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Advanced Bread and Pastry- Malt?

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inlovewbread's picture

Advanced Bread and Pastry- Malt?

Many of the formulas in Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry include "malt" as an ingredient. Pain Meunier (page 254) for example. The book does not specify whether non-diastatic malt powder, diastatic malt powder or barley malt syrup should be used. The index, glossary, and appendix each omit malt. Does anyone know or have experience with any of the AB&P formulae including malt? Which did you use? 

I am familiar with each form of malt, but due to the need to compensate when malt syrup vs. malt powder is used, I need to know what to plan for. (i.e. dissolving malt syrup in the water, or mixing malt powder into the flour...)


Elagins's picture

i think i recently posted elsewhere about the whole malt question, which i frankly think is a tempest in a teapot. since most nonorganic patent flours already contain malt in one form or another, the additional amylase activity that comes from a couple of percentage points of malt is, in my view, not a significant factor in how the bread will ferment. if anything, the extra activity might speed fermentation slightly and add to the sweetness of the bread, owing to greater starch -> sugar conversion, but again, probably not a very big deal.

as for the difference between liquid and dry, again, not a major problem. liquid malt extract only contains about 16% water, so you'd reduce the quantity by about that amount if you're using dry malt in a recipe that calls for liquid, and increase the quantity by 20% if you're doing the dry-to-liquid conversion. again, though, because the amount of malt in most recipes is so small, the effects of a simply 1:1 substitution aren't likely to make a lot of difference in the final outcome.

Stan Ginsberg

gcook17's picture

In the classes I've taken at SFBI (founded by Michel Suas and where the formulas used generally come directly from ABAP) we've used diastaic malt powder (active malt).  The exceptions were in the German bread class where some formulas specifically called for inactive malt powder.  King Arthur flour sells both of these types of malt.

I use DSM in all the formulas I've used from ABAP. 

My wife took the viennoiserie class there and asked the instructor if DSM powder was what was called for in ABAP when they just say malt and he confirmed that it was.

LindyD's picture

I don't have the Suas book, but Jeffrey Hamelman discusses the use of malt in his book Bread, noting that with breads which are fermented long and slow (retarded doughs), adding diastatic malt can be helpful.

I didn't pay much attention to that until the other day, when I pulled out Ciril Hitz's book, Baking Artisan Breads, which has been sitting on my bookshelf for months, unread.  Hitz views diastatic malt as an optional ingredient since the enzymes it contains aid in the conversion of the starches to sugars to feed the yeast.  That results in more fermentation which equals better rise and flavor. His analogy is "that much  like a sports drink aids an athlete, it [diastatiac malt] improves the performance but is not absolutely necessary."

Curious, I added six grams (0.02%) to a sourdough formula I've been playing with over the past months, based on Susan of San Diego's formula.  This is a dough that is retarded overnight.  It was mixed Monday and retarded until I returned home Tuesday.  When I removed it from the refrigerator, I noticed a difference in the rise of the dough in the banneton versus previous doughs.  It also had better oven spring and I was quite happy with the taste.  I'll definitely keep experimenting with it and I would never mix bagels without it.


MichaelH's picture

Lindy, please help me with my math. If I remember correctly, .02% is equal to .0002; therefore, 6 grams divided by .0002 is equal to 30,000 grams in the total formula.

Did you mean 2% or .2%?


josephine's picture

30,000 grams is 30 kilograms or over 60 pounds! Not the right amount to add.

LindyD's picture

With my decimal points, apparently.  It's  .2 percent, Michael. Which is the max that should be added, per Hamelman.

MichaelH's picture

I have his book, but that is a little gem that I had not noticed.