The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough recipes and adding diastatic malt

Benito's picture
Benito

Sourdough recipes and adding diastatic malt

Hi guys, I’ve finally got my hands on some diastatic malt and I’d like to use some in my next bake of sourdough bread.  I’m wondering how much I should be adding to a recipe if the recipe doesn’t have diastatic malt in the ingredients?  I’m interested in seeing how it affects the fermentation times and the bread itself.

I’ve read that some people add about the same % as the salt but others much less, I’d love to know what you do if you use diastatic malt.

Benny

Maverick's picture
Maverick

According to Hamelman's Bread it should be less than 1%:

"When adding diastatic malt, bear in mind that more
is not better, and an excess yields a gummy crumb.
It is always better to start on the low end when adding
malt, starting with perhaps .1 to .2 percent of the
flour weight."

For an example, he uses 0.5% in his bagels, and 0.2% in his pretzels.

In Reinhart's Whole grain breads, he also indicates less than  1%:

"The usual amount is about .5% of the total flour weight, so 16 ounces of flour would require about .08 ounce (½ teaspoon)."

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Maverick, that is helpful.  I think I'll start with 0.5% then.

Benny

albacore's picture
albacore

I often add a bit of diastatic malt flour, mainly to get a nice brown crust colour and I use 5g per 1kg of flour.

If your flour is malted, you may need less - or none.

Lance

Benito's picture
Benito

Lance, my bread flour doesn’t list malt as an ingredient, but does list amylase.  Of course I have no idea how much amylase is actually added.  I guess starting with 0.5% is a fairly safe amount to start with.

Thanks

Benny

albacore's picture
albacore

I imagine they are using the amylase as a cheaper alternative to malt, probably doing a similar job.

I suppose the question is "Why do you want to add diastatic malt?"

I add it because in my oven and for my bake time the loaves are a little paler than I like and the 0.5% malt adds just the right colour by releasing some sugars from the flour.

I am not sure what other reason I would add it for.

I also prefer to steer clear of flours with added enzymes and other additives such as ascorbic acid, but that's just my take.

Lance

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

al: aside from darker (due to sugar), the sugars that diastatic malt creates out of starch would speed up the fermentation in both the bulk ferment and the final proof.  If not all the sugar is eaten by the yeast, then it would serve to sweeten the bread. 

the next question this raises, aside from having too much sugar, could too much diastatic malt convert too much starch, and thereby alter the aspects of the crumb structure that rely on gelatinized starches?

I once added a little too much (coarse-milled) malted wheat (bought at a beer brewing supply) in the mix, and ended up with a somewhat sweet loaf.  It was not bad, just an okay surprise.  It was a mostly white and yellow whole wheat: home-milled HWSW (Prairie Gold) and Kamut, so it didn't need sweetening.  Had it been mostly Hard Red wheat, with all those tanins, I bet the malty sweetness would have been a better match, as I am less a fan of the red wheat's tanin taste.

Thanks to  Benito, Maverick and you for this thread. It has opened a line of thought for me.  I have 45 pounds of Hard Red Spring that I need to use up.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Lance and Dave for your input.  I’ve added the 0.5% diastatic malt to the dough.  It did seem to help fermentation along quite well actually.  I usually have to bulk ferment for 4.5 to 5 hours but this seemed ready to go after 4 hours.  I will be very interested to see if it alters the flavour of the crumb, I guess that the crust might be darker than I’m used to so I might have to drop the temperature a bit after taking the lid off the DO.  I’ll report back tomorrow.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito

Well I can report that fermentation seemed to go more quickly than I am used to with the recipe I’ve been practicing my skills with.  What typically took 4.5-5 hours at 80ºF took 4 hours yesterday.  This morning I baked the bread and it had great oven spring and good colour.  Tonight I will cut it open and see how it tastes.

rudirednose's picture
rudirednose

Hi Benny

for me this recipe is the best description how and why to use diastatic malt!

best success!

rudi

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you Rudi.

HarryR's picture
HarryR

May I ask if you noticed a difference in oven spring with the addition of the diastatic malt? Any noticeable change to the crumb? Thank you. 

Benito's picture
Benito

I’m not entirely sure Harry.  I’m still relatively new to baking sourdough and my techniques are still improving.  I had good oven spring with this bake, but I’m not sure it it was related to the addition of the diastatic malt or my improving shaping.  I do feel that the crumb had a slightly sweeter flavour, not sweet but less sour that usual.  The fermentation definitely was faster though.

Benny

Benito's picture
Benito