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Malt Powder Substitution

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Severance's picture
Severance

Malt Powder Substitution

I have a few bagel recipes that I want to try, but they require malt powder. I have searched everywhere I can think of locally (grocery stores, health food stores, liquor stores, etc.) and can't find this anywhere. I don't want to spend $12 buying malt powder online and then have to pay for shipping when I only have a few recipes that require it.

My question is this: can I use sugar as a substitute for malt powder?

I ask because I was reading a definition of what malt powder is and it says that malt powder is "made from grain that is fermented, then dried and ground. The process turns the grain's starch into sugar." I was thinking, since I can't find it anywhere, that I might be able to use sugar instead of malt powder. If I can't substitute it, does anyone have any suggestions of where else I can look for it.

heidet's picture
heidet

Hi, did you try your local health food store by any chance? I often find malt syrup there. Traditionally malt powder in Eruope is made from Barley and used in most breads. There is a flour in the uk named  granary flour and it contains malt. I have often substituted malt syrup ,adjusting the liquid, with nice results for bagels. (Living in Japan, malt powder is rare and 12 grams costs about 5.00 usa but is hardly ever available). Alternatively, light can sugar has also worked to some degree but grind it so that it is powdery.

Rick McGuire's picture
Rick McGuire

See if you have a home brewing supply store near you.  That's where I find malt powder. 

Sugar is not a good substitute for this.  The sugar in malt powder is maltose, which is metabolized differently by the yeast than the sucrose in white sugar.

 

 

suave's picture
suave

Differently how?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I personally would not add sugar.   Refined sugar is not really healthy, especially sugar made from sugar beets, which is  a genetically modified food crop.  Plus, a traditional bagel contains no sugar.

The diastatic malt contains enzymes, which sugar does not.   Those enzymes help break down the starch to make (natural) sugars, which provide food for the yeast and also caramelize during baking.  

I purchased a pound of DM from King Arthur Flour a couple of years ago - maybe more.  I keep it in a very well sealed glass container in my freezer.  The powder keeps very well frozen and small amounts can be added to your other bread doughs.

KAF sells it:  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/diastatic-malt-powder-16-oz

On the other hand, if you don't want to buy it, just mix the bagel dough without the DM powder.  They will turn out well and will taste better without adding refined sugar.  

sue cardiff's picture
sue cardiff

Is this bad? Why?

sue

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Don't want to hijack Severance's thread, so I'll give you a few links to read so you can draw your own conclusions:

http://justlabelit.org/   This is a site advocating that GM foods be labeled so consumers may make an informed choice of what they eat.  Also, http://www.prevention.com/food/smart-shopping/genetically-modified-foods-what-you-need-know

Finally, a  link to a study done by Sherbrooke Hospital in Quebec which found traces of an insecticide present in the blood of pregnant women.  http://www.uclm.es/Actividades/repositorio/pdf/doc_3721_4666.pdf

There's plenty of info about GM crops on the Internet and it's alarming enough that Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have banned GM ingredients from their house brands.

Edited to add that so far wheat is safe.  There is no genetically modified wheat being grown in the US.  

suave's picture
suave

Sue, haven't your parents taught you to never question people's faith? :)

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

just about everything you eat is genetically modified.  Even the "ancient grains" like spelt or kamut are genetically modified by humans.  If they weren't, they'd just be another wild grass.  Ditto for lettuces, apples, cattle, onions, you name it.  So, let's think about our choice of words.

Further, a little bit of searching and reading turns up information that companies are tinkering with the genetic material of sugarcane, very much like Monsanto has done with sugar beets.  So, cane sugar isn't necessarily entirely free of "GM" sources.

As you note, refined sugars are not a wonderful thing for our health.  And again we need to be careful with our terminology.  Even the so-called "raw" sugars are the result of some refining steps.  (Honey might be our one sugar source that is not refined from its source material.) By the time we have white crystals sitting in our sugar bowls, it's pretty hard to say whether they were sourced from beets or cane.  It is sucrose, after all.

