Have you ever wondered why you can’t quite get the same bread as the professional bakers? The mass-market supermarket bread is riddled with chemical improvers of course – not something that artisan bakers would go near. They do though, also have a secret ingredient, and this is Diax, or diastatic malt flour, made only from finely ground malted barley.

Diax malt flour is full of naturally occurring enzymes, developed during the malting process. English barley goes through a 7-day process where the grains are soaked (steeped), sprouted (germinated) and kilned. During this process, the endosperm becomes modified to give the flavour precursors of malt and naturally occurring enzymes are synthesised. This process is carefully controlled to retain these enzymes for use by the baker.

When used at about 5g per 1kg flour, Diax will break down some of the starch in your dough to short chain carbohydrates (sugars). These sugars give a sustained release of food to the yeast throughout fermentation, giving better bread volume, a more open texture, and a darker crust colour – especially good for slow fermentation and sourdough. You may also see a more relaxed dough, where some of the protein strands will be cleaved by protease present in Diax. These fissures in the dough structure can help give the lovely irregular structure associated with craft breads like Ciabatta.

An additional benefit of enzyme active malt flour is that your bread will remain softer for longer – one of the main reasons it’s widely used in bagels. Malt even contains naturally occurring glutamates, which will enhance the overall flavour of your bread.

If you’re feeling bold, then you can use higher levels to give a sticky dough. The enzymes in this malt flour can promote a texture similar to that seen in malt loaf.

Diax - Diastatic Malt Flour

Diax Malt Flour or Diastatic enzyme active malt flour, made from finely ground malted barley used to give improved rise, softer crumb and more crust colour development without the need for adding sugar.


Bakery of the Month


Joes's Bakery | Bristol

Based on Gloucester Rd, in Bristol, Joe’s bakery has been owned and run by Martin and Jane Hunt since 1990 where there has been a bakery on site for over 120 years.

Jane said “We are really pleased to be featured by BakeryBits. We love supporting a family business like ours. The most important thing that we do is to make real bread. The quality of our bread is great and our customers love the fact the bread is absolutely fresh.” Read more about Joe’s Bakery here.


Bakery Courses


Bake with Jack | Guildford

At Bake with Jack I host much more than just a bread making class. We will prepare and cook a delicious meal along the way to perfectly complement your bread and make it the start of the dinner table! You can learn in your own home or come and join me in a professional kitchen in Puttenham, Guildford.

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