Malty super bread or: What a bit of food chemistry is good for

malty bread

As I already mentioned in my last post: When it comes to baking bread, I am a total amateur compared to my friend Marcus. And as bread is most definitely his métier – our fields of activity were clear: Watching, taking photos and writing down on my side – actually making bread and explaining on his side.

A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman was the book that helped him a lot to understand the basic techniques, ratios and scientific backgrounds of baking bread. It’s also in the TOP3 list of bread baking books on the best baking blog I know: Lutz’ Plötzblog (German). To be honest: I think, for me this book  is a bit too much about food chemistry and physics…not enough pictures…

The following bread recipe is loosely based on what Marcus learned from this book (and other books, and lots of practical experience). I will make explanations short and will tell you the basics that I’ve understood, trying to hide my dilettantism:

The bread has a malty, slightly sweet taste that comes from malt (too obvious?) and beer. Sourdough and rye flour give it an aromatic, slightly sour note (even more obvious?). The structure of the final bread is very homogenous inside. This comes from the use of diastatic malt on the one hand, additional gluten on the other side. Gluten is essential to keep the gases produced by the yeast during proofing. The malt is also responsible for the lovely crispy crumb you can see on the pictures…

malty bread

I think at this point you should simply try out the recipe. I have scaled down the amount of the ingredients for one loaf of bread (We made 4 as you can see on the pictures). In principle they are based on fundamental ratios of liquid:dry ingredients, etc. but that’s the point, where my knowdlege definitely ends!

You have no idea where to get all those exotic baking ingredients? If you are from Germany this is a good adress.

malty bread

Malty bread (1  loaf)

250 g wheat flour (type 812), 250 g rye flour (type 1150), 20 g yeast, 15  g gluten, 5 g diastatic barley malt, 7,5 g aromatic malt, 1/2 tablespoon sourdough extract, 3 g salt, 2,5 g sugar, 1300 ml liquid (1 l beer, 200 ml water, 100 ml sunflower oil), additional flour for working surface

preparation (see the steps on the pictures)

malty bread

Knead all ingredients together into a homogenous dough. Knead for a few minutes.

malty bread

Dust working surface with flour and form a disk with your hands. Then fold in all four sides to the centre.

malty bread

malty bread

Turn upside down.

Then lay out a bowl with a kitchen towel, dust with flour, cover and let raise until it has about doubled in size (30-90 min., depending on dough an room temperature).

Preheat oven to 250°C (or the highest temperature your oven can reach).

malty bread

Lay out baking tray with baking paper and turn out loaf onto it so that the greases are on top again. With a knife make radial cuts into the surface. Put baking tray into the oven, pour 1 cup of water on the bottom of the oven, close oven and reduce temperature to 180°C. Bake for one hour.

Take bread out of the oven an cool down on a wire rack.

malty bread

One comment

  1. Pingback: It’s becoming a tradition – Soul food weekend | nadel&gabel

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