The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Diastatic Malt Powder

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lindab's picture
lindab

Diastatic Malt Powder

Hi - I have just discovered this site and am enjoying reading all of the posts about bread making. I live in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada (about one hour west of Toronto) and love to cook (and well, also eat). My goal is to understand enough about bread making that I can be more creative and not have to follow each recipe so closely.  I had no idea there were so many different ways of doing things.  Recently, when reading about bread on the internet, I have come across recipes that include diastatic malt powder as an ingredient - is this something that is only used when baking certain kinds of bread? can it be added to any recipe and what would be the advantage?


Thanks to anyone who responds.


Love the site!


 

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Is freeze-dried maltose, and lesser amounts of other sugars that also contains the enzyme amylase, an enzyme that converts starch to sugar. It is extracted from malted barley in much the same way as brewers extract wort (barley sugar water) for making beer. Amylase is present in wheat, but only in small amounts. Most flour millers add amylase, extracted from various sources, to milled flour to ensure there is at least a minimum amount of amylase such that some of the flour's starch will be converted to sugars, providing food for yeast. Consequently, it's really an optional ingredient, even if it's not labeled such in a formula or recipe.


It does two things for bread baking:


1. gives an additional boast to yeast; i.e.,converts more starch to sugar providing more food for the yeast (and bacteria in sourdough also).


2. by freeing more sugars it aids the browning process ensuring a nice color.


David G

lindab's picture
lindab

Thanks David!  Does that mean that it has no effect on flavor?

davidg618's picture
davidg618

the bread is a little sweeter. I am not disputing their perceptions. In my own experience, I've not seen a difference in flavor. However, I don't use it in every formula, and those I do have robust flavors of their own, with or without, the diastatic malt powder added. The KA product, which I use, prescribes 1/2 to 1 tsp per three cups of flour. a relatively small amount.


David G

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

one thing I was never able to duplicate was the plus/minus "precise taste" of a good German broetchen (breakfast roll)


based on web searching and the addition of diastatic malt powder - I found "the taste" - I use about a tablespoon for 400-500 grams of flour.


in small amounts I'd agree you never notice it.  for example KA bread flour lists it as an ingredient - but if you up the qty some, you will taste the difference - and there's also a different aroma to the fresh bread(s)

lindab's picture
lindab

Thanks to Dilbert & David for the help.  I think I will order some diastatic malt powder from KA and see if it improves the taste of the artisan white loaf that I tried from 'Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day'. The crust and crumb were fine but the taste was a bit blah - may also try different flour - any suggestions regarding white bread/AP flour available in southern Ontario?


Linda

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Since you are also looking for a flavor component, I would suggest ordering both kinds; diastatic, and also the non-diastatic malt.


I have seen many advisories against adding more than a minimal amount of diastatic malt, as too much can adversely affect the texture of the bread and/or the consistency of the dough. Too much and the bread may turn out sticky and gummy inside, or at least stickier/gummier than desired.

FuriousYellow's picture
FuriousYellow

In regards to flour suggestions, I use organic flour from Oak Manor Farms, which i believe is actually very close to you. Their white "all purpose" flour is actually more like a bread flour with a high percentage of protein, and I find this flour gives bread a very nice and robust flavor.

lindab's picture
lindab

Furious Yellow -


Thanks for the recommendation re Oak Manor Farms.  You are right - it is not very far from me (less than an hours drive) so I plan to drive out and visit the store and stock up on some flour.


Will report on results of bread baked with their flour.


Linda

enaid's picture
enaid

Furious Yellow, Have you tried Oak Manor's whole wheat flour?  I've been thinking about their 60% whole wheat but am concerned that it has the coarse bran removed. Can that still be considered WHOLE wheat?  Their 100% whole wheat sounds as if it may be very heavy.


I have a jar of EDEN brand malt, purchased at Whole Foods.  Does anyone know if this is diastatic malt?  no one at Whole Foods could tell me. 

staho88's picture
staho88

I recall a recent post (though I can't find it now) where someone wrote to the eden malt producers and they replied that the syrup was non-diastatic. 

FuriousYellow's picture
FuriousYellow

Enaid, I have tried their 100% W/W but i agree it is a little heavy because it has a little more bran than most other W/W flours. I think their 60% would be a pretty good bet and I may try it next time too. It is still a whole wheat flour because they still use the whole grain, they just sift some of the larger bran particles out. Commercial 100% whole wheat is missing all of the germ and some of the bran, so I think the 60% from Oak Manor would still be a little heartier than the whole wheat flours most of us are used to.

enaid's picture
enaid

I will take a trip to Oak Manor soon.  I am only about 1 hrs. drive away in Oakville.  I have some wheat bran so I can always add it if I need a heartier loaf.

pjaj's picture
pjaj

There are several topics on these forums covering malt flours, powders and extracts. Try the search box at the top left of this page.


One such topic can be found here.


Good luck finding what you want.

enaid's picture
enaid

I always loved granary bread when I lived in England.  I have never found it here in Canada.  On a visit to England, I checked my sister's bag of granary flour and found it contained malt and cracked wheat.  I then started putting both in my bread.  I used to buy malt extract but it was much paler in colour than what I can get today.  It was amber in colour, more like honey and I used to get it at the drug store, not at the grocery store. It does not seem to be available any more.  Because of the colour and milder taste, I think it may have been wheat malt rather than barley malt, which tastes too much like molasses for my taste. Does anyone know if wheat malt extract is available here?

jstires's picture
jstires

to my baguette recipe, along with about 2ozs of white whole wheat. The resulting combo produces a richer flavor and a beautiful golden crust. The sacrilege of toasting a baguette slice be damned. The ever-so-slight sweetness offered by the malt is caramelized and the result is pure heaven. It will destroy some old tried-and-true baking habits.