Note that I haven't disagreed your concern about making some plants pesticide-resistant when we really don't know what the long-term outcome will be.  I'm just asking that we don't confuse plant with product and that we don't automatically assume that since one is "bad" the other must be "good".  That kind of duality is frequently an off-ramp to a logical dead end.

Paul

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Honey is surpassed only by olive oil for food fraud.

Unless you know the beekeeper yourself, there's a very high probability that the honey in your cabinet is corn or other syrup, at least in part, if not the majority.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/honey-laundering-the-sour-side-of-natures-golden-sweetener/article1859410/singlepage/#articleco...

 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

True, we've been hybridizing for generations, using the simple technique of cross pollination to improve plants, both edible and ornamental.  

I think the present concerns deal more with the biotechnology of gene splicing and problems it can create, such as mixing the allergens of nuts with soybeans (done accidentally, but it happened).  Or the StarLink corn incident. 

The Atlantic raised some interesting points to ponder:  http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/the-very-real-danger-of-genetically-modified-foods/251051

egger88's picture
egger88

I've made bagels with honey instead of malt powder or malt syrup (depending on your recipe) several times now.  The flavor is slightly different but not enough to worry about unless you're a purist, and honey is much easier to keep stocked in my kitchen.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Before I bought malt syrup (Made by Eden Foods and purchased at a local health food store) I used honey too.

If you have a heath food store near by see if you can find the syrup - Barley Malt Syrup.  

They might also carry Bob Red Mill flours and they have a product - Barley Flour - which is actually diastatic malt.  To make it non diastatic (because you don't want all the enzymes for what your are doing) you simply heat it up and roast it a bit which kills off the enzymes.  A 1lb bag costs under $4.00.

Good Luck,

Janet

fancy4baking's picture
fancy4baking

This is new to me Janet. Roasting barley flour to get nondiastatic malt!! I have barley flour, but i need to know to which degree i should roast it, and what's the amount i should use in my dough to compensate the amount of malt  called for in the recipe?

And wouldn't roasting affect the overall flavor of the bread?

Should i roast the barley flour in oven? For how long and at what heat degree?

Thanks Janet.

Izzat

davidg618's picture
davidg618

The amalyse enzyme denatures, i.e., irreversibly destructs, at approximately 180°F.  Therefore, if you're using malt powder in the boiling water bath there is no need to roast diastatic malt powder/barley flour; the boiling water destroys the amalyse enzyme.

Conversely, if your recipe calls for two or three teaspoons of malt powder in the dough (approximately 1 tsp for every three cups of flour) it implies diastatic malt powder, which, by releasing more sugars early, improves yeast activity, oven spring, and the finished bagels' crust color is darker. Baking temperatures ultimately denatures amalyse, but not before it's done its job.

David G

P.S. The Bread Baker's Apprentice has a good tutorial on water bagels, and Bread a reasonably complete (from a baker's point-of-view) amalyse behavior.

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Izzat,

Here is a link that includes temperatures for malting grains.

If you are using Bob's Red Mill the malt has been ground into a fine flour and I think that is even printed on the package somewhere.

I simply took a bit of it and heated it up in my oven.  First batch I did over bake and it had a strong flavor -think caramilized sugar.  Second time I watched and stirred and the flavor wasn't as strong so I am thinking you can create the flavor you want but the main thing is to heat it to a temp. where the enzymes are killed IF you want to use it as a sugar substitute within your dough not as a food for your yeast.

As David wrote in his response this is a mute point of all you are using the malt for is the water bath for the reasons he pointed out.

There are many other posts here that discuss diastatic vs nondiastatic malt here.  Just go up to the search box and type in what you are searching for and you will soon have a lot more information to go on.....and, if you are like me, to get confused by.  :-)

Varda had a posting to on her adventures baking a Borodinsky loaf that uses malted barley in it and I recall there were discussions on malt within it too so you might check our her recent blogs - like within the last 2 months.

Actually, I had it in my account files and here it is.

