Baking is a grand process. It can be a journey, sifting through ingredients, flour all over the counter, and on your clothes.
The final product makes it all worth it. And like every baker out there, missing ingredients can put a rift into your grand plan. And with it comes pondering over the internet looking for anything feasible that can replace that item so you don’t have to drive all the way to the grocery store and threaten to lose any productive and creative juices that you have flowing.
One of the best well-kept secrets by artisan bakers, diastatic malt powder is a game-changer in the baking world. Commonly used in the process of making bread, diastatic malt powder breaks down starch into sugar which helps bread rise while also adding flavor and color. It can be used in recipes for sourdough, pretzels, buns—you name it!
Diastatic malt powder can be hard to find and it might not always be on hand in the kitchen. In this article we’ve provided substitutions like sugar, honey, and molasses as examples of how to replace with ingredients you might have at home already. Options like malt syrup, malted milk powders, and maca powder are great substitutions that can be bought online or in-stores if you’re looking for a similar nutty, malt-y taste to your baked goods.
Without diastatic malt powder for your recipe, it might seem pointless to continue on with your breadmaking.
That’s why in this article, we’ve provided the answers and recommendations to substituting diastatic malt powder in any recipe of your choosing. Because we got your back!
- What Does Diastatic Malt Powder Do For Bread?
- Where To Find Diastatic Malt Powder?
- How To Substitute Diastatic Malt Powder In A Bread Recipe?
- Top 10 Substitutions For Diastatic Malt Powder
- 1. Use Malted Milk Powder
- 2. Use A Flour That Contains Malt Powder
- Where To Find Flours With Malt Powder
- 3. Use Malt Syrup
- What Is Malt Syrup
- How To Substitute
- 4. Honey
- How to Substitute
- 5. Molasses
- How to Substitute
- Keep In Mind
- 6. Sugar
- How to Substitute
- 7. Maca Powder
- What Is It
- How to Substitute
- 8. Milk Powders
- 9. Coconut Milk Powder
- 10. Soy Milk Powder
- Allergy Info
- Can I Skip Diastatic Malt Powder?
- How Do You Make Diastatic Malt Powder At Home?
- Skip The Diastatic Malt Powder
- What Is The Shelf Life For Diastatic Malt Powder?
- How Are Malted Drinks Made?
- Is Diastatic Malt Powder The Same As Malted Milk Powder?
- The Difference Between Diastatic And Non-Diastatic Malt Powder
What Does Diastatic Malt Powder Do For Bread?
How Diastatic Malt Powder Is Used
Diastatic malt powder is used by many bread bakers around the world. It promotes a texture, a nice brown crust, and a strong rise in the bread. If there is no malt powder added to the flour, using diastatic malt powder can be a great help in recipes.
What’s In It
In the diastatic malt powder are active enzymes which aid in helping the yeast grow completely and effectively during the fermentation period. This can create a strong rise (and finished product).
How To Add It In A Recipe
To start off, add around ½ to 1 teaspoon per 3 cups of flour.
Try this recipe for Fluffy White Buns that uses diastatic malt powder!
Where To Find Diastatic Malt Powder?
Diastatic Malt Powder can be found online or in your local grocery store, though not all grocery stores carry this product. Notably, it can be easier to find this product online if your local stores don’t have it.
Where To Find Diastatic Malt Powder Online
How To Substitute Diastatic Malt Powder In A Bread Recipe?
There are many options for substitutions in a bread recipe that can replace diastatic malt powder.
What It Is Used For
Diastatic malt powder is mainly used due to the active enzymes that encourage the dough to rise, while some enjoy the flavor and coloring it provides as well.
Below we’ve listed an extensive list of options on substituting for diastatic malt powder and what each substitution provides with its replacement.
Top 10 Substitutions For Diastatic Malt Powder
Listed below are ten substitutions for diastatic malt powder. Some options like molasses, honey, and sugar are great substitutions if you’re looking to use an ingredient you most likely already have in the kitchen.
Substitutions like maca powder, malt syrup, and malted milk powder are great replacements if you’re looking for a nutty, malt-y taste to replace the diastatic malt powder. If you’re looking for a sweeter option, I would read further about using molasses, honey, malt syrup, and milk powders (coconut and soy).
1. Use Malted Milk Powder
What Is Malted Milk Powder
Malted milk powder is malt powder with the addition of milk solids in it. It is not the same as diastatic malt powder.
