A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Author Topic: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible  (Read 88189 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mitchjg

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5087
  • Location: Oakland, CA
Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« on: November 01, 2014, 11:40:02 AM »
In reading through "The Pizza Bible", it looks like Tony Gemignani is putting disastatic malt in almost every dough, including dough with Caputo 00. 

I have never used diastatic malt in pizza and only a could of times with bread.  A couple of questions:

1 any experiences, positive or negative, with diastatic malt and pizza dough?  Recommendations?

2 I have an unopened, sealed package with an expiration of December '13.  If I use it in a pizza dough will I get the cooties, die, food poisoning, poor pizza dough handling, whatever?

- Mitch
Mitch

“We hate math,” says 4 in 10 – a majority of Americans

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 27958
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 09:59:44 AM »
Mitch,

I have had somewhat limited experience using diastatic malt, so I may not be the best one to comment on its value. In my case, I have not found a need to use diastatic malt often. I believe it is because almost all domestic white flours, which represents the bulk of the flours I have used over the years, are malted at the mill. However, there are a small number of flours that are available in unmalted form, both at the retail level and at the commercial level. For example, General Mills has about four or five unmalted flours in its flour lineup, including a couple of organic flours (in its Sperry line) and its Neapolitan flour that is the GM counterpart to the imported 00 flours. But that is out of a total of about 50 flours that can be used to make pizza dough. Cook Natural Products is another name that sells unmalted flours at the commercial level. At the retail level, both Bob's Red Mill and Hodgson Mill offer unmalted flours, as you will note if you go to their websites. And, as you know, the 00 flours are unmalted. So, out of a universe of hundreds of white flours, the unmalted versions are relatively small in number.

As background on the malting of flours and to set the stage for my discussion below, you might take a look at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,30654.msg306208.html#msg306208.

I am surprised that Tony G is such a big fan of diastatic malt. However, I recall from my reading of recipes in Prof. Calvel's book, The Taste of Bread, that he was also a big fan of using diastatic malt. When he discussed its purpose, it was to deal with the problem of flour diastasticity and, in particular, hypodiastaticity, which is a condition that maniiests itself "in sluggish fermentation, lower loaf volume, and a pale, thick crust". He also noted that the bread formulas in his book that involved preferments contained more diastatic malt than his straight dough recipes. This was to compensate for diastaticity "eaten up" during long fermentations. I mention this last point because you indicated in Reply 51 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,30759.msg346189.html#msg346189 that Tony G uses preferments for a large number of his doughs. I wouldn't have thought that Tony was such an acolyte or disciple of Prof. Calvel.

To see how far Prof. Calvel took the use of diastatic malt, I looked at the recipes where he used it. There are over 150 recipes in Prof. Calvel's book and, out of all of those, there are a couple of dozen or so that call for diastatic malt. There are only a small number of those that are for straight bread doughs. The vast majority of them are for prefermented doughs. The amounts of diastatic malt ranged from 0.20% to 1.5%. However, the higher values were for specialty bread products, not for regular bread doughs. For those, the amounts of diastatic malt were from about 0.20-0.50%, with the prefermented doughs using more diastatic malt than straight doughs. I can only surmise that Prof. Calvel used diastatic malt because the primarily French flours that he used were naturally low in enzymes to break down the damaged starch, and that there was less damaged starch in the flours to begin with, as is also the case with 00 flours.

You might also be interested to know that Didier Rosada, whose own work was influenced by Prof. Calvel, also talks about using diastatic malt in long-fermented preferments, under the heading "Secondary effects of the preferment", at http://web.archive.org/web/20050829015510/www.cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food4_dec2004.htm.

Prof. Calvel was also very fond of using ascorbic acid in his recipes. I'd be curious to know if Tony G calls for ascorbic acid in his recipes.

As for your outdated diastatic malt, I would be surprised if any harm would befall you from its use. However, as with most things that age, with wine and some cheeses excepted, the performance of the dough in which it is used may be less than optimal. So, you might have to increase the amount used to offset any negative effects attributable to the age of the malt.

