The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Malt loaf update

Monica's picture

Malt loaf update

Well, I tried the un-yeasted malt loaf recipe listed on this site a few days ago.  It had good flavor and crumb, but it is not the one I remember.  The one I use to get in the UK was very dark, almost black, and sticky delicious!  Still looking for THAT recipe if anyone can help.  I haven't tried the one with yeast, but by looking at the ingredients, I know it won't be dark, sticky, and rich.  I will try it next week however.  Today I made richman's brioche from BBA!

qahtan's picture


 though you will I doubt go for this, this is the  sticky in the loaf..

 diced dates,,,, you can't tell they are there,  try it, just once. I do have a recipe that a friend sent me from UK that I will look out tomorrow for you. though it is not "the"

malt loaf...... qahtan

where are you???????

Monica's picture

Thanks, I will try it next time I make one.  I'll keep looking for THE one.  I am in SC.

qahtan's picture


 Oooops, sorry I looked for the recipe that I thought I still had, but it was the one with Sultatnex in it.. sorry about that.



PaddyL's picture

...for a sticky date malt loaf which I could post if you'd like.

qahtan's picture


 yes please, post your sticky date recipe...... qahtan 

dougal's picture

I believe this is the thing you are referring to

That page gives the ingredient listing (in decreasing weight order) - albeit as graphical rather than real text.

Sticking those bits of information into a spreadsheet and make a big assumption

- water is (flour+starch+malted flour) x 70% (its a supermarket, wrapped. "moist" loaf)

and juggle the missing numbers to make them fit

Then converted to Bakers Percentages, my guess comes out at

Wheat Flour 73% (doubt its wholemeal - no product claims for fibre - maybe start with 50/50 bread and plain (all purpose) ? )

Water 70% (some rehydrating the raisins?)

Raisins 34%

Starch 14% (Potato Flour? Rice Flour? Cornflour?)

Invert Syrup 14% (maybe Golden Syrup here in the UK?)

Malted (Barley it said on the bread pack ingredient listing) Flour 12%

Malt Extract 11%

Dried Milk Whey 7% (Milk powder? rehydrate with some of the water)

Vegetable Fat 5% (they say "fat" rather than "oil" so cake margerine, to be rubbed into the flour?)

Salt 2%

Yeast 2% (I'd use 1% of easyblend)

Emulsifier & Preservative <1% (maybe a drop of egg yolk?)


So who is going to guess at a process?


Here's my totally untested guess

- Soak the raisins in a little of the (warmed) water for a few minutes

- Rub the fat into the wheat flour.

- Combine all the flours, yeast, salt, any water drained off the raisins and the milky water in a food processor. Run it for 30 sec or so after it comes together, to simulate an industrial mixer developing the gluten.

- Add the syrup and the malt extract. Run the processor for only just long enough to roughly incorporate them.

- Add the raisins and mix in by hand.

Let it rise for a while... 

It'll probably look pretty sloppy...  

The product is flat-topped - so ideally, bake it in a pullman tin.

That should get you quite a long way down the track, I hope.


Incidentally, I refuse to buy it (even for research purposes) while it has a "Delia's Cheat Ingredient" sticker on the pack...

AnnieT's picture

Yes, that looks like the one - but with a modern label. Real stick-to-your teeth stuff. I'm afraid I don't understand the "Delia's Cheat Ingredient" reference? Look forward to hearing if anyone tries to bake it, A.

dougal's picture

Delia Smith (something like the English Martha Stewart, and previously a campaigner for actual cooking rather than ready-meals) is currently on the (no advertising allowed) BBC TV encouraging us to "cheat" by "cooking" with tinned minced meat, and, no kidding, frozen instant mashed potato. She is of course selling a book detailing all the brand names. And the manufacturers are running tie-in marketing campaigns signposting all the products thus promoted.

This campaign manages to be disgusting on a number of levels.

Seemingly, from the presence of the standardised (branded) Delia sticker, this product gets into her circus.

As long as this marketing campaign continues, I'm doing my little bit to demonstrate that it actually repels rather than attracts me - by simply not buying anything at all that has one of her "approved" stickers.




Next series, Delia will "go molecular" with Heston Blumenthal (April Fool)

foolishpoolish's picture

Soreen have been making malt loaf for quite a while and I've enjoyed their product for many years  and frankly don't care if it's Delia's ingredient du jour. 

One suggestion I would make is that as with other mixtures that use syrup - you might want to let the final baked loaf 'mature' or 'ripen' over the course of a week (keep it tightly wrapped in a tin).  This works great with fruit cake and gingerbread. I'm pretty sure it would do wonders for malt loaf also.



Monica's picture

Keep it all coming!  I will try them all until I get the one I want.  I will try the cut up dates too.  Frankly, dougal, I don't understand any of what you said, but I will try to figure it all out at some point.  I am not into % for ingredients, too much math and I am a math-a-phobe!  Monica

Monica's picture

Dougal, that IS the one I am after!  Now to figure it all out!  Thanks, Monica

dougal's picture

The ingredient listing (on Soreen's website and on the packet) does not constitute a recipe.

