The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Malted Barley Flour?????

rainwater's picture

Malted Barley Flour?????

I've learned that most our bread and all-purpose flour contains malted barley flour, and that this is food for the yeast?  correct me if I'm wrong.......what would we do if our flour didn't contain this malted flour?  I live in the U.S.

Does most the flour in the world contain malted barley flour.....I guess I'm asking if the special European flours...the French flours for bread, and the Italian OO flour used for pizza and such. 

How does this change a recipe? 

I'm thinking of mail ordering some Italian OO flour to make pizza with to see what kind of difference it makes.

xaipete's picture

I think most AP flours have a very small amount of malted barley added to them to boost their enzyme activity. Whole Wheat flours do not require such an adjustment because they contain both the germ and the bran.


xrelaht's picture

Malting grains releases various enzymes, notably alpha and beta amylase.  These provide extra protein and process some of the starches in the endosperm into sugars, which are more readily eaten by the yeast.


AllenCohn's picture

My understanding is that the miller measures the amount of enzymatic activity and then adds more or less barley malt to get the activity to the amount specified for that flour. That way each batch performs similarly.

San Francisco

xaipete's picture

Thanks, Allen. What you say sounds right. I didn't research the topic just remembered it had something to do with enzymes.