Commercial malt powders are usually made with barley, and they're used
extensively by commercial bakers. There are two main types of malt powder:
diastatic and non-diastatic. Diastatic malt contains active enzymes which help
break starch down into sugar. The extra sugar feeds the yeast in the dough,
helping the bread to rise, and also gives the bread a browner crust.
It's often used to make crusty breads. Non-diastatic malt doesn't have active
enzymes, but it gives baked goods better flavor and a shinier, browner crust.
It's used in everything from bagels to croissants to breakfast cereals. Don't
confuse malt powder with malted milk powder, which also contains powdered milk
and wheat flour and is used to make beverages. Look for malt powder in health
food stores or baking supply stores.
Crusty Rolls Recipe
Quick sponge: (60 minutes)
1 C. water
2 1/2 t. yeast
1 1/2 C. bread flour
1 C. water
1 T. honey
1/2 t. malt powder (optional)
2 T. olive oil
4 C. bread flour
2 3/4 t. salt
In a medium bowl, stir together water and sugar. Sprinkle on yeast and allow to
stand a few moments before stirring to dissolve. Fold in flour and mix to make a
pudding-like paste. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit one hour.
For dough, add starter, water, honey, malt powder, oil, most of bread flour and
salt. Stir, then knead to make a soft, elastic dough (8-10 minutes). Place in a
large, greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and let rise (45-90 minutes -
can be refrigerated at this point).
Spray 12 miniature loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Deflate dough. Divide
in twelve portions. Make two balls from each portion and place side by side in
prepared pans. Otherwise, form into ovals or rounds and place in loaf pans or on
a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy
(about 30 minutes).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
Atomize loaves/rolls with water and dust with flour. Bake until they begin to
brown - about 30 minutes.