The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Canadian Malt Bread?

WhitneyLeah's picture

Canadian Malt Bread?

Hi everybody, I've been reading TFL for quite a while, but just recently joined, and this is my first post! My boyfriend is originally from Toronto and has made a request for some malt bread. I found some related posts and recipes here, but most of them seem to be for a British bread that is sweeter than what I remember, and often include raisins or currants, which were definitely not an ingredient in the Canadian malt bread I've had. I looked up brands and recognized the Dempster's package as the bread I remember and would like to reproduce. Does anyone here know what kind of bread I'm talking about, or have suggestions on where to find a recipe? Thanks! Whitney

fancypantalons's picture

I have no idea what the heck "Canadian Malt Bread" is. :)  I can, however, provide you with an awesome Puffed Wheat Square recipe if you like... ;)

WhitneyLeah's picture

I'm assuming malt bread in Canada is some variation on British malt bread, but I remember it as less sweet than the British version seems to be. I have no idea what a puffed wheat square is, I'll ask my boyfriend when he gets out of work ;)

breadbythecreek's picture

I was looking around in my cookbook shelves and found this one from the Baker's Bible, edited by Deborah Grey, copyright 1998, Chartwell Books, Inc.

Malt Bread

1 cake (1 oz.) compressed yeast, or (2 tsp active-dry yeast and 1 tsp. sugar) (no mention of instant dry)

2 1/2 cups warm water

1 tsp. salt

2 tbs. malt (I assume malt syrup)

1 tbs. honey or corn syrup

2 tbs. vegetable oil

1 cup golden raisins

4 cups whole wheat flour

Honey or syrup for glazing

Grease two small bread pans. Mix the yeast (and sugar) in the warm water.  (I assume set this aside until it is foamy)

Add the malt, honey, oil and golden raisins to the warmed flour (note. I don't understand this bit about warmed flour, but this is what the book says). Stir in the yeast liquid and mix thoroughly.  Put the mixture in the two bread pans. Set aside for 1 hour in a warmed place covered with oiled plastic (I assume the bread gets covered, not the warm place).  Preheat oven to 400*F. Bake 15 minutes then lower the temperature to 350*F and bake for a further 20 minutes until cooked.  A skewer inserted into the center should emerge clean.  Place the loaves on a wire rack. Warm a little honey or syrup and brush the tops of the loaves while they are still hot.  

Disclaimer, I have not made this recipe, but maybe it'll help you on your journey.


breadbythecreek's picture

I just realized this isn't what you're looking for as it has raisins. Sorry.

WhitneyLeah's picture

No worries, and thanks for posting it...I've seen several similar recipes and will probably use it as a jumping off point, since I haven't had any luck finding recipes that don't call for raisins

Kar's picture

Hi Whitney, I was wondering if you've tried making the malt bread yet and if so, how did it turn out? I too have been wanting this highly secret recipe! - Karen

Ford's picture

I do not know Malt bread, but I found this recipe on line along with many others that cal for sultanas (raisins).


FuriousYellow's picture

I actually used to work in the Dempsters bakery that produced the malt bread and can give you an idea of what was in it. I know it contained white flour, malted barley flour, veg oil, raisin puree, caramel color, and i cant remember if it was sweetened with sugar or molasses. other than that just some dough conditioners and preservatives and dumped into 6 strap pans with lids that were a pain to work with

Kar's picture

Thanks...this is very helpful info. I'm thinking that since it's hard for a home baker to find carmel color, the use of molasses instead of sugar, along with the pureed raisins, would make it brown enough. Or....what if I used dark brown sugar? Dempsters isn't very sweet. Sure wish you could offer estimates with the amounts and instructions.

Dreamer007's picture

Any idea on the proportions of white to malted barlety flour?  Assuming it is a yeast loaf.  THanks for any help you an provide. 

Kar's picture

My grandparents lived in Ontario and they always had this wonderful bread. I live in the states and although it's available online, shipping is very expensive. I'm not a baker so I'd appreciate measurements and instructions. The post by the Dempsters employee was very helpful and I now have these ingredients but need help with the actual production. I've even purchased a Baker In The Round glass baking pan. Can anyone guide me through this? Also... didn't mention yeast but unless Dempsters is a quick bread .... it must be part of the process. Would appreciate any help!

