sweet-side ( this was excellent with my sugar free granny smith apple spread) , or very cheesy. I am thinking if I had increased the amount of cheese in the small loaves they might be fine plain. I have also enjoyed taking the small loaves, toasting slices and then using them with an over easy egg in the mornings.

On balance- Ale Trub from a dry yeast is hoppy and should either be diluted down or is great for layering flavors.

Check out a short video of the bread prep process:


    • Ooh. That does sound good. The next batch I am supposed to get is from an oatmeal stout, which sounds like a perfect match. Can you share your recipe?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s