The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

diastatic malt powder

sasha's picture

diastatic malt powder

I've been baking sourdough for about a year now and cannot seem to get any consistency with Baguettes. I've used the Tartine recipe, The Perfect Loaf recipe and a recipe from Dan Leaders Living Bread. They are all quite good but still not what I'd like to achieve. Despite good oven spring, they are all too dense or doughy. Anyhow, I've read that diastatic malt powder can help with this but I don't know whether or not this constitutes cheating.  I realize that the goal is to make bread that I like but I do want to learn to do it using legitimate and respectable techniques. 




Laurie Rappl's picture
Laurie Rappl

I had my best success with Trevor Wilson's method Easy Baguettes for Beginners, nice music and he has a very gentle and relaxing way with the dough.  It doesn't use DMP.  I looked all over for DMP, couldn't find it except online and I refuse to use Amazon.  A friend from the UK who orders all his flour, tea, etc from there gave me some as it seems to be used more in Europe than here in US.  Here is a link to the FoodGeek's experiment with using DMP or not.  My memory is it seemed to give the starter maybe a 10% boost.  But read through the comments and replies to comments in this video.  Apparently it does different things to the dough if you're doing short vs long fermentation.  And you don't add it to the starter!  Video doesn't state this but it's implied.  Let us know what you discover.

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

I am myself in the UK, but I think in the US most bread flours will have some diastatic malt added already. Some brands here as well, but not the ones I am using.

Incidentally, I just got a shipment of DMP myself just today, curious to try it.

Benito's picture

In my regular hearth loaves I use at most 0.5% diastatic malt to help with browning and also helping the microbes get the food they need to ferment the dough.  Now hearth loaves bake for much longer than baguettes so getting sufficient browning on baguettes is a challenge as they may be burnt before they bake through.  You may be familiar with our Community Bake for Baguettes we did this past summer.  A bunch of us baked a lot of baguettes and shared our experiences and experiments and many of us found that 1% diastatic malt added to the baguettes really helped with browning and didn’t contribute any gumminess to the crumb whatsoever.  Adding diastatic malt isn’t cheating, it is a common and well known ingredient many bakers add to their dough and it is a natural product.


sasha's picture

Thank you all! This is all very helpful. Im going to buy some and give it a try. 

yozzause's picture

Malt is usually available in many various forms at brew stores. Iprefer to use a liquid malt  looks like treacle. The problem with the powder malt is that its very Hygroscopic,that is absorbs moisture from the air, the brew shop often has bags marked down where the powder has turn into a brick.