What is Diastatic Malt?

 It is a well-kept secret of artisan bread bakers. Diastatic malt is made from barley grain which is sprouted then dried at a low temperature then milled into a powder. Diastatic malt powder is rich with minerals and enzymes that act as natural preservatives and boost the nutritional value of breads. Further, the chemical reaction of the malt with yeast/sourdough and flour enhances the texture, size, appearance and flavour of your bread.

"Diastatic" refers to the diastatic enzymes that are created as the grain sprouts. These enzymes when mixed into bread dough convert starches in the flour to sugars, which feed the yeast/sourdough. Artisan sourdough and yeasted breads with DM added will have superior crust colour, crumb texture and a sweeter flavour. DM is very important to have in doughs (yeasted or sourdough) that have long fermentation times or are retarded overnight in the fridge.

Only a small amount of DM is added to the flour, typically 0.5% to 3% of the total amount of flour used for a loaf of bread. For example a loaf of bread containing 1000g of flour @ 0.5%, you would use 5g of DM (a teaspoon). As Diastatic malt powder is such a specialised and unknown to most ingredient, you won’t find it in retail shops.

The functional difference between diastatic and non-diastatic malt is enzyme content. Diastatic malt contains an enzyme (diastase – derived from sprouted barley) which breaks down starches into sugars. It is used in breads to promote rising, improve the finished bread’s texture and improve browning (maltose caramelizes at a lower temperature).


"I had an immediate improvement in My bread once i started using NZMALT. my bread was more crispy and more full with much more texture"  


"The malt arrived swiftly and I am yet to use it to make yummy sour dough. Thanks for the quick service."


I've been milling my own flour and making baked goods with this flour for close to 20 years now. I learned about diastatic malt powder on an America's Test Kitchen episode and thought I would give it a try. It adds a subtle texture and flavor enhancement to my bread and rolls so I consider this a significant addition to my arsenal of ingredients. Great stuff - highly recommended.

Brian P

This diastatic malt powder is a must for authentic bagels. It helps the dough rise well, and gives it a great texture. There really is no substitute. I keep it in the freezer although it probably doesn't need to be there. One and a half teaspoons per batch of bagels is all that's needed. I also read that these enzymes work great in breads. Even if you make lots of bagels, this bag will last a long time!

Carol Lynn