The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Substituting malt powder for syrup

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jseeds's picture

Substituting malt powder for syrup

First post, but I've been reading here a while (with awe).  I've wanted to bake bread for 20 (30?) years but was too intimidated.  Last weekend, I finally tried the "Loaf for Learning" from Laurel's Kitchen (Whole Grain) Bread Book and it was fabulously successful!  Next project:  whole wheat everything bagels.


Laurel calls for malt syrup in the boiling water - no problem.  But the recipe also calls for non-diastatic malt SYRUP, which goes in with the flour, yeast, etc.  I could only find non-diastatic malt POWDER.  How do I substitute powder for syrup?  Hydrate it first? How?


Parenthetically, I chose Laurel's recipe over Peter Reinhart's because it looked easier for a newbie.  Has anyone tried both and how do they compare?


Thanks in advance for any light you can shed!



LindyD's picture

Add the powder to the mix. I'm not familiar with that recipe or the hydration of the dough.  If you feel you have to add more water, just do it by the teaspoon as you mix the dough.

I don't make WW bagels but do bake bagels at least twice a month, using high gluten flour and diastatic malt powder in the mix.

mrfrost's picture

Just add the malt powder with the dry ingredients.

In Rose Levy Beranbaum's Deli Rye recipe, she calls for a half tablespoon of malt powder, or, .37 oz of malt syrup, which is also about one half of a tablespoon. If one can make an assumption from that, then they sub for each other pretty much measure for measure, by volume.

Elagins's picture

considering that most nonorganic patent (white) flours contain some form of malt already, the difference between diastatic and non-diastatic is, in my view, overblown.

as for malt, the liquid form generally contains somewhere around 16% moisture, so if you're using equal amounts by weight, you're getting about 20% more solids when you use dry.

i suppose if you want to be really precise about it, you can reduce the amount of dry malt by 15% or so, or increase the liquid malt by around 20%, but in most recipes the amount of malt is so small anyway, that 15-20% plus or minus will be barely perceptible

Stan Ginsberg

davidg618's picture

diastatic malt powder contains an enzyme, amylase, that converts starch to sugars. In beer making it is critical for a successful mash. For bread making it's not. Flour millers add diastatic malt powders to increase the enzyme in the flour since it gives the yeast an additional boost; it's naturally present in wheat, but at a low concentration. Both forms of malt powder or syrup boost browning, in general, when added to the dough; and some bagel makers use malt powder or syrup in lieu of baking soda, when they boil their bagels. Amylase, is rendered ineffective at about 170°F, so either works the same for boiling. Furthermore, In BBA, Peter Reinhart, states they are almost perfectly interchangeable. For bagels I'd buy whatever I could find, and use it for all applications.

Stan's recommendations in the previous post are great for substituting one for the other.

David G

jseeds's picture

Thank you all SO much!!