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Author Topic: Malt powder vs syrup  (Read 5495 times)

Offline Abby

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Malt powder vs syrup
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:52:32 PM »
When I started making my own bagels last summer, I used Reinhart's recipe from the BBA. In it, he calls for either diastic malt powder or malt syrup. I could easily find malt syrup, so I went that route.

I notice that Hamelman's recipe calls only for the powder. I know that Paul subbed in syrup, which I'm contemplating as well, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried both powder and syrup, and what differences you noticed.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 08:42:42 PM by Abby »

Offline Anne Marie

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Re: Malt powder vs syrup
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2010, 08:42:07 PM »
Abby,

I haven't tried the syrup.  I was able to procure large amounts of malt powder at a beer making supply store.  Good luck.

Anne Marie

Offline Paul

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Re: Malt powder vs syrup
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2010, 11:26:49 PM »
Supposedly, there's "Diastatic Malt Powder" and then there's "Non-Diastatic Malt Powder".

Quote from: WiseGeek.com
There are two types of malt powder available. Diastatic malt powder is allowed to develop enzymes, which digest starches into sugar. When diastatic malt is used in baked goods, it tends to result in sweeter, smoother, and higher rises. The extra sugar it produces helps feed yeasts used to make yeast dough, so less yeast can be used.

Much more common is non-diastatic malt. This does not have enzymes but it can still impart wonderful flavor, and lovely appearance to baked goods. Non-diastatic malt is common in malted milk powder. Both forms may be available at your local health food store, but non-diastatic malt is usually easier to find.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-malt-powder.htm

As for the syrup, chances are it;s non-diastatic since the syrup making process brings the temperature up above 170ºF basically stopping all enzymes dead in their track.

I used malt syrup because I can't locate any diastatic malt powder in the area. The local brew store did not carry malt powder because, the nice lady told me, "the powder clumps into rock at the slightest exposure to moisture" making difficult for them to stock.

I don't really know how much difference diastatic malt would make to the bagels but I expect if it's called for in most bagel recipes from professional bread bakers, it must do "something". I'll look for other brewing supply stores in nearby cities if I happen to think of it and know where to find them. In the meantime, I'll pretend I don't know better ;)

The syrup in the water is needed simply for it's sweetening, colour and flavouring, so it doesn't need to be diastatic. And even if it were, the boiling temperature would kill off the enzymes immediately. That can be found at very low prices in a brewing supply store; I get amber syrup, as it also comes in medium and dark for different ales. I get a 500ml tub for $2 CND. Same thing in a Health Food Store is easily five times the price, a 350ml jar is $9.95. Crazy.

I've found diastatic malt powder online at a reasonable $4 for a kilo which will make a LOT of bagels at 2 tsp per batch. Shipping, however, is $21 more. So I think I'll keep trying to find it in person.
Paul
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Offline ap269

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Re: Malt powder vs syrup
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 09:35:56 AM »
Abby, I have both, but haven't used the syrup yet. I've read though that the older the malt powder gets the less active the enzymes are. The source where I get my malt powder from guarantees full enzyme activity for 3 months after delivery. So I would advise to get really small amounts because you don't need much, only 1/3 oz - 2/3 oz per 2 lb of flour.

I noticed you wrote that your recipe called for powder only. I checked mine, and that one calls for both. The malt syrup has to be added to the boiling water in my recipe. Hmm, I thought I had the same version as you have because I also had the fancy hot cross bun paste in mine...
Andrea (ap269)

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Offline Abby

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Re: Malt powder vs syrup
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 02:50:29 PM »
Yep, you're right, Andrea. I was just referring to the stuff that you add to the dough (powder in this recipe, choice in the BBA). You also add syrup to the water during boiling. I was more interested in how the two worked differently in the dough . . . . . . Sorry for the confusion!

But it does bring up the interesting question: I wonder what other differences there are between the different versions of the book in other recipes and if we'll discover them!

Offline Abby

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Re: Malt powder vs syrup
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2010, 06:40:10 PM »
I'm wondering if everyone who made the bagels that turned out flat and uncooked used the diastic powder . . .?

I noticed that both Paul and I subbed in the malt syrup instead and both of our bagels seemed to turn out normally (puffy and chewy and cooked through).

Wondering if there could be a connection?!

Offline ap269

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Re: Malt powder vs syrup
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 01:58:02 AM »
Looking forward to reading other bakers' answers on this question.
As for me: I used diastatic malt POWDER, and my bagels turned out flat and uncooked.
Andrea (ap269)

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Offline Paul

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Re: Malt powder vs syrup
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 12:02:12 PM »
I should note that malt syrup can not be diastatic because simply making it into a syrup involves boiling, and temperatures over 140º will kill off any enzymes.

Only malt powder can be diastatic and only if it's processed at lower temps. If it's ground up or the grain is dried at too high a temp, again it kills the enzymes and you have non-diastatic malt powder.
Paul
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I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.