Modern Mountain Baking Company - April 03, 2024

What is Diastatic Malt Powder?

Help Your Baking Rise to the Occasion

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Diastatic malt powder is a natural dough conditioner typically made of malted barley flour that helps enhance the rise, texture, flavor, and color of your baking. Keep reading for more info on how it can level up your bread game.


Diastatic malt powder is made from grains, typically barley or wheat, that have been sprouted, dried, and finely ground. It may also contain additional ingredients like wheat flour, dextrose, or cane sugar. The process of sprouting and drying the barley activates and then halts the growth of enzymes within the grains. The term "diastatic" refers to the presence of diastase, a natural enzyme complex involved in the starch-to-sugar conversion.

When diastatic malt powder is used in baking, its enzymes play a crucial role in the baking process. One of the primary enzymes in diastatic malt powder is alpha-amylase, which plays a key role in fermentation. This enzyme breaks down starch molecules into smaller sugars like maltose, glucose, and maltotriose. These sugars serve as food for the yeast, aiding fermentation and resulting in a better rise and a fluffier, lighter texture in bread and other yeast-leavened products.

Picture of freshly baked pizza using diastatic malt powder


Now that we understand the science behind diastatic malt powder, let's explore how it benefits your baked goods:

Enhanced Fermentation: The presence of diastatic malt powder promotes a more vigorous fermentation process. This results in better dough development, improved texture, and increased volume in your baked products.

Improved Crust Color and Flavor: Diastatic malt powder contributes to a beautiful golden crust on bread and pastries. It also adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor, enhancing the overall taste experience.

Extended Shelf Life: The enzymatic action of diastatic malt powder helps in preserving the freshness of baked goods, keeping them soft and moist for a longer period.

When diastatic malt powder is used in baking, its enzymes play a crucial role in the baking process.


Use in Moderation: While diastatic malt powder offers numerous benefits, using too much can lead to overly active fermentation and an overly sticky dough. Start with small amounts and adjust based on your recipe and desired results.

Storage: Store diastatic malt powder in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Proper storage ensures its enzymatic activity remains intact.

Experimentation: Don't be afraid to experiment with diastatic malt powder in different recipes. It can be a game-changer in various baked goods, so try it in different proportions to discover what works best for you.

Combine with Other Ingredients:
Diastatic malt powder can complement other ingredients like whole grains, sourdough starters, and pre-ferments. Experimenting with combinations can lead to unique and delicious results.


Bread Dough: Add diastatic malt powder to your bread dough (typically around 1-2% of the flour weight) during mixing. It's especially beneficial for lean doughs like baguettes, sourdough, and artisan breads.

Pizza Dough: Improve the flavor, texture, and browning of your pizza crust by including diastatic malt powder in your pizza dough recipe.

Sweet Breads and Pastries: Enhance the tenderness and flavor of sweet breads, such as cinnamon rolls, brioche, and croissants, by incorporating diastatic malt powder into the dough.

Bagels: Achieve that signature chewy texture and glossy crust in your homemade bagels with the addition of diastatic malt powder to the dough and boiling water.

Pretzels: For soft and flavorful pretzels, mix diastatic malt powder into the dough and also use it in the boiling water bath before baking.


Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls


Soft Pretzels


Homemade Bagels


How long does diastatic malt powder last?

When stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture, diastatic malt powder is good for over 12 months. It's important to keep it tightly sealed in its original packaging or an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing moisture or odors from the surroundings.

Over time, diastatic malt powder can lose its potency and effectiveness, which you can check by observing its color and aroma. Fresh diastatic malt powder should have a light tan color and a sweet, malty smell. If it has darkened significantly or developed a stale odor, it may have lost its effectiveness and should be replaced.

Using fresh diastatic malt powder is important for achieving the desired results in baking, as it helps with enzymatic activity that breaks down starches into sugars, aiding in fermentation and enhancing the texture and flavor of bread and other baked goods.

Is diastatic malt powder gluten free?

No. Diastatic malt powder is typically made from sprouted barley, which contains gluten.

How can diastatic malt powder enhance pizza dough?

When used in suggested quantities, diastatic malt flour can enhance pizza dough in multiple ways. Diastatic malt powder improves enzymatic activity (dough rise, texture, and structure), produces an appealing golden brown color, enhances flavor with a subtle maltiness, and extends its shelf life, all contributing to some seriously unprecedented pizza enjoyment.

What’s the difference between diastatic and non-diastatic malt powder?

The main difference between the two is enzymatic properties. Diastatic malt powder contains enzymes like alpha-amylase and beta-amylase that fuel fermentation and therefore lead to improved bread rise. Similarly, non-diastatic malt powder can contribute to enhanced color, flavor, and aroma, but it won’t aid as much in bread composition or quality.

Is diastatic malt powder the same as malted milk powder?

No. Malted milk powder is a blend of malted grains (such as barley and wheat) and milk powder. It is used mainly as a flavoring agent in beverages like malted milkshakes and hot chocolate, as well as in baking to add a malt flavor to desserts. While diastatic malt powder contributes to dough performance and crust color in baking, malted milk powder enhances the flavor profile and creamy texture of drinks and food items. Their different compositions and purposes make them non-interchangeable in recipes.

Is diastatic malt powder vegan?

Ours is, and we believe it should be! It’s made solely from sprouted barley and does not contain any additives or processing aids of animal origin. Other lesser diastatic malt powders may contain additives like lactose or utilize animal products during processing.

Is diastatic malt powder necessary?

If you’re seeking to improve overall dough performance, flavor, and crust color, then yes! We recommend a small amount of diastatic malt powder whenever possible. Our typical recommendation is 1 tsp of diastatic malt powder for every 3 cups of flour in your recipe.

Is diastatic malt powder the same as malted barley flour?

Yes! Those two terms are interchangeable. Our diastatic malt powder is 100% malted barley flour, although other diastatic malt powders often have additional fillers or additives.

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