The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

diastatic malt powder

steelchef's picture

diastatic malt powder

After reviewing the now extinct discussion of this ingredient, I had a conversation with a commercial baker whom I have newly befriended. She informed me that malt, in various forms is used exclusively in commercial breads. Rarely are cane, beet or other sugars used. The DMP is used because it is much cheaper than refined sugar, in the final cost of production. Simply put, it converts starchs' in the flour, into sugar. It also adds to the familiar taste that homemade can never seem to achieve. (Not to say that we all want to benchmark that idea!) She advised me to increase the recommended amount by 2-4 times. My results have been spectacular. Try adding 3/4-1 tsp of DMP to each cup of flour. Leave out any sugar. That is 3-4 times the recommended amount. But consider who is recommending it and who stands the most to lose if you are successful in making your own loaves. The industrial bread manufacturers will influence even giants such as KAF, to direct you away from duplication of their (Bread & Butter.)

It is perfectly normal capitalist behavior. I'm not suggesting that KAF is an Ogre, to the contrary, they have big ones to even offer the product to the masses.  

Canadians know that DMP is not available in this country. I was curious enough to spend C$50 to get 5 pounds from The landed cost included an insane shipping charge. the product itself was only C2.20/lb and is listed under "Sweeteners." I placed my order through and will be happy to send a copy of the purchase receipt to anyone who doubts this.

Even at C$10.00 a lb, it is still a bargain and provides that familiar taste and sweetness that we all associate with "bought bread."

Another tip:

 This site tells you how to make your own.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ok, now I know what to do with my Semmel recipe.  Replace all the sugar with malt and cut the rise times.  Got it.

Ouch!  about the "bought bread" label, it means different things to different peoples.  Lets call it a bakery familiarity.  It is a taste that has been used a long time (given the parnership of beer and bread) and doesn't surprise me.  Think of all the home bakers trying to malt their breads using a beer!  There is a basic taste there that many are searching for.  Barley malt. 

Wonder how it affects the dopamine centers of the brain.

steelchef's picture

Hey Mini - and Pam plus anyone else that I may have inadvertently offended by the "bought bread" statement. If I may clear that up; I was referring to the taste of white sandwich bread, commonly known in my community as 'bought bread,' as opposed to homemade. Your thoughtful remark leaves me embarrased to have made such a ethnically sensitive blunder. I should probably keep my thoughts to myself to avoid being outed as insensitive to other cultures.

You may want to check out that 'dopamine' thing. It may well apply.

I was trying to contribute something that I considered valuable, not suffer a scolding from the likes of you!

This post is probably against the rule but someone needs to let you know that you don't moderate this site. Don't ever insult or challenge me again.

If Floyd needs to kick me for this, C'est La Vie!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

better hang low. I also wasn't try to offend or insult.  If I did, I'm sorry.  Pam and I have been trying to make "the perfect semmel"  for quite some time and just yesterday she got motivated again.   The secret of a good semmel hangs with malt, flour and tradition.  Could be that the malt flavor has been over used in factory bread to the point of wearing it out.  Used to the point of being negative.  Thanks for pointing that out and also that it's available.

It seems I hang out here on TFL too much.  If you feel I moderate, then that's a sure sign I should go do something else.   Thanks for mentioning it, Sorry that you had to.

I don't think Floyd will get mad at either one of us as long as we behave ourselves.  :) 

Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

The cold black and white letters of the message board are often insufficient to convey softening tones or gentler volumes which make spoken conversation feel welcoming or quizzical or gracious or whatever a speaker feels and thinks. Achieving a balance of voices such that knowledgeable speakers and knowledge seekers can interact usefully across the internet seems to be a kind of an art, an art which this site's moderator has clearly achieved, to my great personal benefit. I, for one, believe that both steelchef's and Mini Oven's contributions to 'The Fresh Loaf' add great value to the discussion. Thanks to you both.  

The advice of using diastatic malt powder in much higher proportion than its label advises is appreciated. It means I could possibly ever get through a pound or so of the stuff before it goes stale, so I might finally buy some. Thanks for offering the tip.

