The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Attempt Kaiser Rolls (& a question about barley malt syrup)

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Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

First Attempt Kaiser Rolls (& a question about barley malt syrup)

The poppy-seed rolls were hand folded and proofed upside down.

The sesame-seed rolls were stamped using a "kaiser roll" stamp.

Both sets of rolls were dusted in rye flour during shaping.

The recipe called for "barley malt syrup" and I made a special trip to Whole Foods just to buy a jar of barley malt syrup. When I opened it to use in the recipe--hey, this looks and smells like molasses! So what is the difference between barley malt and molasses? My guess is that in the olden days bakers used whatever they had available, some had barley malt while others had molasses, but it just seems to me that these ingredients can be interchanged.

Is there a significant difference between barley malt syrup and molasses?

I also baked an apple strudel for the Rosh Hashanah holiday:

The "J" shape has no special significance--the roll was just too long for the the tray! Before serving, it will be dusted with a layer of confectioners!

bob13's picture
bob13

Molasses & malt syrup are both liquid sweeteners.  One from sugar cane/beets and the other from sprouted grain.  They are very similar in color and sweetness.   Molasses being somewhat sweeter but not enough to see a difference in baking.  They do have very different flavors but once baked, most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference.  Another sweetener that I've used in baking is pure maple syrup, it adds a different hint of taste while making the dough sweet and feeding the yeast.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

asked for malt syrup.  

I suspect that should have read diastatic malt, more likely the light colored powder or flour made from sprouted and dried barley.  A dark syrup (the coloring coming from heating) will not contain active enzymes.  

Mmmm strudel!  

Tricky to brown, I often have to brush with oil/yolk  oil or butter or heavy cream to get a nice brown on the dough.

Mini

suave's picture
suave

There's really very little difference between the two if you think about it.  Diastatic malt cuts starches into maltose (mostly) and softens the dough.  Malt syrup supplies maltose (mostly) and softens the dough.  I am sure someone out there figured the correct substitution factor. 

PS.  Of course you can both taste malt syrup and see it in crumb color if you add enough of it.

Vicious Babushka's picture
Vicious Babushka

I have seen large (commercial) containers at professional baking sites, but have not found it at Whole Foods or other specialty stores in consumer-size packages.

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Try a home-brewers' store. Most will / should carry powdered malt.

//edit: I should read further before replying. See Julie's reply below. ~g

cheers,

gary

Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

I bought some at a local beer making supply store.  

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I've never been able to find it through beer making supplies. I would be happy to be able to do so though.  What did you ask for and do you have a picture of the packaging and/or brand name?  Maybe if I go in knowing EXACTLY what beer makers call it I would be able to find it ...

Diastatic malt has a LOT different effect on the bread than non-diastatic malt (such as barley malt syrup).  Diastatic malt is a yeast-feeder; non-diastatic malt is basically a sweetener.  Diastatic malt changes carbohydrates already present in the flour (and thus changes the properties of the dough and the way that yeast acts); non-diastatic malt merely adds to what is already there.  Diastatic malt does not have an instantaneous effect; it needs time to do it's thang and give the yeast a chance to exploit that.  So, longer ferments or higher protein doughs see more benefit from the diastatic stuff.

I know people who have tried them both (I am not one of them as I have never been able to find a local source of the stuff) and report that they do not have the same effects.  Folks I know who use the diastatic malt use it mostly in bagels and bialys, and pretzels.

Personally I MUCH prefer the flavor of barley malt syrup to that of molasses.  Molasses always seems to have a bitter after-bite to me.  I also use barley malt syrup in some Korean barbecue recipes.

Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

I'm attaching a photo of the label from the package I purchased from Defalco's, in Ottawa, Canada.  Though the label doesn't specify, I contacted the company through their website and they confirmed for me that it's diastatic.  (sorry - not sure why the uploader insisted on rotating the photo!)

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Thank you!  It helps to have something specific to start from with which a brewer type person would be more familiar.

Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

You're welcome.  Good luck with the search.  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

might be another name.   Diastatic means it contains Diastase.

Do note that if you sprout the naked barley yourself, the first growth to appear are roots (rootlets) not sprouts.  Sprouts will run the length of the grain and if not dried, eventually become stems to support leaves as they continue to grow.