Peter

Offline mitchjg

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5087
  • Location: Oakland, CA
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 01:58:08 PM »
Peter:

Thank you for the very informed and informative reply.  I appreciate it.  To add a few points/factoids/questons:

I have not checked every flour but most of the flours recommended by Tony in his recipes are malted.  For example, the "Master Dough" flour recommendation list includes All Trumps, Pendleton Power, Giusto High Performer and KA Sir Lancelot - all malted.

The typical malt percentage that Tony uses is around 2%, much higher than the range you mention with regards to Prof. Calvel's writings.

In another thread, I complained that my dough had over-fermented with only 0.2% IDY, 74 degree final dough temperature and a 3 day ferment (it looked pretty overdone at 2 days).  Based on your mention of diastatic malt used more for doughs with preferments and also your comment about 00 flour, I wonder if that was my problem.  My dough had 20% poolish (100% hydrated and therefore 10% of total flour) and the flour in the recipe was 50% KAAP and 50% Caputo 00.  See here:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,34866.msg346871.html#msg346871

Can you comment / hypothesize on that?

Regards,
Mitch

Mitch

“We hate math,” says 4 in 10 – a majority of Americans

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 27958
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 02:53:25 PM »
Mitch,

I gave you the full reply because I was puzzled why Tony G would use diastatic malt for so many of his doughs. Even with preferments, it is not typical to add diastatic malt. It is added usually to solve a problem. I even wondered why Prof. Calvel used it so often but I did not find the reason in his book for doing so. When I looked at the table of contents and index of the book, there was no entry for either malt or diastatic. After thinking about this, I recalled that Prof. Calvel used French flours, such as Type 45 flour and Type 55, the latter of which is commonly used for making bread. Typically European flours during Prof. Calvel's day were on the soft side and perhaps were milled from flours that had less damaged starch than our flours here in the U.S. So, adding diastatic malt, along with ascorbic acid, would have made sense.

Where I most frequently see diastatic malt added to flours is in the case of organic flours that are unmalted. A while back, we had a professional member, AnnieK, who was having problems with her use of organic flour. Scott123 and I walked her through the selection and use of diastatic malt. For details, you can read through the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22942.msg232602.html#msg232602 but the use of diastatic malt helped her very much (e.g., see Reply 28 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22942.msg237438.html#msg237438). I might add, and as also noted in the first thread referenced above, that King Arthur's organic flours are malted. They apparently feel the malt is needed for best baking results using their organic flours.

I could see someone adding diastatic malt to an untreated or unenriched flour, such as a 00 flour, but not with flours that are already malted, although I am sure that some baker somewhere might have a reason for adding a bit more malt to achieve specific objectives. It would be interesting to know specifically how Tony came upon the idea of adding more diastatic malt to the flours that you mentioned. That would be unusual. Even in the case of 00 flour it would be unusual because diastatic malt can increase the residual sugars, which might not be a good idea for a pizza that is to be baked at temperature of around 800-1000 degrees F. But it could be a good idea for a 00-based dough that is to be baked in a standard home oven where the sugar can be tolerated.

But, to summarize, I do not think that your dough performed the way it did because you did not use diastatic malt.

Peter

Offline dsissitka

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 237
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 04:13:21 PM »
I'd be curious to know if Tony G calls for ascorbic acid in his recipes.

No. It looks like it was removed but in one of the pre-launch samples ascorbic acid was one of the reasons Tony gave for avoiding IDY. No sugar either.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 27958
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 05:01:52 PM »
Mitch,

Following up on my last post, do you suppose that in his new book Tony G meant to say nondiastatic malt, which is an alternative form of sweetener, rather than diastatic malt, which is a source on enzymes to work on damaged starch?

For example, a few years ago, Tony penned an article for Pizza Today, at http://www.pizzatoday.com/departments/in-the-kitchen/2013-march-respecting-the-craft/, in which he provided two pizza dough recipes called Standard Classic America and Standard Classic Italian. Notably, those recipes called for "malt/sugar". Such a word pairing would strongly suggest that the malt is a sweetener, not a source on enzymes to work on damaged starch.