Take Care,

Janet

 

suave's picture
suave

I think you have realized, reading this thread, that just about everyone has his or her own idea on just what exactly malt powder is.  So, if your recipes don't come from books (and even then sometimes) it is impossible to say just what exactly the source meant by "malt powder".   It also matters whether the malt is meant for the dough or for the boil.  But I guess, yes, go ahead, try sugar.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

non diastatic malt powder at your local Bosch dealership or you can make your own diastatic or non diastatic malt poweder.

For non diastatic malt  -    http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/27954/making-red-rye-malt 

To make white diastatic malt just do the same process but dry the berries at no more than 150 F before grinding.

Malt can be made from most whole grain berries.

Making diastatic red malt is almost impossible at home but you can find it at home beer brewing supply shops along woth mass quantities of Barley Malt Syrup that beer makers use for their base.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I go to a local homebrew (beer supply) store and buy the grains they sell (for making beer). There are bins and bins and bins of them and I never quite know which ones to buy. The employees aren't much help either. Ask them anything re:bread and their eyes cloud over.

Question: I know some of those beer grains are roasted/toasted. Maybe all of them are. Am I buying nondiastatic malt when I buy malt at the beer store? Has the roasting/toasting already denatured the amylase enzymes?

(I just grind them at home in a coffee grinder/mill).

-

I buy malt syrup there too, but always feel like I'm annoying them when I ask for 1/2 quart. They have to pull it from a 55 gallon drum.

suave's picture
suave

Some, but not all.  Base malts are.  Retail packages should be marked with Lovibonds, those in 2-3L range are diastic.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I do recall seeing "L" numbers on the bins, though; but, that could be a construct of my imagination.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Lovibond units are a color index: simply stated, the higher the number, the darker the beer. Some malts, e.g., Cara-pils have a low Lovibond (2°) but contribute no conversion strength to a mash, i.e., its amalyse enzymes are denatured.

David G

suave's picture
suave

Yes, that's true, but it's a decent guide.  Carapils is really an exception and diastic activity is something that even online homebrew supply stores often do not cite.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Yes and No.

Some malted grains are exceptionally diastatic, e.g., Pale Malt (2-row, and 6-row), and in some the enzyme is denatured due to high roasting kiln temperatures, e.g., Cara-Pils, Crystal, and Black malts. Malting is a process wherein the starch-to-sugar-converting enzymes--alpha-amalyse and beta-amalyse--are released, but the starch to sugar conversion is interrupted. The malted grain is then dried at temperatures that preserve the integrity of the enzymes. Some malted grains are  kilned at higher temperatures to develop interesting beer flavors or mouthfeel characteristics, but in the process the enzymes are denatured. These malted grains are mixed with malted grains with their enzymes intact in various ratios, and using varying types which, after brewing, result in a variety of beer styles and flavors. Much like cooking and baking, beer-making is creative pastime relying heavily on the brewer's skills.

Brewers grind their grain mixtures and mash them (a brewing term, not a foot or fist stomping) in water at specific optimum temperatures that activate the enzymes which, in turn convert the grain's starch to sugar. In the end-game of mashing the grain-water mix's temperature is usually raised sufficiently to denature the enzymes. Subsequently, the mash mixture is leached with hot water (sparged) to extract all the sugar. The resulting liquid (wort) is then cooled and inoculated with yeast that convert the sugar to ethanol: ergo, beer. 

I've not seen it suggested, but I guess you could grind and sift malted barley grain whose enzymes are preserved, e.g. Pale malt, resulting in a powder mixture of bran, starch and enzymes that would provide diastatic activity.

Alternatively, you could malt fresh barley grains--sprout them, and interrupt their growth when the cotalyden leaves appear, dry them at low temperatures, and proceed as above.

Frankly, I wouldn't mess with grains.

Bite-the-bullet and buy some diastatic malt powder.  I know King Arthur's is a bit pricey, but considering the use-rate it lasts a long time. I routinely use two level teaspoons in 1050g of baguette dough made every week to ten days. I've been doing this for about a year and a half, and I've still got about 1/3rd of the original package remaining. There are other sources of diastatic malt powder listed here on TFL. Use the search engine.