But, rather like a crossword puzzle, there are a lot of blank spaces that one can fill in from the skeleton that they provide. For example, the ingredient listing is legally required to be in weight order - heaviest first, so despite the starch and the malted flour, we know there's more ordinary flour than there is water. And "97% fat free" means the fat must be less than 3% of the total weight.

I've tried to explain what was the justification for most of my guesses to fill in the blanks.

And then -- for simplicity-- I've expressed my suggested ingredient quantities as "Bakers Percentages" where everything is referenced off the total weight of flour. (I've included the "starch" in the "flour" quantity - right or not, that's what I've done!)

Bakers Percentages means the making of different sized batches is really easy on the maths.

Especially when combined with a cheap (£8 =$15?) digital scale with a readout in grammes.

So, for a smallish quantity, you could simply multiply all my percentages by 2, and weigh out that quantity in grammes, giving: -

146g of white flour, 140g of water, 68g raisins, 28g cornflour, etc... its easy!


Now, other folk might have different ideas on "reconstructing" the ingredients listing, and, hey, I'd learn from the reasoning behind other suggestions.

The same goes, much, much more so for the method.

For simulating an industrial process, IMHO we are talking food processor. (But don't put the raisins in!) Its intensive mixing, plus all that malt, means you need a fast (warm) rise, because the dough won't hold up long. So, I'm suggesting specifically developing the gluten before making it sloppy with the syrup...

And, then I think, bake it more like a cake than a loaf. And I like the idea of putting it in a cake tin for a day or two before eating it. (In theory anyway!)

I'm not a food technologist, and would like to hear how others might go about using this list of ingredients -- or even deliberately modifying them to simulate at home the commercial/industrial product.

Monica's picture

Thanks dougal for the time you have spent on helping me out.  When I have some "quiet time" I will try this out.  As a bonus, my son has a Ph.D. in math, and my daughter-in-law is a statistical analyst, somehow, I WILL do this!  Thank you, thank you.  Monica

PaddyL's picture

Do you still want it?  It's got dates, nuts, sultanas, and raisins, along with treacle and malt extract.

tokmik's picture

Malt is good for you! Malt loaf (homemade) is great and one way of being able to bake a low-fat cake as well as avoid sugar, because malt is "sweet". It helps people trying to lower their yeast levels (candida).

Malted milk drinks (Horlicks) and malted bread (granary and/or multigrain) are some places malt is included in the manufacturing process. Of course the bought malt loaves are nothing like homemade, because they are so squishy and stick to your teeth. I imagine dentists would say malt loaf is definitely not good for you! LOL!

Encanto Dentists

Zeb's picture

Hello all,

I am wandering down the dark and mysterious side-track of trying to make something like Soreen, the English sticky block of malt bread, with the ‘secret recipe’ .And I found lots of posts and interesting things here so thought I would post what I did yesterday, though the results were not the answer sadly.

I made two malted loaves yesterday.

No 1, trying to figure out the recipe with the help of Dougal’s post here. The results were edible, just, but not really right.

So no 1
had 64 grams of raisins soaked in 50 grams of warm water. Later added 50 grams of milk to this just before mixing.
145 grams of a mix of plain (soft) white flour and strong bread flour
27 grams of tapioca flour (for the starch)?
10 grams of something called nutbrown flour
3 grams of diastatic malt flour (Diax)
4 grams of salt
20 grams of barley malt organic syrupy stuff) 
10 grams of molasses (treacle)
13 grams of a white vegetable fat
6 grams fresh bakers yeast

Basically I mixed the dry ingredients together, rubbed the fat into the flour mix, added the fresh yeast with the liquid ingredients, and mixed it all very well together.  Left in an oiled tin to rise, it took about 2 hours at  room temperature (here about 20 degrees C). It got to the top of the tin by this point, I probably leift it a bit long. 

At this point I put No 2 together, which was a Fruit malt loaf recipe of Dan Lepard’s from the Guardian which is made with barley malt syrup, golden syrup and molasses and raised with baking powder.

 You can find the recipe on Dan’s website. I hadn’t made that before so I thought I would give it a whirl, though I could see from the ingredient list it wouldn’t make anything like a Soreen bread.    Raised with baking powder. So I had weighed out all the ingredients earlier, and just put it together so that both breads could use the same oven.

Oven preheated to 170 C on a fan setting. 

The Lepard recipe makes a very tasty but cake like well risen block, low in fat and high in malt and syrup sugars and very delicious,  with a scrape of unsalted butter, good for taking out on a cold winter walk as a reward at the end.-  but not Soreen at all.  

The experimental malt loaf has something of the texture of the Soreen, and a hint of the look,  but too many raisins and not quite dark or sticky enough. Today, the day after baking,  it was hard and not something you want to eat at all. But I didn’t think I would get it right first time.  I am going to take a break now from these and return to my normal baking, if I feel the urge to try again I’ll let you know, or if anyone comes up with a recipe for it in the meantime..... Here are pics, guess which one is which?

bakinbuff's picture

looks more like Soreen to me, and it looks sticky too!  The second one looks pretty dry (just complete guesses, seeing as I haven't tasted it!).  Were they completely different recipes?  I love your countertops by the way!  Gorgeous!