The above Pizza Today recipes led me to search for other dough recipes by Tony G to see if any of them called for sugar or a form of barley malt that might have been a sweetener. As it turned out, I found some of the dough recipes from Tony's new book, at:

http://eatdrinkfilms.com/2014/10/16/the-pizza-bible-by-tony-gemignani-with-susie-heller-and-steve-siegelman/

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Master-Dough-with-Starter-51255340

http://www.7x7.com/pizzarecipe

http://www.foodrepublic.com/2014/07/29/meet-11-time-world-pizza-champion

Interestingly, none of the above recipes call for sugar. Sugar is not an essential dough ingredient but it is commonly used for many styles of pizzas, including NY style and American style and even some pizzas, such as those made at Pizzeria Mozza, that are a unique style of its own. I mention Pizzeria Mozza on purpose because Tony critiqued the Mozza pizza in an article at http://www.laweekly.com/squidink/2011/02/17/sfs-pizza-pundit-tony-gemignani-weighs-in-on-las-pies-names-his-favorite-and-considers-the-starfish-calzone. That article mentions malt but, from what I can tell, the form of malt used by Mozza is a form of sweetener, as is noted in the blog article at http://www.foodgal.com/2011/09/pure-pizza-dough-heaven-the-recipe-from-pizzeria-mozza/. In that case, the malt is paired in the recipe with honey. If a form of barley malt that is enzymatically active was intended, if properly handled it wouldn't have been paired with honey in the recipe. Properly recited, it would have been a standalone ingredient.

When you have a chance, would you mind looking at some of the other dough recipes in Tony's book to see if they recite sugar? In particular, I'd be interested in a Neapolitan style dough with sugar, which might make sense for use in a home oven but not for a commercial application calling for use of a very high temperature wood fired or similar oven.

BTW, 2% nondiastatic malt would be an acceptable value for a NY style dough. In fact, for years Sbarro used to make a NY style pizza dough with around 2% nondiastatic malt. They eventually switched to sugar.

Peter

Offline dsissitka

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 237
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 05:09:11 PM »
Following up on my last post, do you suppose that in his new book Tony G meant to say nondiastatic malt, which is an alternative form of sweetener, rather than diastatic malt, which is a source on enzymes to work on damaged starch?

No, he's pretty clear about that.

Quote
There are two kinds of malt: diastatic and nondiastatic. Diastatic (sometimes labeled low-diastatic) is the one you want for pizza. ... Like most bakers, I prefer diastatic malt ...

Offline dsissitka

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 237
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 05:15:00 PM »
When you have a chance, would you mind looking at some of the other dough recipes in Tony's book to see if they recite sugar? In particular, I'd be interested in a Neapolitan style dough with sugar, which might make sense for use in a home oven but not for a commercial application calling for use of to a very high temperature wood fired or similar oven.

There's no sugar in any dough recipe in the book.

There's diastatic malt in the Neapolitan recipe but he says he only uses it when he uses a home oven.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 27958
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2014, 05:18:32 PM »
dsissitka,

I was not aware that most bakers prefer diastatic malt or read anything to that effect but thank you anyway. And thank you for checking the other dough recipes in Tony's book.

Peter

Offline jsaras

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2767
  • Location: Camarillo, CA
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014, 05:23:32 PM »
He mentions using diastatic malt for bake temps below 650 to help with browning.  He also says that it contains active enzymes which aid the breakdown of starches into sugars that feed the yeast.  It also is supposed to extend fermentation times.

He also explicitly states that nondiastatic malt is used in other foods as a sweetener and it is not what he uses in pizza dough. 

Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline mitchjg

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5087
  • Location: Oakland, CA
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2014, 05:29:49 PM »
I think I read it a little differently but I also think it is unclear (at least to me!).

Peter: you specifically asked about Neapolitan.  He is very clear that the malt is not necessary when using a high heat WFO but it should be added for a home oven (under 650, as mentioned).