Jay3fer's picture

Thought I'd let some folks here know that I have made what I hope will be the first of several attempts to recreate this Dempster's Malt Bread in my home kitchen.  Ended up being a bit of a washout because we're out of several things - ignore all the substitutions I've made in the recipe.  Now, I did omit the raisins, but now I am thinking, perhaps if I purée them well enough, I can leave them in and they will be unnoticeable.

I would love to have malted barley flour; perhaps the place I've been buying bulk fresh flour will have some.

Anyway, it's a start, albeit a rocky one.  You are ALL welcome to read the post and suggest improvements!

Tinaskingdom's picture

I've been searching this out for months with no success!  Firstly I asked for for malt flour in the bulk store only to be stared at blankly.  Googled around to discover malt syrup might be the answer.  Now I see there is something called malted barley flour?!  I also wonder about the pureed raisins.  I still haven't found the malt syrup and now will be searching out malted barley flour.  More info if I am successful with any of this!

Dreamer007's picture

I got some at Grain process enterprises at 105 commander blvd in Scarborough.  Problem is I had to buy a 20kg bag.  Still have most of it and would really love the dempsters recipe to use some of it up.  In the mean time I add 2 tbsp to a batch of homemade waffle or pancake recipes and it is really great.  I have added it to my sour dough starter when I go to refresh it and it really gets things going.    I have used it in bread, just not sure how much I can add to white flour.  I am thinking 25% of the total flour?  


Nici's picture

I live in the UK, and I regularly bake a light malted loaf for breakfast or tea and use Muntons Spray Malt.  You can buy spray malt ( which is powdered malt) from "brew your own beer" shops.  It comes in light, medium and heavy malt, and I use the medium.  It works well.  Cheers Nici

Barbara43's picture

I grew up on Dempsters Malt Bread ~ I remember when it was 59 cents a loaf, now it's well over $3. It is sooo addictive - especially toasted with butter, Cheese Whiz and crispy bacon on it! There's a website called   - they sell "Eden Organic Barley Malt Syrup" 566g jar for $8.99 and they give FREE SHIPPING - no minimum purchase - anywhere in Canada. I've been searching for a recipe to duplicate Dempsters Malt Loaf - probably impossible, but maybe we can come close. I have my first 2 loaves cooling as I write this - an agonizing wait! The recipe I used is posted above, submitted by 'breadbythecreek on Feb 1 2011" but I have to say that I ended up using much more flour than the recipe states - maybe I didn't count the cups correctly - I thought I did. When I saw how soupy the dough was in my KitchenAid, I read the recipe again and thought it seemed to have a lot of liquid ingredients in it for the amount of flour listed ~ not to worry, just keep adding more flour until it comes together and cleans the side of the bowl. I have the bread - I have the butter - I have the Cheese Whiz (can't wait long enough to fry bacon) ~ I'll post the results after the taste test!


It makes great toast and is delicous, however, it's not malt bread. I think I'll double the malt syrup the next time and omit the honey ~ it's definitely worth a few more tries to get that malt taste ~ meanwhile, these loaves came out beautifully and are delicious in their own right.


gaylelouise's picture

Hi Whitney, Not sure if you're still looking for a Malt Bread recipe.  I'm also from Ontario and I contacted Dempsters to see where i could get Malt Bread in Alberta....You can't they said and no they would not ship a case out to me because they couldn't be assured of the freshness of the product.  So I gave up :(  then I was making dark German Rye bread in my breadmaker and added some raisins.  Lo and behold that bread tasted so close to Dempsters Malt Bread that I had to send some to family living on Vancouver Island too.  That recipe is easy to obtain.  Sometimes I ad 1/2 a cup and sometimes 1/4 cup of raisins.  Hope this helps.


