For thousands of years, flour has been a staple ingredient across many cultures to create various recipes for bread, pasta, and more. Since flour has been around for so long, countless variations of flour have been created, including malted barley flour.
If you have never seen malted barley flour before, you may be wondering what malted barley flour is. I did the research, and here is what I learned!
What Is Malted Barley Flour?
Malted barley flour is flour made from malted barley, and malted barley flour comes in two forms, which is diastatic and non-diastatic. Diastatic malted barley flour is a supplement for bread recipes to aid the fermentation process. Non-diastatic malted barley flour is a syrup that is usually added to recipes to add deep caramel hues and molasses-like flavors.
Do you want to learn why people add malted barley flour to recipes, what malted barley flour tastes like, and what you can use in place of malted barley flour? Keep reading!
What Is Malted Barley Flour Made Of?
Typically, malted barley flour is made of barley malt, and barley malt is barley that was partially germinated then the partial germination is stopped by hot air.
Malted barley flour is not to be confused with barley flour because barley flour is made of dried then ground barley.
What Does Malted Barley Flour Taste Like?
In its diastatic form, malted barley flour used for fermentation purposes has a very neutral flavor, so you may not notice if diastatic malted barley flour is in a recipe.
On the other hand, malted barley flour in its non=diastic form, which is often a syrup, tastes distinctly sweet, malty, and similar to molasses.
Why Is Malted Barley Flour Added To Recipes?
Malted barley flour is added to recipes, particularly if the recipe involves hard wheat flour, to help yeast fermentation.
As the dough forms, malted barley flour in its diastatic form creates enzyme activity, which converts the wheat flour’s starches into simple sugars.
Simple sugars are crucial when making bread because the simple sugars act as the yeast’s food source to maintain the fermentation activity while aiding in crust browning.
Additionally, diastatic malted barley flour does not add much color to recipes since diastatic malted barley flour is only meant to help the fermentation process.
Thanks to the diastatic malted barley flour, bread recipes that you add diastatic malted barley flour to will have moister crumbs.
Another reason malted barley flour is used in recipes is for its non-diastatic form, which does not have any enzyme activity.
Moreover, non-diastatic malted barley flour is often in a syrup form since malted barley flour is only meant to add deep caramel color and malty flavors into recipes.
Plus, non-diastatic malted barley flour can offer a softer, finer crumb and a glossier finish to baked goods.
Is Malt Powder The Same As Malted Barley Flour?
Malt powder and malted barley flour are usually not the same because they are made of different ingredients.
For instance, malt powder often refers to a mixture of barley flour and wheat flour, but some people may talk about malted milk powder, which is a combination of milk solids and malt powder.
On the other hand, malted barley flour is flour made from barley that has been malted, which means the barley germinated, then the barley steamed, hulled, ground, and sifted.
Is Malted Barley Flour The Same As Wheat Flour?
Malted barley flour is not the same as wheat flour because malted barley flour is made from malted barley while wheat flour is made from wheat.
However, the particles of malted barley flour are almost the same as wheat flour, which can make malted barley flour look like wheat flour.
Is Malted Barley Flour A Whole Grain Flour?
Malted barley flour is considered whole grain flour because most malted barley flour will be made from whole kernel malted barley.
Does Malted Barley Flour Contain MSG?
It is likely that malted barley flour contains MSG because MSG is often a hidden ingredient in most recipes that have malted barley flour.
However, malted barley flour does not always create MSG by itself, but it is possible for malted barley flour to have MSG once the malted barley flour gets mixed with certain proteins during processing.
What Can I Use Instead Of Malted Barley Flour?
In most cases, bread flour is the best replacement for diastatic malted barley flour since bread flour often has malt powder or malted barley flour in its mixture.
Moreover, you can use bread flour in an almost equal ratio to malted barley flour since most bread flour variants are fairly mild in taste.
If you need malted barley flour for baking goods other than bread, cake flour can make a decent substitute.
However, you need to know that cake flour is not ideal for chewy baked treats since cake flour produces a much softer texture.
Similar to bread flour, cake flour can easily replace malted barley flour since cake flour has a fairly neutral flavor.
It is also possible to use whole wheat flour instead of malted barley flour since they almost have the same particle size.
Although you may need to be wary when using whole wheat flour as a substitute because whole wheat flour absorbs water a lot, so you may need to mix whole wheat flour with other variants, such as white flour.
Take a look at our other articles to find out what mochiko flour is, what maseca flour is, and what moth flour is.
Malted barley flour is a type of flour that comes from malted barley, and malted barley can be diastatic and non-diastatic, which can serve different purposes in recipes.
Typically, diastatic malted barley flour is a flour that can help recipes that need to ferment while non-diastatic malted barley flour is usually used to add color and flavor to recipes.
If you do not have malted barley flour available, you can replace malted barley flour with other types of flour like cake flour, bread flour, and whole wheat flour.