The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Malt Flour

JoPi's picture

Malt Flour

I purchased some Malt Powder at an Indian Market at our local Farmers Market.  Is there a difference between Malt Flour and Malt Powder. The Malt Powder has some bits of the hull in it.  It also doesn't say whether it is diastatic or non-diastatic.  I have used it in my bagel recipe (Montreal Bagels from TFL). They are most delicious.  

Kuret's picture

malt flour/powder are definately different things, however as both words essentially mean the same I suppose there are regional differences. however in my impression malt powder is a sugary substance derived from malt syrup whilst malt flour are malted grains ground into flour.


Both are of course derived from malted grains it is just the amount of refinement that separetes them.

pjaj's picture

There are several topics on this subject, one of which here and here and here

Although they talk mainly about malt flour in the UK there is a discussion on the various types and links to commercial sites with further information. There are also recipies for a malt fruit loaf which seems to be only baked in the UK.

Ek's picture

I'm not sure I can get this malt powder here in Bangkok (though I will keep on trying...).Is there something I can replace it with ?Why is it needed in the recipes in the first place anyway?flavouring?feeding the yeast on it?


mrfrost's picture


Diastatic Malt: Its enzymes help yeast grow effectively and efficiently, resulting in better texture, more flavor and improved shelf life.  Use 1/2 to 1 tsp. (per 3 cups flour) to your dough..."

If you can't find it , it is relatively easy to make, using barley or wheat kernals. Wheat kernels are easier to find and I've read they are easier to sprout.

"...How to Make Sprouted Wheat Flour or Diastatic Malt


Things You'll Need:
glass jar
cheese cloth
rubber band
red hard winter wheat berries
filtered water
oven or food dehydrator
cookie sheet (if using oven)

Step 1. Use a jar that will allow for one part wheat berries and three parts water. Rinse your wheat berries well to remove all dirt and foreign objects. Put the berries into the jar and fill it with water. Cover the jar with a three to four layers of cheese cloth, and put the rubber band around the cloth to keep it on the jar. Let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

Step 2. For this step you do not have to remove the cheesecloth. Dump the water out into a bowl to use in bread, soups, or for watering your garden or house plants. Rinse the berries in fresh water. Dump out the water, and let the berries rest again for three to six hours. If the berries have not begun to sprout within six hours, repeat this step.

Step 3. When the berries have a sprout 1/8 inch long, rinse them one more time, and dump out the water. Spread the berries out onto a drying rack without holes if drying in a dehydrator and on a cookie sheet if drying in the oven. Keep the drying temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the nutrients. Dry for six hours. Make sure the berries are completely dry. See the tips below for oven drying.

Step 4. Store your berries in an airtight container until you will grind them.
Grind them to fine flour by pulsing it in a food processor or coffee grinder or putting them through a flour mill right before you use them.


inlovewbread's picture

I posted about this on another thread but can't find that one...

I just went through the above process for sprouting, drying and grinding my own hard red wheat berries for flour. I will be using this flour in Reinhart's 100% Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread. 

Dan Lepard's book says that diastatic malt powder is home-made by sprouting, drying, toasting and grinding Barley. The main differences being that it should be barley and also toasted (isn't the toasting what gives it the darker color?)

It is a bit confusing because it seems odd that I would be making a whole loaf of bread out of Diastatic Malt Powder.


mrfrost's picture

If the sprouts are toasted(or heated above 120 deg F) the enzymes are destroyed(deactivated) and the diastatic properties are lost. In this case, you now have non diastatic malt flour.

Malt can be made by sprouting barley kernels, wheat berries, and most likely other grain seeds/berries/etc. Barley malt is considered to have stronger diastatic properties than wheat, and since malt is used on a wide industrial/commercial scale, it is the grain of choice for large scale malt production.

In the industrial process, they are able to further refine the malt flour to get a more concentrated syrup or powder and it is then called malt extract. This concentrated malt extract(the powder form) is also sometimes called malt powder. Again, this is just a refined concentration of the same malt flour one can make at home.

As stated in the how to make link above, the homemade malt from the wheat berry will serve most home bakers just fine.

If one can find barley kernals, they certainly can be used. I have just read that the barley kernels are sometimes harder to sprout at home. For some, they seem to be more prone to mold and mildew than the wheat. One just probably needs to be a little or a lot more diligent to the details in getting barley to successfully sprout.

Ek's picture

That's sounds like something fun to try....thanks for the detailed answer.