The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Non-diastatic versus Diastatic Matled Barley Syrup?

  • Pin It
dhyoung's picture
dhyoung

Non-diastatic versus Diastatic Matled Barley Syrup?

Hello -

I have taken an interest in bread making and I've been doing a lot of research prior to getting started.  I recently obtained a book called "Artisan Breads" written by Eric W. Kastel from a series called, "At Home with The Culinary Institute of America."  It is very informative from beginner to experienced baker.  The issue I'm running into is an inconsistency with the book and some research I've been doing online (including this site.)

Under Malted Barley, the book is quoted as follows:  "Non-diastatic malted barley contains an enzyme that helps break down the flour's carbohydrates into sugars, making them more available to the yeast.  This allows the yeast to do a better job fermenting, generally making for a lighter and tastier loaf of bread.  It also helps the bread's color.  Diastatic malted barley does not contain enzymes and won't work the same way."

When researching online, I am finding the complete opposite information.  It appears that Diastatic Malted Barley is the better choice. 

Can someone confirm either way?  I would like to use this in my recipe, but want to make sure I'm using the proper ingredients.

Thanks!

Dave

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Yes, they definitely have the facts reversed on this. Just do a web search for "diastatic malt" to learn more.

It will probably be difficult to find the diastatic syrup as a retail consumer. The only place I have been able to find it is nybakers.com. Virtually all the stuff sold in stores is nondiastatic.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Diastatic discribes the malt and means it contains Diastase (or Amylase) and this is an enzyme that breaks starches into sugars.  

Non-diastatic, placing "non" before "diastatic" means it does not contain the enzyme.  

So why is the "non-diastatic" label even used?  Because many of these products normally contain the enzyme but a process was done (like heating) to deactivate it.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but I don't know if he was consistant in his mix-up when writing his recipes.  You could leave out any of the malt he mentions in the recipes, substituting brown sugar or when in doubt use non-diastatic or non-active malt.  It is rare indeed that a recipe will call for the enzyme laden diastatic malt.  

Lol:  When I first heard the term "diastatic"  I thought it had something to do with dust magnets or static electricity!  

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

If you want to buy a 55-gallon drum or a railroad car full of diastatic malt syrup, that's available. :^) Organic, too!

Check out http://www.maltproducts.com/

If you don't need quite that much, there is lots of good information about malt on their site.

Now where am I going to store that 55-gallon drum...

dhyoung's picture
dhyoung

Thanks for the comments.  I had assumed he messed things up, but I sometimes have little faith in information on the internet. 

I made my first two loaves tonight - Just a simple round white bread.  They turned out really good.  On to the next recipe this weekend!

Thanks again,

Dave

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I have that book too and he does have it backwards as others have said.  I use non-diastatic malt - either powder or syrup - when using his formulas.  Some very nice breads in that book.

Janet

lumos's picture
lumos

Am I the only one who thinks diastatic malt does not have as much malty aroma as non-diastatic malt?  Also I find adding diastatic malt powder makes dough very sticky unless you're extremely careful about the amount, which doesn't happen so much with non-diastatic.   

I used to add a tiny amount of diastatic for dough which needs very long retard (Don't do it anymore, though, now I've learned it's already added to most of flour at millers in UK) and use (still do) non-diastatic for flavour and aroma.  To me, they have different purposes and effects. so not quite interchangeable. .....but it may just me and my imagination.......:p

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Limos,

No expert here....just what I have read which does support what you have stated above about the 2 different malts.  I know diastatic is supposed to be used in very small amts - like 1% .

I also use the non-d for flavor - sweetener.  I wanted to know how much to add so I called the King Arthur Flour company and talked to one of the bakers there.  Recommended amount is 2-3% of your recipe.  It can be used with other sweetener in your dough too....personal taste rules in the end :-)

Janet

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I just made some loaves with about 0.2% (a tenth of what KAF recommended:-), and found the effects so significant and uncontrollable that I'm now trying going back to that same recipe except not adding any diastatic malt at all.  Even the very small amount I added caused a much larger rise, more than halved my fermentation times, caused my poolish to overrise and collapse, lengthened required baking time by 10-15%, and left a "gummy" residue on my serrated bread slicing knife.

(I was using Bob's Red Mill diastatic malted barley flour  ...I suspect the measurements are quite different for syrup. Also, the normal heat of drying can very easily partially destroy the diastatic quality of barley flour, so I wouldn't be at all surprised to find different brands of barley flour having quite different diastitic qualities:-)

lumos's picture
lumos

LOL I feel the same. How little I use, I always end up with dough which is so sticky an unruly :p and very difficult to handle.  The amount I used to add was even much less than 0.2%, probably.  And as far as I could notice, I didn't find it makes any difference in flavour or aroma. Not for that small amount I use, anyway.  

I know a lot of people add diastatic malt when making bagels, but if I add that much to my bagel dough, it'd completely destroy the dough.  I've been wondering if the flour they use is completely different from the flour I use here in UK.

Anyway.... I've completely stopped using diastatic malt some time ago......so ended up with  unused diastatic sitting in my cupboard doing nothing........  Anybody want some? :p

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for flavour!  or moisten it with dark beer and paint it on some potato bread after shaping the dough, dust with more malt and let proof...  ???

lumos's picture
lumos

Roast it and then use it as non-diastatic malt

Is that all you have to do to turn it into non-diastatic?!  God, I wish I'd known last week..... I ordered two bags of non-diastatic malt that just arrived yesterday.........::sigh::

Thanks for the tip, Mini. I'll remember it when I run out of the  current stock of non-diastatic.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

According to wiki     

It can also be heated up in water and cooled.  But I think roasting or carmelizing in a pan or oven would give better flavour.  Careful it burns easily.

lumos's picture
lumos

thanks! :)