The ambiguity I thought about with regards to the malt is when he wrote: "a small amount of malt added to your dough will help it brown and will give it a subtle nutty-caramel sweetness in lower temperatures."

He also describes the diastatic malt (in contrast to the non-diastatic) as having the "added benefit" of active enzymes which help break down starches, turning them into sugars.  The nondiastatic malt "doesn't have those enzymes, and it's added to foods ONLY as a sweetener." (CAPS are mine).

So, I think I can read this as:
diastatic = enzymes + sweetener
nondiastatic = sweetener only

- Mitch
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 05:36:49 PM by mitchjg »
Mitch

“We hate math,” says 4 in 10 – a majority of Americans

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 27958
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2014, 05:38:46 PM »
Jonas,

Thank you also. Does Tony say whether the diastatic malt is in dry or liquid form? I would assume that it is the dry form because liquid diastatic malt is hard to find at the retail level.

And does Tony recommend a particular brand or source of diastatic malt?

Peter

Offline mitchjg

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5087
  • Location: Oakland, CA
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2014, 05:43:41 PM »
He does not say - but he cites Central Milling or beer brewing supply stores as sources if that helps.

- Mitch
Mitch

“We hate math,” says 4 in 10 – a majority of Americans

Offline mitchjg

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5087
  • Location: Oakland, CA
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2014, 06:29:36 PM »
Adding to the discussion:

Tony's recipes call for 2% diastatic malt.  For example, in the Master Dough recipe (the one without starter), there are 9 grams (1 tablespoon, per the recipe) of the malt.  The total flour is 453 grams. 

The King Arthur website, which sells the stuff, recommends that you use between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per 3 cups of flour.  Per King Arthur, 1 cup of flour (e.g. AP, Bread, Sir Lancelot) is 4.25 ounces.  So, that is 12.75 ounces or 361 grams.

The package I have of KA Malted Barley says it is 2 grams per teaspoon.  Tony's recipe says 9 grams per tablespoon, which would be 3 grams per teaspoon.  OK, so let's say 2-3 grams per teaspoon.

At 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per 3 cups, it would be 1-3 grams per 3 cups which is 1-3 grams per 361 grams:
0.3% to 0.8%, depending on how you measure and how much you want to use.

So, the 2% Tony uses is a lot.........

In surfing around the Fresh Loaf website for discussions of diastatic malt, there are many discussions.  They include admonitions of using too much.  Check out this thread:
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25855/nondiastatic-versus-diastatic-matled-barley-syrup

One comment in there:
"I just made some loaves with about 0.2% (a tenth of what KAF recommended:-), and found the effects so significant and uncontrollable that I'm now trying going back to that same recipe except not adding any diastatic malt at all.  Even the very small amount I added caused a much larger rise, more than halved my fermentation times, caused my poolish to overrise and collapse, lengthened required baking time by 10-15%, and left a "gummy" residue on my serrated bread slicing knife."
A reply said:
"LOL I feel the same. How little I use, I always end up with dough which is so sticky an unruly :p and very difficult to handle."

So.........
Which one of you goes first in trying the recipes out, including 2% diastatic malt ???? !!!!!!!! ???????   :o

- Mitch
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 06:31:27 PM by mitchjg »
Mitch

“We hate math,” says 4 in 10 – a majority of Americans

Offline Donjo911

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1271
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2014, 06:37:59 PM »
Is Tony G a member or participating guest of this site?  I would think that this audience is his target for the book. Since he mentioned PM Fourm in the book.... is there a way to just PM him?  Seems like he would want to clear this matter up -especially if diastatic/nondiastatic its a type-O in his brand new book.
Cheers,
Don
I have done wrong.. but what I did, I thought needed to be done.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline dsissitka

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 237
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2014, 06:57:00 PM »
Which one of you goes first in trying the recipes out, including 2% diastatic malt ???? !!!!!!!! ???????

At this point I've worked my way through the master class twice and made the master dough with and without starter at least a half dozen times. 2% diastatic malt seems to work well. In fact, the master dough with poolish I used this morning is probably the best dough I've ever made.

