The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

diastatic malt

codruta's picture
codruta

diastatic malt

hello. How do I find out if a flour contains (diastatic) malt, if there is no mention on the package about it? I'd like to make some distatic malt from barley, to use it in baguettes or bread but, first, I need to be sure that the flour doesn't have malt already.

thank you

codruta

lumos's picture
lumos

Can't answer to your question because I think  the regulation on food labeling is so different to country to country, and sometimes  how each manufacturer interprets it.  I know some French millers do state it on their packet, but it seems it's not always the case.

But I can tell you this from my experience. -- When you add diastic malt powder, please be careful how much you add it (if you haven't had used it before).  It can make the dough quite sticky and difficult to shape (especially baguettes) if you add even a tiny bit too much. And you only need to add very small amount, anyway.

Good luck!

lumos

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to 3 cups of flour.  I have some and that's what it says on the bag.  You can contact King Arthur's Help department if you need more info.  They are "very" helpful.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

My experience is the amount suggested by the directions on the bag is usually way too much. (I can understand that... if I was the miller and was trying to sell 2# bags that said "use 1/4 teaspoon per loaf", I'd go nuts too:-)

Try a small amount (and write down what you did), then try a little bit more next time, and so on. If you get "too much" (which is very easy to do) the finished bread will have a pronounce "gummy" texture.

Finding out the right amount is particularly tricky if the flour miller already added some, bcause millers seldom say exactly how much they added. Both the "maximum amount" and the "amount the miller added" differ every year depending on the quality of the wheat harvest that year. So you'll get it all figured out, then buy a new sack of flour, and then it will be all wrong again.

I just looked at the sacks of the flours I (I'm in the U.S.) currently have: both the Gold Medal and the King Arthur Flour explicitly list one of their ingredients as being "malted barley flour".

lumos's picture
lumos

Forgot to say.....(again)

Probably you've seen this already, but if not, this is a great benchmark for how much diastic malt can be added without disaster.  Always reliable Susan! ;)

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Codruta,

If you are using locally milled flour from Romania and it doesn't say enriched with malted barley or some similar language, I doubt it has malt added. The malt is a food product for the yeasts and helps the crust develop color more quickly. It is sweet to the taste and can be used in syrup or powder form. It is sometimes added to recipes that use malted flour to improve browning.

So, the bottom line is that you can experiment with malt to change the coloring qualities of your breads. Regardless of the flour being enriched at the mill or not, it is a tool to be used. I suggest starting with 1/2 teaspoon per 3-4 cups of flour. It is possible to over brown while under baking the crumb. Good luck.

Eric

 

codruta's picture
codruta

thank you for your advises.

eric, I use romanian flour (bread flour), hungarian flour (AP flour), german flour (BIO - high gluten, AP, and whole-wheat) and I expect to receive in a couple of days a package from France with different types of french flours. I'm curious about diastatic malt for a long time, since I saw on susan's blog wildyeast some beautiful baguettes that she made using diastatic malt. You said: " It is sweet to the taste and can be used in syrup or powder form", but from what I read on the web, diastatic malt is not sweet, only non-diastatic malt is sweet.

I can't find in romania neither diastatic (nor non-diastatic) malt, so I'm willing to try making my own, after reading a topic about this, here, on TFL. I just didn't want to go all that trouble before I knew if my flour is malted or not.

I took my information from here:

http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2010/06/02/get-your-malt-on/

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6567/make-your-own-diastatic-malt

lumos's picture
lumos

but from what I read on the web, diastatic malt is not sweet, only non-diastatic malt is sweet.

You're right, diastic malt is not sweet if you taste it straight, unlike non-diastice which is sweet.  But my understanding is (Please correct me, someone, if I'm wrong) that starch (? or something else, I can't remember...sorry) in diastic malt feed yeast over a long time, hence the yeast would consume less of starch/sugar during fermentation, resulting the dough left with more sugar to add sweetness to the resulting bread......or something in that line.....I...... thin.....k.........:p

lumos

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Here is a good reference thread. Be sure to read Chucks post at the bottom. I wouldn't think you would need diastatic malt if the miller adds any during grinding and packaging. The few times I have purchased any in powder form, I was cautioned to keep it dry and away from humid air as it turns rock hard once subjected to open air.

Eric

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi codruta,

You may well find that the flour you use have not had diastatic malt added.

However, most millers now adjust the amylase content of their flour by adding fungal amylase to give consistent diastatic activity within the dough.

As you have been counselled, a small amount of diastatic malt has a great impact on the fermentation rates within a dough.   So you may well be caught out if you use the diastatic malt if your flour already has the fungal enzyme added.

All good wishes

Andy

ps. Enzymes are classed as "processing aids", and they do not have to be listed on the food labelling, so you really have little way of establishing if they have been added unless you contact the manufacturers!

lumos's picture
lumos

Right... so, the reason for extreme stickyness of dough when I add diastic malt could  be because some fugal amylase had already been added to the flour at miller.....?  I certainly haven't seen any of my flour bags stating the inclusion of enzymes, but if that's the case, it really make sense because how little I add it, it always becomes sticky.  In the end, I rarely add diastic malt anymore these days, except for when I need to cold-retard the dough for a very long time, especially never to my baguette dough after a few attempts.

Thank you Andy for valuable information, as usual.

lumos

codruta's picture
codruta

Very helpful answers and links. Thank you.

Andy, you were right about enzymes. I check the packages again, and on one of them (romanian flour Type 000 with 11.5% gluten) is mentioned : "faina tip 000. Contine gluten, enzime (amilaze si hemicelulaze)" which translated would be : The flour contains gluten, enzymes (amylases and hemicellulases). In this case, I guess there is no need for extra diastatic malt.

codruta

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi codruta,

That's good that you found some information on one of the labels.

Hemicelluase is derived from the fibrous outer layer of a genetically modified soya bean.   It absorbs a tremendous amount of water so brings extra strength to the dough in the same way that certain emulsifiers do.

Remember, however, that if a label does not list fungal amylase, it does not necessarily follow that the miller has not added it!

Best wishes

Andy 

codruta's picture
codruta

Andy, you scared me with "genetically modified soya bean". Is something harmless, or I should be concerned? I make an effort to find and to use more BIO flours, but they are rare and pretty expensive here.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi codruta,

I have asked questions of the organic experts here in the UK regarding added enzymes.   I will post more info on their response when I have it.

Thanks, and good wishes

Andy

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi codruta,

The implication of the information posted here: http://www.soilassociation.org/Frequentlyaskedquestions/Yourquestion/tabid/1548/ArticleId/2355/What-is-your-position-on-GM.aspx is that the Soil Association do not allow ANY GM in a certified product.

I am worried they could sneak in on a technicality: enzymes are added in minuscule quantities, so a level of 0.1% as quoted here could be enough for companies to add to be effective, yet not fall foul of SA rules.   Additionally, enzymes may not form part of the ingredients list anyway, nothing makes this explicit.   Remember, they are not subject to labelling requirement in the EU just now.

I suspect that hemicellulase will not be added to an organic flour; I am less confident about fungal amylase not being included, even though a number of food campaigners here in the UK have expressed worries about the negative impacts of this enzymes in a number of different ways...including Bakers' respiratory dieseases!

Best wishes

Andy

codruta's picture
codruta

thank you Andy. That is a good information.

I'll switch to organic flours, hoping for the best.

codruta