The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Convert diastatic malt to non-diastatic?

andychrist's picture

Convert diastatic malt to non-diastatic?

Okay so I've been saddled here with like six pounds of diastatic malt powder. Works as advertised but way more than I'll ever use in a year. Also am in need of some of the non-diastatic malt for my bagels, thus:

Anybody know whether and how it would be possible to convert diastatic to non-diastatic malt? 

I know the enzymes are destroyed when heated above 130°F.  But would simply roasting or simmering the diastatic malt produce the same kind of non-diastatic malt sold as a sweetener? The stuff I bought on sale from King Arthur most definitely does not taste sweet at all, and smells almost of mold. But it is fresh and clean in appearance, bags were pristine and not at all close to expiration date, so am guessing it is just the active enzymes that are so olfactorily off-putting?

Any insights would be most appreciated.

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

Even though both types of malt have the same roots, they are as different as night and day. Diastatic malt is loaded with enzymes, while nearly all of the enzymes have been de-activated in non-diastatic malt (some protease may remain). To maintain the freshness of your diastatic malt, I would recommend refrigerating it in an air-tight container. Do not substitute diastatic malt for non-diastatic malt.


dabrownman's picture

The extra enzymes in the diastatic malt help to break down starches in flour into sugars which makes the dough taste sweeter as  a result.   When i make white malt I take half the white berries and raise the temperature at 50 F increments to 325 F which kills off the enzymes and when ground turns the malt red - Red or non-diastatic malt.  Since you already have ground white malt I bet you could either dry pan saute it till it turns red or heat it in the toaster oven and stir it around till it turns red.  Red malt is one of the great bread flavor enhancers - not just for bagels.  I put it in almost every bread I bake.

Happy red malting

andychrist's picture

Thanks, I'll try dry panning some and see how it comes out.

jaywillie's picture

You might be interested to know that Peter Reinhart uses diastatic malt in his bagel formula (from Bread Baker's Apprentice), which happens to be my favorite bagel by far. He says you can use either, but he prefers diastatic. That's what I use and prefer as well.

andychrist's picture

I've come across recipes that have called for neither, or one and not the other, and even both kinds of malt. Does Reinhart call for the DM in the dough or just the bath? Funny but the water in which I boil my rye bagels always turns reddish, whether I add any malt or not. Wonder if that is because of the diastatic malt already present in the BF portion, and the boiling converting it to non-diastatic, "red" malt? Don't think it's from the molasses I add to the ferment, unless there are various pigments in it that can separate out. The skin of the bagels also goes from grey to reddish brown too as they are boiled. But I throw so much crap into my recipe it's hard to single out any one culprit.