However, homebrew malt extracts (dry, or liquid) are a great source of non-diastatic malt powders or syrups which are, for the most part, powdered sugar (maltose, a disacharide) or sugar-water concentrates. Furthermore, if you're adventurous, liquid extracts may be a source of subtle flavors, akin to beer styles, but without the bitter hops notes. I believe most (all?) malt extracts are 85% sugar, 15% water so formulation or sugar/water substitutions of bread recipes will be straight-forward.

David G

Incidentally, I doubt homebrew shop clerks will know the word "diastatic". I has no purpose in the brewer's jargon.

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I don't know where I got the idea (think is was Reinhart's Crust & Crumb), but that's what I've always done: a powder mixture of bran, starch and enzymes that would provide diastatic activity.

I've not seen it suggested, but I guess you could grind and sift malted barley grain whose enzymes are preserved, e.g. Pale malt, resulting in a powder mixture of bran, starch and enzymes that would provide diastatic activity.

Thanks for the brief overview of the beer brewing process. It's something I've wanted to get into for a long time, but have avoided it because of one-to-many hobbies already.

(Oh, and I guess that explains why the beer store guy never knows what I'm talking about. I guess this might work, "Which one of these bins has malt where the enzymes are still active?")

Will try buying some of the active diastiatic powder instead.

Thanks!

davidg618's picture
davidg618

This month, May 2012 marks the 2oth anniversary of my first home brewed beer: a British pale ale.

You can't have too many hobbies. Especially if they result in either food or drink!

David G

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I bet you've made a swimming pool's volume of beer in twenty years.

I posted a question on Reddit/r/Homebrewing a year or so ago (when I was getting bored with bread): What's the Book You'll Find on Every Homebrewer's Shelf?

I bought about 10 of these books, but still haven't made a single batch of beer.

I'll get there eventually.

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

David,

Thanks for all of this info.  Another link to add to my growing collection.

Had to smile at your comment about biting the bullet and buying a bag from the KA site.  I did just that after I went to the trouble of making my own - both diastatic and non-diastatic.   I did enjoy the process but it is a bit overkill for the small amount of malt needed in a recipe not to mention that I don't even use it in most of the breads I bake. 

The price of the Bob's Red Mill beats the KA price though and so that is where I get my diastatic malt now - but like you.  This one bag will probably last years and years at the rate I DO NOT use it.  :-)

It was great fun though to do the experiments and get a better understanding of what a malted grain is.

Take Care,

Janet

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Do they only sell it in 5 lb. bags? It would take me a couple lifetimes to use that much! Doesn't it expire?

Nevermind.

I see the 1 lb'er.

http://www.bobsredmill.com/malted-barley-flour.html

Rick McGuire's picture
Rick McGuire

Home brewers are dependent upon the malted grains being diastatic, so as long as you stay away from the darker roasts, you should be ok.  Just ask them for a malt that would be suitable for brewing a lager.

Note, however, that grinding up the malt grains is NOT the same as using malt powder or malt extract.  The grains are still largely in the starchy state.  A brewer would coarsely grind the grain to create a mash, which is steeped in hot water for a while to allow the enzymes to break the starches down into simpler sugars.  The resulting liquor, called a "wort" is then boiled down to create malt syrup or malt powder...or boiled with hops and innoculated with yeast to make beer. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I'm only interested in getting more amylase into the dough.

If I just want more amylase, grinding is sufficent, right?

(I want those enzymes for the same reason brewers do, to break (more) startch down into simplier sugars.

You're not saying that grinding the malt does not release amylase enzymes.

Or are you?

And what of this malt syrup/malt powder? If it's steeped in hot water and boiled down (assuming dehydrated after boiling for malt powder), then the syrup/powder is just 'sugar', no enzymes to speak off. At the stage of syrup or powder, all it adds is sugar (and maybe flavour), right?

I'm hoping I haven't been wrong about this the entire time.

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Enzymes are catalysts--they aid in chemical reactions, but are themselves unmodified. Denaturing enzymes literally destroys them; they cannot self-reconstruct.