In the few months I've been reading 'The Fresh Loaf' I've learned so many helpful things from Mini Oven's comments that I hope she in no way restrains herself from commenting. Mini's admonition to experiment with the 'Spices of Bread' convinced me to splurge on a few bags of aromatic seeds. The great effect those spices had on my breads' flavors helped me feel freer to add other spices which have --along with malts in various forms-- had a huge impact on the flavors, colors and crusts I've been getting from my breads. Her frequent tips on working with rye flours, which seems always to be backed up with examples from her own kitchen, have enriched the palette of flavors I now work with in my home kitchen.

So, in the immortal words of Fleetwood Mac, "Don't stop!"

msbreadbaker's picture

Wow Mini, you are so kind. Your reply to that uncalled for rant was just like all of your other posts which I enjoy reading. As a long time serious bread baker, (home) I still learn a great deal from the answers you give to folks having problems. Please do not stop, you certainly are not hanging out too much. You appear to be thorough yet clear and easy to understand. Thank you for that.

There is much to be learned as I have found out, didn't know I didn't know so much!

Take care, Jean P. (VA)

foodslut's picture

....from your post:

Canadians know that DMP is not available in this country

I'd be happy to hear from those more expert than I on this:  is "malt flour" the same as diastatic malt?  If so, I've found malt flour here (city of ~110K) in bulk food stores.

steelchef's picture

No, DMP is made by sprouting then drying and grinding wheat berries, (grain.) See the following link for a full explanation of the process,

Chuck's picture

Well now I'm thoroughly confused  ...please help me!

My experience is with Malted Barley Flour. My understanding was that although it's manufactured somewhat differently and has a slightly different flavor than DMP, its effects on the dough (sweetening, etc.) are the same. Do I understand correctly?

And both all the warning posts and my personal experience are that just a little "too much" (which is still quite a bit less than the recommended amount:-) turns the crumb all gummy. So how does using several times the recommended amount work?

steelchef's picture

Sorry Chuck, I don't understand the science behind bread making. I was just passing on the advice and experience. I'm a stark amateur and have been trying to gain some basic skills.  BTW I have  discovered that DMP is more commonly made from barley than wheat.

Try Googling Non-Diastatic Malt Powder as well. 

Chuck's picture

Hopefully somebody other than the OP has something to contribute...

Sorry I mis-phrased my request to seem like asking for a scientific explanation. What I really meant was more along the lines of:

The last time I added a bunch of MaltedBarleyFlour to my dough, the bread was so gummy I had to throw it out. So before I try this again, can somebody tell me what's different?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Here's a link I like:

There is mention that darker breads are more affected by malt and gummy crumb (sometimes desirable) than white breads.  As they are selling the stuff, their % to flour might be at the high end.

And although my exuberance might have been misinterpreted as sarcasm, after careful thought, too many enzymes bothers me.  If the mix is quick and the ferment short it would work but I'm not keen on short ferments. 

I've been mixing my dough (flour and water) and letting it just rest wet for 12 to 18 hours (23°C)  then adding the yeast and malt.  I'm afraid that adding diastatic malt (DM) to this dough too early would only result in goo (believe me I will try it.)  I am also thinking of the malt.  The darker inert ones are used for color/flavor, the light DM ones, for enzymes and action.  So… what if… when following the recipes, the DM is used as directed and then instead of sugar, inert brown malt is added?  This is my next direction of tweaking.

I still think that malted breads, being not only carbohydrates but containing special malt sugars, could have a uplifting "good feeling" chemical reaction in the brain when digested.  In other words, affecting the dopamine center of the brain.  This might explain the hard pressed behavior to get the recipe just right when it comes to recreating it or searching for the same recipe as that one back home.  :)


LindyD's picture

Hi Chuck, you are correct that too much DMP can cause problems as when amalyse activity is too high, the rate of fermentation becomes excessive.  Fast bread is not good bread.

Jeffrey Hamelman discusses amylase activity and malt in depth at page 364 of Bread, noting that if the flour has malted barley listed as an ingredient on the bag, chances are no additional malt is needed - unless the baker has access to a flour analysis and the falling number indicates additional malt should be added.  In that case, Hamelman writes, diastatic malt should be used because it has active amylase enzymes.

Hamelman does note that bread undergoing a very long and slow fermentation under refrigeration can benefit from the addition of diastatic malt because it allows more starch to be converted to sugars during the lengthy fermentation.  The DM allows more residual sugars to remain in the dough when it goes into the oven, resulting in better crust color.