How Is Malted Milk Powder Different From Diastatic Malt Powder?
Malted milk powder can be substituted for diastatic malt powder, though it does not contain diastatic malt powder. This means it does not have the active enzymes to encourage the yeast to feed and help the dough rise.
What Is Malted Milk Powder Used For
If you simply want the nutty flavor, from the malt powder, that the recipe needs then this would be a safe substitution.
As malted milk powder does contain “milk”, it is not vegan-friendly and should be considered for anyone allergic to dairy or lactose-intolerant.
2. Use A Flour That Contains Malt Powder
There are flours that contain malt powder mixed in it, so you don’t have to go out of your way to singularly buy diastatic malt powder.
Where To Find Flours With Malt Powder
Bob’s Red Mill has a Malted Barley Flour on Amazon that can be used in place of diastatic malt powder. It can be found here: Bob’s Red Mill Malted Barley Flour.
This product can be used in place of or in addition to other sweeteners, so as to feed the yeast in the dough for your recipe.
3. Use Malt Syrup
What Is Malt Syrup
Malt syrup, made from malt, barley, maltose, sweetener, chemical substances, and protein, provides an extra sugariness compared to malt powder.
Since the sweetness level between the two (malt syrup and diastatic malt powder) is not the same, the amount must be reduced if replacing diastatic malt powder in a recipe.
How To Substitute
Though non-diastatic, meaning it doesn’t have any active enzymes to encourage the yeast to grow and rise the dough, malt syrup can be added to your recipe as a substitution. Since it contains sugar, the yeast will feed on it and therefore help the bread rise.
Some have found that replacing honey for diastatic malt powder in a recipe has no change in the final product. Most likely due to the sugar content in the honey which the yeast can feed off of and aid in the rise of the bread.
How to Substitute
On this community group here, a member replied that replacing what was 2 tsp of diastatic malt powder in a recipe with 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of honey would be the best option to adjust to the recipe as honey is a liquid (though thick).
Even without proceeding with diastatic malt powder, the recipe should be fine.
How to Substitute
You can substitute molasses for diastatic malt powder. The sugar in the molasses will feed the yeast to help the product rise, though the flavor will not be the same as molasses has a particular taste to it.
Molasses, like malt syrup, is a great sugary replacement for diastatic malt powder. Like the malt syrup, make sure to keep in mind the difference in sugar content between the syrups and the diastatic malt powder.
Use a generous amount to retain flavor without going overboard in sugar content.
Keep In Mind
Also note, try to stay away from strong molasses if you want to prevent that flavor from overpowering the recipe.
How to Substitute
If there is already sugar in the recipe, then there is no need to add more unless you want to add honey or molasses, or even malt syrup as a replacement. The yeast feeds off of sugar to help the bread rise, so even going without the diastatic malt powder, the product should come out fine.
7. Maca Powder
What Is It
Maca powder, made from ground maca root, is a healthy and nutrient-dense substitute for diastatic malt powder in any recipe. It normally comes in a powder form, with a similar color and texture to malt powder.
It does not contain active enzymes but it does have similar flavorings to malt milk powder which can make it a great replacement for flavoring.
Somewhere between butterscotch and a mixture of nut flavorings, Maca powder can change flavors based on whether it is raw or dried.
It also has a similar taste to malt milk powder, which can make it a great replacement.
How to Substitute
Use the same amount you would use for the malt powder.
8. Milk Powders
Milk powders, like coconut and soy, are other replacements for diastatic malt powder. Similar to evaporated milk, coconut milk powder is derived from coconut meat while the soy milk powder is derived from soy milk with all the water having been removed.
9. Coconut Milk Powder
Coconut milk powder is derived from coconut meat in a similar process to how evaporated milk is created. It has a rich, sweet flavor that can be added to smoothies, curries, and baked goods.
Fun Fact- you can make coconut milk from coconut milk powder by simply adding hot water.
10. Soy Milk Powder
Soy milk powder is less sugary than the coconut version, while also being cheap and easily accessible. It is made from soy milk with all the water being removed to make it into a powder.
It has a white to beige coloring while, like the coconut milk powder, it can easily be added with water to make it into soy milk again.
Soy milk powder will be cheaper than coconut milk powder.
For more sweetness, try coconut milk powder. If you’d like less sweetness, use the soy milk powder.
Both of these products, coconut and soy milk powder, can be vegan-friendly!
There are some brands that include casein, a milk derivative, into the product so be cautious and read the labels!