Amalyse enzymes are denatured by high temperatures. I can't give you a cast-in-concrete temperature, but I can say, with 100% confidence, that when mashing barley I can rely on amalyse to convert starch to sugar up to 158°F which, with steps along the way, sufficient to convert most of the available starch to sugar (to become alcohol), and some non-fermentable sugars too, for sweetness and mouthfeel.

Wort (the sugar-water mixture extracted from the grain), still contains active enzymes unless the brewer intentionally pushes the temperature upward to denature the enzymes.  If, on the other hand, the wort is freeze dried diastactic malt powder results.

Malt extracts are made in vacumn evaporators (condensers). Vacumn evaporators boil off water far below the normal sea-level boiling temperature (212°F) and can lower the boiling temperature below the amalyse denaturing temperature. Although most (all?) malt extracts made for brewing are non-diastatic, diastatic malt syrups can (are) made in vacumn evaporators.

To answer your first question: Yes, grinding the right malted barley will give you bran, starch and active amalyse enzymes. However, I believe commercial diastatic malt powders and syrups are made by one of the aforementioned processes: freeze-drying or vacumn evaporators.

David G

abby777's picture
abby777

Today mar. 12 2014 is my 2nd day for sprouting barley. How long do I sprout barley for Non-diastatic malt for malt drinks. I also want to use the dried sprouts in bread making. Can this flour be used in both malt drinks/bread making?  

davidg618's picture
davidg618

Hi, Abby,

Malted milk might have been better named Mashed Milk. But I'm guessing the Marketeers told the Horlick brothers (the inventors of Malted Milk) "Mashed Milk will never sell!".

Here's a quick tutorial on "malting" grain.

Let's first understand the starch-rich endosperm of a seed of grain evolved to provide food for the emerging seedling when the the seed sprouted, but hadn't yet formed true leaves. It did not evolve so that us humans could make beer, malted milk, or bagels.

It provides that food in the form of sugars. In order to create the sugars it converts its starch to sugars, facilitated by amylase enzymes. These enzymes are latent (inactive) in the dry seed. They are made active by mixing the seeds with water.

Maltsters (yep, that's their professional name) initiate their malt production of amylase enzymes by sprouting the seeds, but then interrupt their starch-to-sugar conversion activity by drying the sprouted grain seeds. Dried at low temperatures the the enzymes remain intact, but inactive. Dried at high temperatures the enzymes are denatured (destroyed). Regardless of what temperature is used to dry the seeds, they are all called "malts". Usually they acquire a descriptive name: e.g. Pale Malt, Crystal, Malt,  Chocolate Malt (not to be mistaken for the Chocolate malt used in chocolate milkshakes), Black Malt and many others.

Brewers buy their malts from the the Maltsters: those dried at low temperature for both flavor and to reactivate the amylase enzymes; those dried at high temperatures for flavor and color only: they have no enzymes.

The first step in brewing is "mashing": adding water to the malt to restart the enzymes, and convert the grains--all the grains--starch to sugars.

I think diastatic malt syrup or malt powder is derived from mashed malt: the syrup from low-temperature evaporation (in vacuum evaporators) and the powder low temperature drying. I believe this approach results in more product than simply grinding and sifting the dried malt into flour. I've not verified this.

Non-diastatic malt products are derived from mashed malt subjected to high temperatures subsequent to mashing. You can purchase it as a syrup or powder. Home brew shops sell both, but I've never used it for anything other than beer. I buy Edme brand Malt syrup; I use it for bagels and pretzel rolls.

Malted milk products are made from non-diastatic mashed malt, milk and sometimes additional sugar.

You can make diastatic malt by sprouting grain, and stopping its growth when the sprouts are about the same length as the seed, and drying them at temperatures below 160°F. Mashing is not required. There are more detailed description of the process here on TFL. Use the search function. Barley is usually chosen because of it high quantities of amylase enzymes, but other grains could be used; Rye is a good alternative. Malted Rye is used in some high percentage Rye flour breads. I buy diastatic powder from King Arthur. I use it for yeast food and color in baguette dough.

David G