Saturday, May 14, 2011


I've started using a new ingredient: diastatic malt flour, or diax, from Bakery Bits. As I understand it, you could describe it as a natural flour improver. Malted barley is ground to a powder, but not heat-treated, so it holds on to the enzymes (mainly amylase) that are involved in the sprouting. Amylase is the enzyme that breaks long carbohydrate chains in flour (starch) into sugar, which the yeast can then eat. Adding diax means that there are more enzymes around, so the yeast can get to work quicker. It's a replacement for adding sugar, and I suppose the advantage is that more of the starch in the flour gets broken down, with good consequences for flavour.

The first time I tried this, in a plain white loaf, I messed up the cooking, so I'll pass over that. I decided to use the diax and a couple of other new ingredients from Bakery Bits to try to produce a granary style loaf.

390g strong white flour
10g red malt flour (2.5%)
3g diax (0.7%)
30g malt flakes (7%)
4g salt

220g water
3g dried yeast

Same-day mixing, rising, proving and baking. A photo will follow, but the bread is quite heavy compared to the best of this kind of bread. Should have used more yeast, I think. And I probably should have used more malt flakes. Hovis Granary flour has 17% malt flakes, so I was a long way off that. I also wonder if it would help to soak the flakes first. So, some tweaks to be made.

1 comment:

Dave T said...

I would imagine, looking at your ingredient amounts, that the problem is probably one of hydration, as your water makes only just over 51% of your total dry goods (flour and Malt flakes) and only 55% of your flour content, They sound quite low to me. I would push your water content up to at least 270g to 285g at least.