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What Is Malted Barley Flour?

What Is Malted Barley Flour

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Throughout history, a lot of cultures have used flour as a primary ingredient. The simple creamy powder can create tasty dishes like pasta, bread, and baked treats. 

Over the years, different types of flour, like malted barley flour, have been produced. This product is created with malted barley and is used in bread recipes to help the fermentation stage.

You’ll learn more about malted barley flour in this post, including what it is, what its uses are, and some other substitutes you can use in place of malted barley flour. 

More About Malted Barley Flour

Malted barley flour is created from barley that has been left to germinate, known as malted barley. The malted barley will have been dried, skinned, ground, then sifted into flour.

Barley flour and malted barley flour aren’t the same, as barley flour is made from dried barley which has been ground into flour. 

Malted barley has more enzyme activity compared to barley that hasn’t been malted. This is because alpha-amylase is present.

This is an enzyme that breaks down complex starches and sugar, turning them into simple sugars that are easier for yeast to digest. 

There are two main kinds of malted barley flour: non-diastatic and diastatic. 

The non-diastatic version of malted barley flour doesn’t have any active enzymes present within it. It’s generally used for its flavor, fine consistency, or to deliver a shiny surface. 

The diastatic form of malted barley flour can help recipes with a fermentation stage. This contains active enzymes which are useful in baking. 

The flour doesn’t carry any distinct flavor, so its neutral taste can be used in a lot of recipes without overpowering other ingredients. 

Diastatic malted barley flour can help deliver a moist texture and won’t affect the color or hue of a recipe that much. 

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) permits malted barley flour to be used as an additive to certain types of flour. These include whole wheat, hard wheat, and all-purpose flour. 

Malted Barley Flour’s Flavor

As mentioned above, the diastatic form of malted barley flour has a neutral, indistinct flavor. It often goes unnoticed when used in recipes.

The non-diastatic variety of malted barley flour has a noticeably sweet flavor, which tastes a little like molasses.

Malted Barley Flour Purposes 

Malted barley flour is often used in recipes to aid yeast fermentation, especially if you’re using hard wheat varieties of flour in your recipe. 

While the dough is being created, the diastatic form of malted barley flour’s enzyme activity helps turn the complex sugars and starches within wheat flour into simple ones. 

Simple starches and sugars are essential for baking bread, as the yeast feeds on them to support fermentation to make the crust brown.

Diastatic malted barley flour won’t add additional color to a recipe, as it’s just used to aid fermentation. It can also help the bread’s texture feel moist and soft.

You can also use malted barley flour’s non-diastatic variety in recipes. This typically looks like syrup, which can help recipes take on a sweet flavor and potent caramel hue. 

Non-diastatic malted barley flour also helps to give baked recipes a fine, soft consistency and a glossy, shiny, finish. 

Are Malt Powder And Malted Barley Flour The Same?

Malted barley flour and malt powder aren’t the same, as they consist of different substances. 

Malt powder tends to contain a blend of wheat flour and barley flour. However, others may refer to the malted version of milk powder. This is a product that contains a mix of malt powder and milk solids.

Malted barley flour is created from malted barley. The barley will have been germinated, dried, shelled, refined, then sieved into fine flour.

Are Wheat Flour And Malted Barley Flour The Same?

Are Wheat Flour And Malted Barley Flour The Same

Malted barley flour particles do slightly resemble wheat flour, so the two forms do look like each other. However, wheat flour and malted barley flour are not the same. 

Wheat flour will have been sourced from wheat, but malted barley will have been refined to turn into malted barley flour.

Is MSG Present In Malted Barley Flour?

There’s a good chance that MSG is present within malted barley flour, as MSG is used in a lot of malted barley flour recipes.

It’s important to note that malted barley flour doesn’t always produce MSG alone.

However, there is a chance that malted barley flour may pick up MSG after it has been processed and blended with other proteins. 

Is Malted Barley Flour Whole Grain?

Malted barley flour is thought to be whole-grain flour. The majority of malted barley flour brands create their product with whole-kernel malted barley. 

Malted Barley Flour Alternatives

You can use bread flour when you require an alternative to the diastatic version of malted barley flour. This is because bread flour usually contains malted barley flour or malt powder in its blend.

Bread flour also has a gentle flavor, so it can be used in similar ratios to malted barley flour without affecting the taste of a recipe.

If you require a malted barley flour alternative to use in baking recipes that aren’t bread, try using cake flour. This can work well, except when baking chewy recipes, as cake flour delivers a fine, soft consistency.

Cake flour also works in equal ratios to malted barley flour, as it has a generally neutral taste, just like bread flour. 

You can also opt for whole wheat varieties of flour, as its particles are similar in size to malted barley flour. 

However, it’s important to take caution when doing so. Whole wheat versions of flour take up a lot of water, so it’s a good idea to mix it with another variety, like white flour. 

Final Thoughts

Flour comes in several different varieties, like malted barley flour. This flour variety has been made from malted barley, a term for barley that has been germinated. 

The flour comes in two main types, non-diastatic and diastatic. The diastatic version aids fermentation in recipes, while the non-diastatic variety is used to provide flavor and color.

If you cannot get your hands on malted barley flour, you can opt for certain alternatives. Bread, whole wheat, and cake flour may work well depending on the type of recipe you’re making.