Can I Skip Diastatic Malt Powder?
You can. The diastatic malt powder aids in helping the dough rise, but it’s not exactly necessary for a recipe. We have provided substitutes just in case, but many have gone without and have stated their recipe came out fine.
I know I’ve said it a million times, but if your recipe contains sugar the yeast should feed on it and therefore aid in efforts to make the dough rise. You can always try one version without any substitutions for diastatic malt powder and one version with a substitute to see which works best.
How Do You Make Diastatic Malt Powder At Home?
Though it might take time to do so, you can always make your own diastatic malted powder. Completing this process successfully can be a process that is incredibly worth it when your bread comes out of the oven smelling like heaven, perfectly browned and the dough having successfully risen.
Instructions on How to Make Your Own Diastatic Malt Powder
First, you would need to soak barley grains (or really any grain of choice) for a few hours. Follow this by washing, draining, and aerating the grains until they sprout. The sprout should be about the length of the grain.
Once that has occurred, let the grain dry fully at a low temperature (so as not to eliminate any active enzymes). After the grains have completely dried, you can grind the grains into a fine powder and use it in your recipes!
More In-Depth Instructions on How to Make Your Own Diastatic Malt Powder
For more in-depth instructions on how to make your own diastatic malt powder, click here.
Skip The Diastatic Malt Powder
You can also skip using the diastatic malted powder. This might seem besides the point of reading this article, but continue reading for information on why you can skip the diastatic malt powder.
Why You Can Skip It
If a recipe contains sugar in it, the yeast can feed on the sugar to effectively encourage the dough to rise. It might not rise as much as it would with the active enzymes added by the diastatic malt powder, but the dough would still rise due to the sugar content in the recipe.
What Is The Shelf Life For Diastatic Malt Powder?
Normally, there is an expiration date labeled on the malt powder product. If you can’t find it, you can try using it in a recipe to see how if it gives off any rancid odors.
It is recommended to toss if, especially if bought in bulk if you aren’t sure of the age of the product. Bulk products are hard to tell how long they’ve been sitting around before being bought.
Prolonging Shelf Life
To help in prolonging the shelf life of the malt powder, keep it in the fridge or freezer. The enzymes can and will go bad over time, especially if not placed in the fridge, for example. It would doubtfully last two years, at most, if so.
How Are Malted Drinks Made?
What Is A Malt Drink
How To Make a Malt Drink
A traditional process is done, called “malting”, in which the grain of the barley plant is sprouted slightly before it is processed.
Common Malt Drinks
The most common malt drinks are beer, specifically ale and lager. Brands such as Colt 444, Mickey’s, Ionize Lager, and Steel Reserve 211 Tripe Export are popular brands for making malt drinks.
Instructions On How to Make Malted Drinks
Check out this link here on instructions on how to make malted drinks.
Recipes For Malted Drinks
Is Diastatic Malt Powder The Same As Malted Milk Powder?
No, though they would look to be the same based on the keywords “powder” and “malt” they are in fact, different based on a few key factors.
Malt powder is specifically made from wheat flour and barley.
Malted Milk Powder
Malted milk powder is malt powder with the addition of milk solids in it.
Another difference between the two is that malt powder comes in two different forms–diastatic and non-diastatic milk powder. Diastatic malt powder contains active enzymes, to convert starch into sugar, while non-diastatic malt powder does not.
The Difference Between Diastatic And Non-Diastatic Malt Powder
Diastatic and non-diastatic malt powder are incredibly similar, in fact, the only difference is one essential ingredient—depending on the recipe that is.
Diastatic Malt Powder
Diastatic malt powder contains active enzymes that are used by many bakers in recipes. The active enzymes, during the fermentation period, encourage the yeast to grow completely and effectively. This promotes a strong rise and browning in the crust.
Non-Diastatic Malt Powder
Non-diastatic malt powder does not contain any active enzymes, which means that it does not aid in the rising process for baking. This version of malt powder is normally used for its distinct malty flavor, as well as its caramel coloring. It is also available in syrup form!
Diastatic malt powder is mainly used for its active enzymes that encourage yeast to grow and dough to rise. Our personal favorite replacements for diastatic malt powder are honey, malt syrup, and occasionally even skipping the use of it.
We’ve had success with each method. Give one of these substitutions a try next time!
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a work-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. I have been blogging for the last 5 years. I worked for other mom blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to mom’s life and homemaking.