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Diastatic Barley Malt Powder Experiment


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Diastatic Barley Malt Powder Experiment

I got supplies of 2 types of diastatic malt recently. However, all this while, I had been adding the pale malt powder. This came in powder form. It looked and smelled like Horlicks, a malted milk powder sold here in the supermarkets. From my experiments with it, I was not sure if it was diastatic as I could not perceive a visible difference in the loaves.

I am now on a quest for great bread aroma. Although bread flavor chemistry is a complicated subject, I am keen to know more about it as I believe that aroma is a very important factor in the enjoyment of bread. The flour used is an important factor. However, the baker can only control the choice of flour. If the existing flour is deficient, he has to manipulate the flavor through additives and process. I have been following some threads bread flavor recently and it has given me some clues on how I can improve the flavor of my breads, using just the flour available here.

As an artisan baker, I have to state that it is a sacrilege to use commercially prepared bread improver. However, strictly speaking, even the addition of ascorbic acid is considered adding a bread improver. In a way, it is compromising the principle of using just flour, water, salt and yeast.

This week, I decided to grind up some of the barley malt in my coffee grinder. I used 2 tablespoon of the malt. After grinding into powder, it was less than 1 teaspoon. However, where it comes to malt, there is a 'too much of a good thing' danger. So, I thought the quantity was just right. There was a musky, malty smell to the malt powder and I did not sieve the barley husks away. I thought the small flecks looked nice on the dough.

My vehicle for the test was a 75% dough. The starter was 30%. This starter had already been sitting in the fridge for a good 24 hours. It was actually part of another experiment but as I was too tired the night before, it was left unused.

2 tablespoons full was used in this test.

The oven spring was tremendous using a cold oven bake.





This site was last updated 06/24/07