Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Diastatic What??? Making and using Diastatic Malt....

Ok, I hope I am not the only one who has never heard of "Diastatic Malt" before.

I love baking bread, but have not been able to replicate the beautiful, yummy, crusty bread I grew up with in Germany. Though I have come close...I am not yet there.

I recently purchased "Rodale's Naturally Great Foods Cookbook" at my favorite bookstore...the thriftstore :). This is a great book, with sections separated by grains. Under wheat bread I found the mysterious Diastatic Malt.

Taken from the book:
"Diastatic malt has long been a secret of professional bread makers in Europe. It is made from sprouted grains that have been dried and ground. In bread recipes, it replaces the sugar or honey needed to feed the yeast and brown the crust. Because diastatic malt is full of enzymes and vitamins, it increases the nutritional value of the bread. In addition, the action of the enzymes on the yeast and flour improves both the flavor and appearance of the bread; it creates a finer texture and helps the bread stay fresh.

Diastatic malt can be made at home using wheat berries, purchased from a health food store, and your food dehydrator. When using it in bread recipes, remember that it is very potent and only a small amount is needed.

Don't forget that your dehydrator makes a wonderful place to raise your bread.

The method: Place one cup of wheat berries in a wide-mouth glass jar and add 4 cups tepid water. Cover with a piece of nylon net; secure with a rubber band. Let soak about 12 hours. Drain off water (save for soup stock or use to water your plants - it�s full of minerals). Rinse well with tepid water, and drain completely. Repeat rinsing process 3 times a day for 2 days or until the little shoots are about the same length as the grains.

Rinse and drain once again. Place on teflon sheets and allow to dry at medium heat in your dryer. Grind dried sprouts to a fine flour in an electric grinder or blender. This will yield about 1 cup of diastatic malt. Store in a tightly closed glass jar in the refrigerator or freezer. It will keep indefinately."

And here is how Heike did it:

I cut our a piece of screen, and make my sprouter with a Mason jar.

Put one cup of wheat berries in a mason jar. Fill with water and SWISH! Turn upside down and shake out vigorously. Then place at an angle in a bowl, so that any excess water can run out. Do this two times a day ( I leave my on my sink, this way we do it whenever we are near. Great job for kids!), until you see sprouts.

Spread out on a cookie sheet and set out in the sun. I put a screen over mine to keep the birds from having a party. I bring them in at night...and after 3 days they are bone dry.

GRIND!! I will save you a huge mess and dishes. I tried to grind mine in my beloved Kitchenaid Food Processor. Big bust. Then I put them in my cheap, 10yr old mixer, pushed GRIND, and voila'....Diastatic Malt.

I will try the Wheat Bread and Black Bread and post the recipe after I experiment..

Have fun sprouting!!

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