The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Malt crackers – as a good way to use diastatic flour.

leostrog's picture

Malt crackers – as a good way to use diastatic flour.

I purchased excessive quantity of malted coarsely-chopped wheat grains in brewery supplier’s shop.

After milling this grain in flour it was not clear how one can use these quantities (1 kg) since we add only 1% of diastatic malt to dough.

After searching and thinking I created a recipe by myself, receiving golden, crispy and very healthy crackers. It’s wonderful to eat with home-made cheese, cream cheese, salty dip or jam.




This quantity is enough for 9 big crackers.

 100g malted flour

100 g bread flour

1 tsp of guar gum (you can find it on a shelf with non-gluten baking products)

1/8 tsp of salt

1 Tbsp of DME

30g of soft butter (optionally)

½ tsp of baking powder

¼ tsp of fresh granulated yeast

100 ml of buttermilk /yoghurt (I used very thick home-made buttermilk), non-sweetened

1 egg (room temp.)

Heat the oven to 200-210 C.

Mix all the "dry" components. Beat butter and egg in a bowl for a short time.

Arrange together - dry mix, egg-butter mix and the buttermilk to sticky dough.

With wet hands make small circles, pierced with a fork and put them on a baking sheet at a small distance from each other – about 3-4 cm.

Crackers should be ready after 15 min.


jaywillie's picture

I'm not a brewer, but from what I've read I believe brewers only use non-diastatic malt. They use it only for the flavor, so the enzymatic action of diastatic malt is not important to them. I could be wrong about that, so clarifications are appreciated.

Diastatic malt comes in smaller quantities and is more expensive than non-diastatic malt, so I save it only for bread recipes that specifically call for it. 

Like you, I have more non-diastatic malt flour than I can use in bread, so this recipe looks interesting. What's the flavor like?





leostrog's picture

I can't describe this taste and flavor exactly, but there is a same that can give a malt syrup. If you dissolve a tbs of syrup in water and put it into your bread dough (without any additional flawors)- you recive something enough nearest.

I beleive that such home-made crackers  is a very healthy snack (it's possible to add salt/aromaic herbs and so on....)

I am searching for ideas for my malt recipies here.


Luber's picture

I am a brewer as well as a baker and food chemist, and it does matter, and whatever you read was wrong, or you misunderstood it. Please don't post misinformation here.

Brewers do use diastatic malt, but only bakers call it that; brewers just call it malt. Diastatic means it retains the grain's (principally barley) natural enzymatic activity (diastase) that converts starches in the grain into fermentable sugars, which is abosolutely necessary in brewing, whereas malt extract is simply the sugar resulting from this conversion, which adds sweetness, yeast food, browning and humectant qualities in breads but no further starch conversion during dough fermentation. These enzymes are destroyed by high heat (over 180ºF), but they are active at typical dough fermentation temperatures (80-90ºF) and even more so at brewing (mashing) temperatures (140-160ºF).

This has been discussed on this forum many times; a quick search for "diastatic" here will turn up numerous threads including one I chimed in on over three years ago.

Malt extract (which is pretty much pure malt sugar - maltose - not flour) is about $3/lb at the homebrew store; I use about a tsp. per loaf. Bob's Red Mill malted barley flour (which is ground malted barley, aka brewer's malt, containing starch, maltose and enzymes - i.e., it is diastatic) is about the same price, and I add only a pinch to my sourdough starter. When I worked as a baker, we bought a commercial product called "baker's diastatic malt extract", which contained a low-heat processed malt extract (sugars + enzymes) plus flour and dextrose (corn sugar) as fillers and yeast food; it was also about $3/lb.  King Arthur charges $6/lb for this product, just like they charge twice as much for everything in small quantities to the home baker than commercial bakeries who buy it from the mills in 50 lb bags.

leostrog's picture

Thank you for such a comprehensive post! It is professional and the correct explanation, I could not write such one , because i am not so familiar with English(though I know very well the chemistry of the processes in brewing and baking).
There are only recently our local stores begun to sell malt products (such as mult syrup, and diastatic flour, Sinomar - wonderful addition for making dark bread with wheat flour, liqud rye malt).

jaywillie's picture

I agree that Bob's Red Mill malted barley flour is diastatic; I live very close to their plant and have spoken with them specifically about that subject. But as soon as they tell you that what they sell is diastatic, they say, "But it's not what brewers should use," because they get a lot of inquiries from brewers. That was one piece of information, along with lots of others, that led me to believe that brewers use non-diastatic malt. My apologies for posting what you considered to be "misinformation." I did state very clearly that I could be wrong, so your reaction was a bit harsh.

I don't care what brewers use, because I'm not using malt for brewing, In the past, I've wanted to source both types of barley malt for my breads. I've investigated the subject with brewers and brewing supply houses and most of them are unclear about the terms and what type of malt they use. So now I know.