He also writes:  When adding diastatic malt, bear in mind that more is not better, and an excess yields a gummy crumb.  .1 to .2 percent of the flour weight is recommended.

Ciril Hitz, in Baking Artisan Bread, also mentions the use of diastatic malt (p 61) and essentially says the same thing as Hamelman, noting that DM is made from sprouted grains, usually barley, and that the use of DM is purely a personal decision; it's an optional ingredient.  There is one recipe (baguettes) in his book that lists DM as an optional ingredient.  I've not tried it yet.

I always use DM in bagels.  I've also tried it in my sourdoughs (which are always retarded), but didn't think it added anything in the way of flavor or color.  As an aside, I primarily bake lean breads - no sugar or other stuff.

A little goes a long way.  About three years ago I purchased a pound of DMP from KAF, keeping it in my freezer.  While I make bagels at least three times a month, sometimes more, I still have a bit under half a pound left.


highmtnpam's picture

I'm listening


merlie's picture

Just to get my two cents worth in - I had no problem buying small amounts of DMP in a health food store in Alberta Canada. It was the only thing I found that made my malt bread really sticky ! It is on the list of ingredients on the wrapper of a malt loaf purchased in England. Can't make malt bread without it.


Janetcook's picture

Another plug for making your own.  Many sites have the instructions but this one is my favorite and after watching I have decided that the music alone is enough to make you a convert to home sprouting  even if you never use the stuff   :-)

ronhol's picture

While searching for a source, I read that home brewing stores might be a good source.

Which makes me think that micro brewery's might stock it also.

And, probably many local bakeries, so tomorrow I begin my quest for the holy grail, Diastatic Malt Powder.

BBQinMaineiac's picture

As I was reading the thread I couldn't help but notice that (I think) some folks were thinking that DMP is the same whether it's from barley or wheat. I have NOT used DMP barley only the wheat form and I've had  nothing but positive results. I add a Tablespoon or 2 to my wheat berries as I grind them, and the weight of the DMP (wheat) is part of the total weight of the wheat.

It seems to me that barley will make for a gummy loaf since barleys nature is gummy.

ichadwick's picture

I picked up a small amount of malted barley flour from a nearby flour mill, and also bought some DMP from a US source. I've experimented with both in breads, but only a very small amount at any time (less than 1 tsp per loaf, usually under 1/2 tsp). Neither seems to have any significant effect, so perhaps I should try more?

I checked my bags of Canadian flour and neither Red Rose nor Robin Hood AP, WW or bread flours mention malted barley in their ingredients. All mention amalyse, however. Robin Hood's "Nutri" flour lists it, however. Is amalyse derived from malted barley?

mrfrost's picture

Yes, same idea: "diastatic" enzyme in the malted equivalent to "amylase". Although the amylase may not be "derived" from malt. Functions similarly, wherever it comes from.

MiserDD's picture

Has anyone considered just buying a pound of malted barley or malted wheat from your local homebrew shop and grinding it in your blender (gets it finer than a food processor)?

Here is Malted Barley with a DP rating of 140

Here is Malted Wheat with a DP rating of grater than 300

Look in "additional information" to find DP rating.  Unground last a lot longer, and it's really cheap and fresh at a home brew shop.

MiserDD's picture

Started with malted whole grain wheat (filled an 8 oz cup) which will have a DMP rating greater than 300.  (It was over 2 years old and was stored in my pantry.  I note the age because whole grain stores much longer than ground grain.)  I ground it into a flour using my blender, which will grind much finer than a food processor.  I used a simple bread recipe and made the two loaves exactly the same way.  They were cooked at the same time in the same oven, both in cast iron pots.  Three cups of flour in each loaf.  The loaf on the left had three table spoons of my malted wheat flour, the one on the right had one.


As the picture shows the one with less DMP flour had a better rise while cooking.  After cutting both in half I found the one on the left had a very sticky crumb, almost to the point of making it inedible, while the one on the right had a crumb typical of what you may expect from a Panera Bread loaf.


So… Malted grain has the needed DMP for baking.  I would have used Barley (2-row or 6-row) if I had it on hand, but I didn’t.  Home brew stores seem to be more common than Whole Foods stores (at least in the US), so it should be easy to get the grains and make your own DMP.  Making your own DMP is also cheaper as a pound of grain runs about $1.50, and if you don’t grind more than you need at once, it will last for years.