The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help!!! Re: non-diastatic malt powder

amazonium's picture
amazonium

Help!!! Re: non-diastatic malt powder

Okay, I am using non-diastatic malt powder for the first time in a new recipe for sourdough kaiser rolls. I mixed the dry ingredients (along with the malt powder) and as I was mixing by hand I noticed the flour felt 'crusty'- no other way to put it. Hmmm. I continued and added the wet ingredients and I could feel little hard lumps in the dough. I assume this was caused by the malt powder (since this has never happened before) and I am wondering what I did wrong. Should I have dissolved the malt powder in the liquid? Is this dough a lost cause? I am using the stretch and fold method so I have another 30 minutes or so to go before I feel the dough again. Arghhhh this is frustrating- just when you THINK you know something about bread you find that you a lifetime of learning yet to do. Suggestions?


Thanks!


Amaz

thomasp's picture
thomasp

Malt Powder can be very annoying to work with when baking bread. Essentially it is a malt syrup (think of the consistency of thick honey) that is dehydrated as it is sprayed through a nozzle. I think most malt powder strives to have around 2% humidity.


As soon as the malt powder gets any chance to absorb liqud, it will. So even a humid day (or damp hands) can make life annoying. Being that it is super sweet, I don't think it will dissolve in cold (or cool) water...it would probably take water above 145° F before dissolving.


I usually try to gently spread it throughout the flour before I add water. I'll also try to 'bury' the malt in flour so it doesn't absorb humidity from the air. This is a minor attempt to avoid sugar crystals from clumping. I've now switched to malt syrup since it mixes a lot smoother...still wicked sticky though (don't spill the stuff)!


Tonight, you'll probably find that, after primary fermentation, some of the clumps have been absorbed while others have not. I would just pick the big clumps out of your dough when you go to shape your loaves. Also, since malt powder is probably in the 1-2% range of your formula, it isn't a huge component. So you'll survive.

amazonium's picture
amazonium

Thank you for the info. I have folded it 3 times and yes, the clumps have dissolved- mostly!! Perhaps by the final fold it will be smooth. I had no clue this stuff would be so hard to work with. I use diastatic malt poeder in my breads and love it. Lesson learned!!

sewcial's picture
sewcial

is basically dried malt syrup. The non diastatic is like the malt powder you can use to make a malted milk or shake. I think that is also the one recommended to be dissolved in water for dipping bagels, but I haven't made them yet.


It probably won't hurt your bread, but the one most used for yeast breads is diastatic malt, which is more like flour and mixes in very well. It is sprouted barley flour. It is still sweet to the taste, but you can really tell the difference on  your tongue. Also, it doesn't grab every bit of moisture from the air like the non-diastatic does. I have both kinds and I'm careful not to keep the container of non-diastatic malt open except to quickly take out what I need to use.


Catherine


 

amazonium's picture
amazonium

Oh I am a dolt- I have barley malt syrup, too. Somehow I didn't connect the two. D'oh!

Elagins's picture
Elagins

diastatic and non-diastatic malt powders are both dried barley malt syrup, which is about 85% solids to 100% solids for the dry. the difference is that nio-diastatic is dried at a higher temperature, which causes the amylase enzymes to deteriorate and go inactive.

amylase alpha and beta metabolize starch into sugar and facilitate fermentation.

malted barley flour is a whole other animal, since it's ground from malted (i.e., sprouted/germinated) barley that is dried and then milled into flour. malt extract is subject to a couple of other steps of extraction and dehydration. barley malt flour, which is rich in amylases, is often used in patent flours as a dough conditioner and as an additive to improve fermentation.

as a practical matter, unless you're using untreated (i.e., organic) flour and are not slow-fermenting or using a pre-ferment, the enzyme activity of the malt isn't going to make much of a difference.

I use both diastatic and non-diastatic liquid and powder (and also low-diastatic powder) in bagels, kaiser and other rolls and haven't noticed a significant difference in the quality or duration of the ferment, or the taste and texture of the bread.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

amazonium's picture
amazonium

Thanks, Stan. I am looking forward to see whether or not I can tell a difference in the taste.

verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

I use malt powder all the time, I just add it with all the dry ingredients and then stir them together with a whisk before adding the wet ingredients.

amazonium's picture
amazonium

I will be more diligent about mixing it in next time, since I will know what to watch for now. I am using a new recipe AND new ingredients AND new methods. But hopefully the results will be worth it! I am much to learn....

amazonium's picture
amazonium

Okay, I have the rolls resting before I do the final shaping- I am using a kaiser stamp since it is past midnight and I have to be up at 6am. I have made the knotted ones before and I know it takes a bit of time, so I am taking a shortcut and trying the stamp for the first time. I usually do things the hard way, or shall I say, the more interesting way- such as making my own graham crackers to use in a crust for a key lime pie ( and juicing tiny little key limes for the juice) but I am running out of time! Thanks for all the info, y'all, and yes, the little lumps smoothed right out- the dough is great. Let's hope the finished rolls are worth the work and worry!


Amaz

jannrn's picture
jannrn

Amaz....I noticed you said yall....where are you from?? Also, PLEASE do post pics of your rolls....I haven't tried the malt powder yet and am now a bit worried to!! ANY info is great!! Doncha just LOVE this site!!

amazonium's picture
amazonium

I am in Arkansas. The rolls are long gone, but next time I will take pics to share!!