Pentonville Trub-Thumper Bread

Since I did the Bread Angels course wayyyyyy back in September I have been baking bread like a crazy person.  I’m now baking once a month to sell at the brewery open days, taking around 20 loaves and lots of jars of home-made beer mustard.  You can check the Hammerton Brewery blog to see when the open days are – always the last weekend of the month – except December when the date can vary because of the festive season…  I’m not there in March (on holiday) but I’ll be back in April with a vengeance!


I’ve been so busy with Silver Screen Suppers and my forthcoming Columbo cookbook, I thought about binning this blog, as there never seems to be time to update it.  But I’ve decided to keep it going, if nothing else, as a repository (good word) for recipes.  I’m a terrible note scribbler and my flat is full of a million bits of paper with sums and scribbled facts about how I have modified and tweaked recipes….


I always think I’ll write them up neatly in a nice notebook but I never do…  They then disappear under a mountain of other bits and pieces of paper and I can never find them when I need them.  So, I shall try and pop back here now and then to record how I made stuff, so I can refer back.


And, in the meantime, if any of the recipes suit you, dear reader whoever you are,  wherever you are, be my guest in using them as you wish!


I recently spent an amazing day at Panary with Paul Merry,  learning a LOT about bread, and about how to make bread with beer barm in particular – right up my street.  Mr Rathbone was kind enough to trot up to the brewery to get me some, neither of us knowing really what to ask for.  He returned with TRUB.  Which is similar to barm, but comes from the bottom of the fermentation tanks rather than the top.


Some brewers call this stuff trub, my nephew just refers to it as spent yeast, so this might be what to ask for if you get friendly with a local brewery.

Adventures in bread-making with spent yeast from the brewery began!


My first bread made using TRUB was such a lovely loaf!  Well two loaves in fact.


I was AMAZED that no other raising agent was used in the making of this bread and it turned out brilliantly.  It was a very sturdy bread.  The boyfriend proclaimed it to be one of his favourites so far (and he is the main recipient of all my many experiments, so this is saying something!)  Here’s  how I made it…

I mixed 250g fresh trub with 150g plain flour, covered the bowl with a shower cap and left it on my counter overnight.

Next day I mixed the above with 680g plain flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons honey and 2 tablespoons of olive oil (lovely olive oil sent to me by my chum Greg of Recipes for Rebels, all the way from Greece).  I added water to make a soft dough (I’m going to make this again to tweak the recipe and will measure the water next time).  I covered the bowl and left to rise for 3 hours.  I then did a “stretch and fold” for a few minutes and divided the dough into two.  I made each into a boule and placed into floured bannetons.  The dough was an unusual texture – a bit like play-doh so I wasn’t holding out much hope…

IMG_3396I left these to rise in my earring cupboard (I love predictive text – that should read “proofing cupboard” rather than earring cupboard!) for about 2 hours.

I then baked the loaves in my huge Le Creuset casserole dish.  The dough was too big to go in the usual casserole dishes I use.  I can get two of these in my oven at a time, but had to do these bigger loaves one at a time, giving my oven and the dish time to heat back up in between.

I baked using my usual timeframe of 220 degrees C for 20 minutes, 205 for 10,  then 12 with the lid off at the same temperature.  Result?  Amazing bread.  Mr R’s first comment when he had a slice,  toasted: “That’s a wholesome bread”.  He followed that up by saying “It’s very bready bread”.  Indeed it is.  I was SO CHUFFED that the trub made such a lovely loaf, no other raising agent required – amazing.


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