The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question for those in the know concerning diastatic malt powder

FoodHacker's picture

Question for those in the know concerning diastatic malt powder

Is it worth using (does it really make that much of a difference in taste and texture?) and for those that do use it what types of bread to you bake using it?

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

...but a lot of difference in colour; in fact, that's really all I use for these days: to see what colour crust will result if I use Caramel Red No. 5, etc.

It's generally used for retarded breads (or ones that undergo a long, slow fermentation).

If used in large(-ish) quantities, then its flavour comes through; but, it does something to the dough (I want to say it dries it out) that I don't like very much. Makes it mealy? No, that's no quite right either. Someone help me out here.

Here's Hamelman, Bread, p. 364:

With breads that undergo a very long and slow fermentation, such as those kept in a retarder for several hours or overnight, the addition of malt may be helpful. This is because the great length of the fermentation results in a considerable amount of the sugars in the flour being consumed by the yeast. When the bread finally gets to the oven, there are insufficent residual sugars in the dough to provide good crust color. By adding diastatic malt powder to the dough, more startch can be converted to sugar during during fermentation, and therefore more residual sugars remain in the dough at the time of baking. When adding diastatic malt, bear in mind that more is not better, and an excess yields a gummy crumb. It's always better to start on the low end when adding malt, starting with perhaps .1 to .2 percent of the flour weight. 

This gummy quality might be the same as what I mentioned above, although I'd call it more of a mealy quality than gummy.

henryruczynski's picture

I ran into difficulties with regards to bun production.

Straight dough, fermented overnight was giving me an uneven bake.

Looking at my flour ingredients, it stated that it “may contain amylase” so I figured...

hmmm...maybe there’s not enough amylase.

I switched flours yet continued to have pale and uneven colour although not bad as with the previous flour.

Adding diastic malt, I found that ratios of 2 to 3 percent addition mostly corrects the problem making white wheat buns. Whole grain buns seem to require one percentage more dia malt.

When I bake loaves of bread, I add only 1 percent dia malt.

There are days when I do some large numbers (4000 buns scaled at 40 gm each) so the pale

and uneven colour was a concern which has now been mostly corrected.

Once again; my doughs are mostly all straight dough, overnight ferment.

I make the products one day, retard and then bake the following day.

It’s a system that is working out well for me and gives me a life.


As for your bake, If you’re happy with how things are turning out , then I wouldn’t change or add  a thing.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in white wheat breads.  Even more so when it is diastatic malt (which starts an enzyme chain reaction.)

Now my taste buds are rather advanced and so is my nose's sense of smell.  Runs in my family.  My husband can also taste the differences (doesn't run in his family.)  When I don't have any form of malt for flavour, the closest I can come to substitutions is brown cane sugar.  It's not the same, but a slight improvement over not using anything.  Diastatic malt with its  enzymes will certainly speed up fermentation and relax stiff gluten protein bonds.   Perhaps adding a short cut flavour note often tasted from long preferments.   As I said, it is more noticable in white wheat and bleached wheat flour.  

richkaimd's picture

May I suggest that the asker use the search function on the upper left of any TFL page.  I do believe your answer and more is there.