Is Tony G a member or participating guest of this site?  I would think that this audience is his target for the book. Since he mentioned PM Fourm in the book.... is there a way to just PM him?

He launched his own forum with the book but he doesn't participate very often:

http://www.thepizzabible.com/
http://www.thepizzabible.com/tonyg

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 27958
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2014, 06:59:18 PM »
Mitch,

I came across the Central Milling (CM) name in the course of reading an article by Peter Reinhart (PR), at http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/299-the-pizza-quest-challenge-pizza-dough.html, in which PR mentions Central Milling as a possible source of malt. But the malt is nondiastatic malt. I did check the CM website and looked at all of the flours but they are all untreated. But, as a miller, they apparently have malt products on hand for customers who might want malted flours. But I did not see malts listed as products of CM. PR also suggests that one go to beer making supply stores or to a favorite micro-brewery and ask to buy the nondiastatic malt from them.

Most dry diastatic malts are not pure barley malt. As you can see from the Malt Products article on malts at http://www.maltproducts.com/news.whatismalt.html, dry diastatic malt products include wheat and dextrose also. You will also see the statements ".....by using dry diastatic malt, the only beneficial characteristic available is that of enzymatic activity (not color, not flavor, not crust characteristics)" and "It should be stressed here, however, that dry diastatic malt contributes very little in terms of flavor or color versus use of liquid diastatic malt." These statements would seem to suggest that if one is after better browning, nondiastatic malt or liquid diastatic malt would be the best choices. But if one wants a dry diastatic malt, it will include dextrose and flour. Heating the liquid diastatic malt to get to a dry form would render the enzymes inactive. This is not a problem with nondiastatic malts, in either dry or liquid form, because they are heated to a temperature and for a duration that disable the enzymes.

I might add that the dextrose used in commercial diastatic malts (but also including the diastatic malt sold by King Arthur) is a form of sugar. It is technically a form of glucose. As can be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Relativesweetness.png, glucose has about three-quarters of the sweetness of ordinary table sugar, or sucrose. But glucose, as a simple sugar, apparently is available to participate in the Maillard reactions and provide some crust coloration. What I don't know is how much diastatic malt is required to product that result. Maybe Tony concluded that 2% diastatic malt, as well as the diastatic malt already in the flours he is using, is enough to produce that result without breaking down the gluten matrix and rendering the dough slack and wet and overly extensible.

It will be interesting to see how ordinary people who have Tony's book and try his dough recipes make out with the recipes.

Peter


Offline jsaras

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2767
  • Location: Camarillo, CA
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2014, 07:19:16 PM »
Page 16 states that "malt is most commonly made from barley, which has been sprouted and then dried and ground".

So there's no typo or misuderstanding.  Dry diastatic malt, 1.96% added to malted flour.
Things have never been more like today than they are right now.

Offline mitchjg

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5087
  • Location: Oakland, CA
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2014, 07:40:34 PM »
At this point I've worked my way through the master class twice and made the master dough with and without starter at least a half dozen times. 2% diastatic malt seems to work well. In fact, the master dough with poolish I used this morning is probably the best dough I've ever made.

 Interesting!  Glad we had a taker already.  Did you make a NY style or ?  I am inclined to give it a try.  After all, I bought the book, so I am invested now.  :P

Seriously, though, can you describe what you liked or what made it different?

Thanks.
Mitch

“We hate math,” says 4 in 10 – a majority of Americans

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 27958
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Diastatic Malt--The Pizza Bible
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2014, 07:47:01 PM »
Page 16 states that "malt is most commonly made from barley, which has been sprouted and then dried and ground".

So there's no typo or misuderstanding.  Dry diastatic malt, 1.96% added to malted flour.
Jonas,

At I understand it, both diastatic and nondiastatic malt start out in life from barley that has been sprouted and then dried and ground. It is what happens after that in the way of processing that produces the two forms of malt, in both wet and dry forms. However, it sounds like Tony means diastatic malt.

Peter

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


 

wordpress