The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What's the deal with malt syrup?

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mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

What's the deal with malt syrup?

Question.  What does malt syrup add to bagels, except for sweetness?  Is there something else?  I have been making bagels for a little while now, and they turn out great.  thanks!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Color.


If you add barley malt syrup to the water, bring it to a rolling boil, then place the cold bagels in the water, you'll see the dough taking on the color.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

malt is really the secret ingredient to bagels and makes some important contributions to the dough:



  1. Maltose is the sugar that gives malt its sweetness and importantly, it doesn't occur in either granulated sugar (sucrose = bound glucose and fructose) or honey (free glucose and sucrose).  Yeast *loves* maltose.

  2. Enzymes like diastase and amylase a- and b-, which break down the complex carbs in flour into simple sugars, which both provide nutrients for the yeast and also sweeten the dough.

  3. As Mini points out, malt in the boiling water also adds the color, which is about sugars -- including maltose -- caramelizing at relatively low temps, but in addition, malt in the water, as opposed to sugar or honey (or even lye), provides a very high gloss, which may also be another of maltose's properties.


Hope this helps


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

mrosen814's picture
mrosen814

Thanks Stan.  Where is malt derived from? 

Elagins's picture
Elagins

from pretty much any grain that's been sprouted, but 99% of the time, "malt" refers to barley malt extract, in either syrup or powdered form.


the grain is forced to sprout by soaking it in water and is then roasted at low temp to stop the germination and lock in the sugars that have been produced during sprouting.  the dried malted grain is then soaked again to extract the sugars and heated to produce either a syrup or a powder, primarily consisting of the sugar maltose.  


in places where sugar was rare and expensive, as in northern and eastern Europe, malt extract and honey were the main sweeteners until the beet sugar industry developed in the mid 1800s.


Stan 


 

troutski's picture
troutski

I have seen mention of Rye Malt as used in Russian Black Breads. Is that something that is available retail?


 


thanks,


 


Mark

Elagins's picture
Elagins

is as an ingredient in kvass concentrate from Lithuania that's sold in a local specialty market here.  kvass, btw, is made of stale rye bread that's been boiled with raisins, then cooled and allowed to ferment for a couple of days by adding yeast. it's an interesting sweet-sour, fizzy and mildly alcoholic drink that's consumed widely in eastern Europe.


Stan

suave's picture
suave

It is a fairly rare ingredient, something that you'd have find a mail-order supplier of, on the other hand it is used only in some Russian breads, not all of them.