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Homemade Diastatic Malt: Learn How to Make Malt for Better Breads

Diastatic Malt
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Very few Home Bakers have heard of diastatic malt. Malt has a sweetening effect in bread. It can be used as the sweetening agent so other sugars, honey and molasses can be eliminated from your yeast bread recipes. 

Diastatic Malt is made from whole wheat berries or whole barley but I have only made and used the malt from wheat. Malt acts as the sweetener for the yeast plus it is a dough conditioner for better bread texture.

WHAT IS HOMEMADE DIASTATIC MALT?

Diastatic malt powder is the “secret ingredient” savvy bread bakers use to promote a strongrise, great texture, and lovely brown crust. Especially useful when flour does not have barley malt added, as is true for most whole wheat flour and many organic flours.

From wikipedia.com

Purchase: Diastatic Malt Powder – 16 oz.

Note: 2 cups of Whole Wheat Berries Yields 2 Cups of Diastatic Malt Powder
scoop of wheat berries

Wheat Berries

Sprouting the Wheat Berries:
  • Soak 2 cups of Whole Wheat Berries overnight in 4 cups of  warm water
  • Drain off all water and rinse the wheat berries several times
Soaking Wheat Berries overnight to make Diastatic Malt for Baking Better Breads

Soak Overnight in Water

I use a wide-mouth quart canning jar to soak my wheat berries. Then use a small mesh strainer to rinse them.

  • Allow the berries to sit on the counter for 24 hours. Leave the jar on its side as the berries will begin to swell and sprout.
  • Rinse the wheat berries at least 2+ times each day. This keeps them fresh and well hydrated.
  • You will see the wheat berries begin to sprout ~ watch carefully as the berries should only just barely sprout with about 1/4 inch of sprout showing
  • When you see this initial sprouting with about 3 little roots coming out, it is time to begin drying the sprouted wheat.

Note: the little sprouting roots and any tip of the leaves should be white. You do not want to let them go further and start to turn green. We are after just the very initial sprouting.

Sprouting activates enzymatic activity in the wheat plus added nutrients which will increase the overall nutrition of each slice of your Homemade Bread!

Drying the sprouted wheat:

  •  Completely drain the sprouted wheat berries
  • Spread on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for drying (you may also spread your cookies sheet with paper towels)
  • Place in a warm location for approximately 2 days -or- dry in your food dehydrator -or- in your oven on very low until dry
  • The drying temperature should never go over 104 degrees as anything over this will kill the enzymes in the sprouted wheat
  • Stir occasionally to make sure all wheat berry sprouts are totally dry
  • They should be rock hard just like the original wheat berry before sprouting
  • Remove the parchment or paper towels for the last 12 hours or so, to make sure every sprouted wheat berry is totally dry
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Quick Tip: Buy Diastatic Barley Malt if you do not wish to make your own.

Grinding the Dried Sprouted Wheat Berries:

  • It is now time to grind the sprouted wheat berries into flour
  • I use my Vitamix with the Dry Container but you can use any type of home grinder including a coffee grinder, just make sure all the coffee has been cleaned out
  • Place approximately 1/2 cup of dried sprouted wheat berries in the container
  • I grind on high-high for about 1 minute in my Vitamix 
  • Sift the ground sprouted wheat berry flour through a mesh sifter into a separate bowl. This step removes any un-ground berries. Put those back into the grinder to be re-ground.
  • Once all your wheat berries have been ground, store in a glass jar in the refrigerator
  • Interestingly enough: Diastatic Malt smells just like Malted Milk Balls that some of us ate as kids!!!
ground sprouted wheat is now malt powder

Ground Diastatic Malt

How to Use Diastatic Malt Powder:

  • Add approximately 2 teaspoons of your Diastatic Malt Powder for each loaf of bread to be made
  • Next, add 1 teaspoon when proofing your yeast
  • Then, add an additional 1 teaspoon of Diastatic Malt Powder when kneading the dough
  • Bake as usual per your recipe

Related Post: How to Make Basic French Bread

How to Use Diastatic Malt in Making Bread:

Basic French Bread Recipe:

How to Bake French Bread: To Begin, add the following to a large mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Dry Yeast
  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • Once the yeast has dissolved and started to foam add:
  • 1 teaspoon Diastatic Malt
  • 5 Cups of Unbleached Flour I like to use Einkorn Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Diastatic Malt Add while kneading dough

Instructions

  1. If you are having a hard time trying to decide what is the best all around oil to use……look no further. I use this Avocado Oil for everything from cookies, to cake, to salad dressings, to sauteing, and making my Creamy Butter Spread. It has all the benefits of Olive Oil PLUS……it can take the higher heat for sauteing and frying. It is the best!
  2. Stir to combine flour and mix for about 4 minutes, This mixing helps to reduce the first rising time.
  3. Now add: 1+ more cups of Unbleached Flour just so the dough can be easily kneaded and is not sticky.  Add the additional 1 teaspoon of Diastatic Malt. The dough will start to hold together. Mix as much as you can by hand and then turn dough onto a floured surface so you can knead it.

  4. Knead the bread dough for 10 minutes or until you can lightly touch the surface and it springs back.
  5. Once the dough is springy to the touch, place the ball into an oiled bowl to rise. Set this bowl in a warm spot in your kitchen or in the oven with the oven light turned on. It just needs a warm spot out of a draft. Let rise for approximately one hour or until it doubles in volume.

    Forming Loaves:

    Turn the risen dough back onto your floured surface. Knead for one minute. Divide your dough in half. Shape each half into French Bread style long loaves. Place each loaf on a lightly oiled baking or cookie sheet. I usually place the two loaves on one large cookie sheet.

    Next, take a sharp serrated knife and gently cut diagonal slits in the top of each loaf.  I usually cut 3 to 4 slits in each loaf.

    Now, let bread rest and rise in a warm location for 30 minutes. They should about double in size.

  6. Baking Your Bread:

    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the risen loaves in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Double check on the bread at 30 minutes to make sure the bottom of the loaves are not getting too brown. Rotate loaves if necessary.

  7. Once your bread has finished baking, remove loaves from oven and set on cutting board or wire racks to cool. Now, slice and spread with your Creamy Healthy Butter Spread!

Extra Instructions if your Bread Dough is Soft

  1. After  the first rising, if your bread dough is still soft and a bit sticky to the touch, knead in 1/2 to 1 full cup of unbleached flour. Knead until the flour is completely worked in. Return to oiled bowl and let rise for 30 more minutes.

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Try  Healthy Creamy Soft Butter Spread  & Mixed Berry Jam on Fresh Warm French Bread!!

Learn How to Use Diastatic Malt was first posted on Original Homesteading.com.

an old antique tin of malt extract tablets
Sweet Malt Candies were very popular with children!
Homemade Diastatic Malt: Learn How to Make Malt for Better Breads promo image
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