The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Barley Malt in breads?

  • Pin It
Nick Sorenson's picture
Nick Sorenson

Barley Malt in breads?

Does anyone use barley malt in their breads? If so what does it do for flavor?

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

when they are required by the recipe.  Barley malt syrup for bagels inside the dough and in the boiling water.  Also use it in pumpernickel and rye breads.  All used for color of the crust and sweetness to the crumb.  I also make and use red dry malt for color of the crumb and crust.  White malt is used for sweetness and to add extra enzymes to the dough that break down protein bonds to convert them to sugars that yeast and Labs can eat - great for releasing enough food for very long retards.

There are lots of other reasons to use malts that other folks will point out.  Malts are on if the great bread additives.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

This is what Bob's Red Mill says about their malted barley flour:

"Malted Barley Flour, also known as Diastatic Malt, improves the flavor and appearance of yeast breads. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for every 3 cups of flour in your favorite bread recipe to give the loaves a slightly sweet flavor and moist texture. Malted Barley Flour also prolongs the shelf life of baked goods."

I use a little(very tiny amount) in virtually all of my breads.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

i put 3 - 5 g each fo red and white malt in just about every bread I make.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

...in baguettes. Its amylase enzyme makes more sugar available to the yeast for proofing and oven spring, and residual sugars to increase crust browning. I use 1 tsp. for each 375g (~3 cups) of flour. The baguettes' narrow shape, and smaller dough mass, requires less baking time than a boule or batard, reducing time for browning in comparison to other bread shapes. We like a thin, but well browned crust on baguettes.

David G

clearlyanidiot's picture
clearlyanidiot

I use hopped malt barley extract, more commonly known as beer kits. The hops are a bit bitter, so I only add a touch to dough and use honey for the rest of the sweetener, when required.

BBQinMaineiac's picture
BBQinMaineiac

Not barley malt, but diastatic malt. The enzymes convert the starch to sugars which the yeast loves.

I've begun using my own homemade diastatic malt in my loaves. It's exactly what one purchases from KAF and Bob RM. My first result was pretty phenominal  in my fresh ground hard white whole wheat loaves (still experimental) so I'm sold on it. My wife is picky, but she proclaimed these loaves as being very good. I'm still working on the recipe though.

Diastatic malt doesn't just come from barley, but that's what most folks think of because it's used in brewing.

I make mine by sprouting the wheat berries (soft wheat this time), then dehydrate them at low temperature so as not to deactivate the enzymes,  and then grind into flour. It takes time but it's not difficult. The sprouts are ready for drying when the sprouts average about the same length as the berry itself.

Right now I have rye sprouting for use in rye bread. To me it just makes sense to use rye for diastatic malt in rye bread.

Here's a bit more information about making homemade diastatic malt and a recipe: http://www.dryit.com/diastaticmalt.html

Edit: corrected sprout length

cjjjdeck's picture
cjjjdeck

Diastatic Malt was my next experiment on my whole grains adventure.  Wasn't sure which would be better, Barley Malt flour (from BRM) or Diastatic Malt powder.  I had a concern with the dextrose added to the powder.

Thanks for posting that link BBQ!

DoubleMerlin's picture
DoubleMerlin

Heya,

I've been sprouting and grinding my own malt flour like BBQinMaine. I've been doing a 19:1 ratio of plain wheat to sprouted wheat, which sounds like it's a lot more than the 1 tsp per 3 cups flour. I always let that flour soak a while to make sure the enzymes get some work in. I notice the difference drastically - a malt-free loaf looks pale and unappetizing compared to a malt loaf. I haven't noticed a difference in flavor particularly, but the malted loaves always look amazing.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

I add Ovaltine Original Malt powder or Nestle-Carnation Original Malt powder (not the chocolate flavor) to white and whole grain sandwich breads. It adds a nice flavor note. Two or three tablespoons to a 1 1/2 lb loaf. I add this for malt flavor. 