Antilope's picture

Montreal Gazette newspaper - Oct 2, 1963

Julian Armstrong's Cooking - Bread Baking Vouge Gaining


Malt Bread

1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp white sugar
1 envelope fast-rising active dry yeast
1/4 cup malt extract
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 cups lukewarm water
4 tbsp shortening, melted
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups (about) pre-sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt

Measure the 1/2 cup lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the sugar. Sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 10 minutes,
then stir well. Stir in malt extract, molasses, the 2 cups of lukewarm water
and the melted shortening.

Combine the whole wheat flour, 3 cups of the all-purpose flour, and salt.
Sift together and add to the yeast mixture, mixing in well.

Work in sufficient additional all-purpose flour to make a soft dough,
about one cup more. The dough will be sticky. Turn it out onto a floured board
or canvas and knead until smooth and elastic, working in a little more flour
if necessary.

Place dough in greased bowl. Grease top. Cover. Let rise in a
warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/4 hours.
Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board or canvas and knead until

Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each itno a smooth loaf and
place in greased loaf pans (4-1/2 by 8-1/2 inches, top inside measurement).
Grease tops. Cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled
in bulk, about 45 minutes. Bake at 325 degrees F about 1-1/4 hours.
Makes 3 loaves.

Antilope's picture

I was born in California and have always lived here, but I make a loaf of Light Wheat Malt Bread that sounds somewhat similar to the description of the Malt Bread above. Here's my recipe:
Light Whole-Wheat Malt Bread
Makes one 1-1/2 lb loaf. Gram weights are given for those that prefer to weigh ingredients. Instructions are included for bread machine or manual loaf.
1/2 cup Lukewarm Water (120 g)
1/3 cup Buttermilk or Plain Yogurt (80 g)
1 Egg, beaten (50 g )
1-1/4 tsp Table Salt (7.5 g)
2 Tbsp Malt Powder (Nestles-Carnation Original Malt powder or Ovaltine Classic Malt powder - do not use chocolate flavor) (26 g)
2 Tbsp Powdered milk or Coffee Creamer powder (26 g)
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar or Honey (32 g)
1 2/3 cups Bread flour (212 g)
1 2/3 cups Whole-wheat flour (212 g)
1/4 cup Wheat germ (30 g)
2-1/4 tsp Instant yeast (7 g), (or 1 packet active dry yeast for manual loaf)
3 Tbsp Butter, softened (30 g)
Bread Machine Loaf Instructions
Add ingredients to bread machine in order given or according to your bread machine mfg instructions.
Select Whole Wheat or White cycle, 1.5 pounds, Medium Crust. Press START.
Monitor the first couple of minutes of kneading and add water of flour as required to create a firm, slightly sticky ball of dough.
Manual Bread Loaf Instructions

Add the lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the brown sugar. Sprinkle with yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir well. Stir in Buttermilk, Beaten Egg, Malt Powder, Powdered milk, mix well.
Combine the whole wheat flour, bread flour, wheat germ, and salt. Sift together and add to the yeast mixture, mixing in well. Add the softened butter and mix well.
Work in sufficient additional bread flour to make a soft dough, if needed. 
The dough will be slightly sticky. Turn it out onto a floured board or canvas and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, working in a little more bread flour if necessary.

Place dough in greased bowl. Grease top. Cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board or canvas and knead until smooth.

Shape into a smooth loaf and place in greased loaf pan (4-1/2 by 8-1/2 inches, top inside measurement).

Grease top. Cover. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. 

Bake at 325 degrees F about 1-1/4 hours or until interior temperature of loaf reads 195-F.

Makes one 1-1/2 pound loaf.

Dreamer007's picture

I found the ingredient list for Dempsters Malt Bread.  I put together a chart with the listed items and potential weights,  can anyone comment before I try to bake it.  Thanks.  




Enriched Wheat Flour


Water  80% hydration

325 or 370

Malted Barley Flour



16g  or sour dough starter 30g total  (use raisin water and some of the water and flour and malt flour)

Fancy Molasses


Canola Oil


Soluble Raisin Syrup (raisins and water) 3%


Salt 2%


Caramel Colour


Wheat Gluten


Calcium Propionate- preservative

Sub- soy lecithin