So much alliteration and deliciousness. You’re going to die. In a good way.
Ever since we brewed our RyePA a few weeks ago, my friend Sarah and I have been on kind of a spent grain recipe bender. This is a good thing, because as it turns out, when you brew a 15 gallon batch of beer you have a LOT of grain leftover. We’ve found some fantastic recipes online, and I’ve made up some of my own too! First, she tried this chocolate cherry almond spent grain biscotti, which was crazy tasty. Then quickly moved onto spent grain granola, which was oh so yum! (Be careful about the salt on the granola, I’m pretty sure it should be tsp not tbsp)
I also figured out the perfect spent grain version of my go-to no knead bread. The only difference is I subbed one cup of spent grain “flour,” and instead of ultragrain all purpose flour, I use bread flour which really helps the bread rise. It is epically delicious! It worked really well with the blend of grains from the RyePA which was 20% rye. The flavor was unbelievable. I might even have to start begging local brewers for their grain so that I can make it all the time. Hmmmm, note to self.
On to banana bread! This recipe came about the way most banana bread happens in our house: I bought way too many bananas, which then became overripe seemingly overnight. Since I had all this spent grain, I thought I’d take the opportunity to experiment. The recipe was in instant hit with co-workers and of course dear hubby. What I did was take my favorite banana bread recipe and turn it on its head by subbing browned butter, which is basically butter melted/cooked on the stove top to caramelized perfection. When done in the right way you end up with this incredibly flavorful, liquid gold. It sounds fussy but is actually super easy! And completely versatile. You can use brown butter with herbs as an easy and delicious pasta sauce (sage is a classic), or you can sub brown butter for regular butter in baked goods to your heart’s content.
In order to keep the bread super moist, I also added almond meal, which I found at my local Trader Joes. I don’t know about you but I love an extremely banana-y, moist banana bread. Like a banana flavor explosion. What’s another word for moist? That word is gross. I don’t add nuts to my banana bread because as a general rule I think nuts do not belong in baked goods. The almond meal doesn’t really count, I’m talking hunks of walnuts. If you want to add them, then go for it. Just know that I judge you.
Spent Grain, Brown Butter Banana Bread*
- 10 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter
- ~1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup spent grain flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter.
Start by browning your 10 tbsp of butter. In a 10-12” skillet (I used my stainless steel omelet pan), add the butter on medium heat. Once melted completely, gently stir with a whisk. You want the milk solids to caramelize, so as soon as you see the milk solids turn golden, whisk well and continuously, turning the heat off, but continuing to stir so as not to burn it. Here is a great tutorial (this is where I learned about the deliciousness that is brown butter). Add the ½ cup of brown sugar directly to the brown butter, stirring well until completely combined and no lumps remain.
Puree the bananas, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a food processor or a blender works too.
Next, sift the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add the spent grain flour and almond meal stirring to combine. Add the banana mixture to your flour in 3 batches, stirring well with each addition.
Pour into the loaf pan. Bake until lightly browned and bread bounces back to the touch, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.
If you’re feeling really crazy you can drizzle on some of my favorite bourbon caramel sauce. I happened to have some in my fridge sooo I went ahead and slathered mine. It was wonderful.
*Banana bread recipe (extremely) adapted from this recipe.