Lörren's picture
Lörren

When should I add the diastatic malt-powder? Is it supposed to be added to the preferment-dough, or to the final dough? Or to both of them?

Antilope's picture
Antilope

Peter Reinhart adds diastatic malt powder only to the final dough in the Vienna bread recipe and not to the pâte fermentée. The recipe uses a total of 22 oz (624g) of flour along with 1 tsp (0.25 oz) (7g) diastatic malt powder.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Although there surely are a few, I have never made a recipe calling for d.malt in the preferment.

The one time I experimented with dmalt in the preferment, it seemed to rise and collapse much faster than anticipated; in just a couple of hours, rather than a long predictable fermentation. Seemed to sort of defeat the purpose. A little dmalt in the final dough won't hurt though. I put a little in all of my breads.

Most here surely get along fine without dmalt besides what may already be in their bread and ap flours. It's not really needed in whole grain flours as they maintain the grain's enzymes and nutrients.

What does your recipe prescribe? If this is your own recipe, what are you trying to achieve with the dmalt? Is your dough not rising to your satisfaction? Matters of taste? Texture?

 

Lörren's picture
Lörren

My doughs are rising to my satisfaction. But I would like to experiment and see if the bread gets a different texture, with the diastatic malt, or something. I've heard that d-malt makes the bread sweeter?

 

 

Lörren's picture
Lörren

I've now sprouted some rye-berries over a couple of days, to make diastatic malt at home.

Now, I suspect that the berries have also soured a little bit along the way. And I wonder if this will affect the activity of the final diastatic malt? Or will it not matter?

 

 

Lörren's picture
Lörren

Also I am at this very moment trying to dry these sprouted little basterds in the oven, with the oven-door open. But still the heat won't go below 39 celsius. So I wonder how high I can go on them?

At what degree will the amylase/enzymatic activity self-destruct?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

IIRC, you want to keep it below about 120ºF(about 49ºC). The enzymes begin being destroyed above that. By about 160F/71C, they are all about gone.

Lörren's picture
Lörren

Ok thanx! 

What about the souring? I suspect that they have gone a little sour during the sprouting-process. Will this affect its ability as diastatic malt?

 

Lörren's picture
Lörren

Nobody knows?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

My guess is if the berries began sprouting like they were supposed to(within the estimated time range), then everything was par for the course at that point in the process. As far as my research as a layman in this matter, you really are not looking for the sprouting to proceed very far.

If you then began drying, pretty much right away at that point, again, things seem to be on course.

I have only done this once, with wheat berries. They sprouted, I dried and ground them, and was done with the matter. I assumed I had a flour/powder that had at least some diastatic activity. Don't really have the wherewithal to test for how diastatic it was.

What source were/are you using(as a tutorial) to guide you through this matter?

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Congratulations! You've managed the beginnings of a starter...,

Making malt requires that the berries be rinsed twice a day for the first two days - it washes away wild yeasts, lactic acid bacteria and molds that grow on and ferment the sugars being formed as the grain begins to grow.

The correct time to halt growth is when the acrospire is two-thirds the length of the grain length. Also remove as much of the dried rootlets, acrospires and hull at the end of the drying period by rubbing them together between your open palms outside in a light breeze [winnowing].

Wild-Yeast 

Lörren's picture
Lörren

Thank you guys

Lörren's picture
Lörren

How long does diastatic malt-flour keep, after it has been milled? Will the diastatic activity disappear after a while? 

Some people say that flour will be good for months after it's been milled, and others say it should be used within hours after milling.

So how is it with diastatic malt? How long does it keep after milling? Or do you store your berries intact and grind them up a day or so before usage?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I bought some Bob's Red Mill Malted Barley Flour this past May, from amazon.com.

It was (apparently)processed/packaged on April-XX-2013 and bore a "sell by" date of exactly one year later(April-xx-2014).

It will keep pretty much indefinitely in the freezer, well wrapped.