Zeb's picture

The collapsed one had a sticky quality about it, but not enough!  I will have to work on the recipe and see if I can get it better, though I suspect there is some super sticky malted product in the Soreen that one simply can't get hold of.   Here is the link to the recipe for the other one, cake really, made with baking powder, and all the sugars are syrups and malts,  regular flour, so not sticky at all, but not dry, something like a treacley slab of tea loaf/fruit cake

recipe and method here: I haven't asked there about making Soreen though, as I  tend to stick to DL's recipes on his forum.

(The countertops are recycled glass in some sort of resin,  made in the uk, don't show the crumbs at all! )

chunkeyman's picture

I have a recipe for Malt loaf passed to me from grandparents. Perhaps you would like to try this. With so many ideas on this subject, I haven't read them all but the one thing I have not noticed is...let the loaf mature for at least 3 days before eating. This does give the sticky consistency required. A simple but effective recipe.

 Malt Loaf

8 tbsp malt extract
90ml/3fl oz hot strong tea
170g/6oz wholemeal self-raising flour
good pinch of ground mixed spice
80g/3oz raisins
80g/3oz sultanas
1 egg


1. Butter a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line it with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
2. Mix the malt extract with the hot tea and leave to cool.
3. Place the flour with the mixed spice in a bowl along with the fruits, egg and malty tea. Mix well together before spooning into the lined loaf tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 1¼ - 1½ hours.
4. Pierce with a skewer and once it can be removed clean, then the loaf is ready.
5. Leave to stand for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack. Once cold, wrap in baking parchment and keep in an airtight container for a minimum of 2-3 days. This is a loaf that needs to mature to reach the moist texture we all expect in a malt loaf.

tracie's picture

I am a ex pat living in Austin, Texas, craving all things British.  I attemted to make a malt loaf but alas, nothing compared to Soreen.  Then, at the Outback Restaurant, they served soft brown bread, shortly after I had made a couple of rye loaves, and read someone's comments about addng dates, and it got me here is the recipe that I used.  Not perfect but in my daughter's words, 'You're nearly there!'  The taste is similar and the consistency gooey. (The recipe is in cups as it has been adapted from a American recipe).  I use a mixer with bread hooks but have made it by hand.

2 packs of yeast 1/4 ounce each; 1.5 cps of warm water. 1/2 cup molasses (I used tate and lyle's black treacle), 2oz of butter; 2 cups rye flour, 2tsp salt, 3.5 - 4 cups strong white bread flour; 4oz malt extract; 1 cup raisins; 2 packs of putted dates (about 4 oz); 1 tsp golden syrup

Put dates in processor so they are chopped very small. Mix warm water and yeast. Melt butter with golden syrup; treacle and malt extract.  Add salt.  oour into water mixture. Add rye flour, dates, and enough white flour to form a sticky dough.  knead until smooth (try and keep as sticky as possible but pliable to work with by hand).  grease bowl, turn dough once to grease and leave to rise.  (I put a cloth over the bowl and leave on the kitchen table for a few hours).  Punch down dough and add raisins.  Separate into four oval loaves.  Put on baking tray(s), cover and leave again to rise.  Cook on 350 for about 25 mins (or until hollow sounding). 

As I said, it is 'almost' there.  Would love to hear from anyone who has any further ideas!

Zeb's picture

Chunkyman, I am sure you are right about letting the bread stand wrapped up. Thanks for the recipe I will try it soon.

Tracie, that sounds very interesting, though dates aren't in the soreen list of ingredients, but it sounds like a really good idea, improving on soreen maybe! I have heard dates add longevity to breads as well.

A bit off topic but  I just made a tamarind date walnut cake from a new Dan Lepard recipe with a cardamon icing and it is really, really good. Moist and sticky from the dates, a little sharpness from the tamarind and a hit of cardamon in the icing. And really easy to mix.  If you are working with dates it is much easier to put them in hot water first to soften them and then whizz them. I only worked this out after blunting several knives! Here is a crumb shot to give you the idea Dan Lepard's tamarind date walnut cake

 Dan Lepard's Tamarind Date and Walnut Cake with Cardamon Icing

Country Girl's picture
Country Girl

Hi, everyone,

I have been searching for ever for the traditional English recipe for dark malt loaf, being married to an Englighman.  Every loaf I have ever tried, and there have been a few, have been a complete disaster. Then I discovered your site.  I have not come across any of the suggestions that have been given here, but I'm sure as heck not adversed to giveing them a try!!.

I might even be able to find out why it is that my cakes are always picture perfect but my bread, yeah, we'll get to that later.

Anyway, Very quickly, I live with my husband in a small rural town called Tintinara, (total of 400 residents), about 200km SE of Adelaide in South Australia.  I am 54 years old, mother to  (wait for it 7 children), (between hubby and myself) and 11 grandchildren.

I enjoy cooking, quilting, embroidery,  and meeting people. So that's me in a nut shell.

Thanks for your helf so far

Happy cooking.

Country Girl