Brighter and longer days and we’re all getting outside again. Whether it’s to visit a nearby National Trust house and garden or to get the garden ready for sowing, it’s good to have a snack at the ready – in case of an urgent need for something to nibble. Seeded malted flapjacks, full of oats, and seeds and deliciously gooey maltiness for a quick reward while digging the beds. I have fond memories of sneaking a spoonful of malt extract from the cupboard as a child. It was probably intended for me to have in the first place, but all the better taken by subterfuge.

Malt extract is often overlooked in baking. It’s probably best known as the key ingredient in malt loaf – that rich, sticky afternoon teatime favourite. But malt extract can add its sweet and treacle-like goodness to a whole range of recipes. It goes really well in a gooey chocolate tart, is essential for making authentic New York style bagels and, if your children are fans of the Winnie the Pooh books, you can make them some “extract-of-malt sandwiches” just like the ones Kanga makes for Tigger in The House At Pooh Corner by using it like honey. My children love it.

These are quick and easy to make and disappeared almost as quickly when the children got home from school. If you manage not to eat them all in one go, the flapjacks also keep well in a tin to have on hand.

The 9” square tin I have used for these is wonderfully heavy – from Chicago Metallic. The quality of the tin you bake with does make a difference as the heavier gauge radiates the heat evenly so you get an even bake and a mellow, even sweetness throughout. Lighter tins typically cause over-baking on the outer edges and under-baking in the middle.

Recipe: Malted Seed Flapjacks


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line a baking tin with baking parchment.

Put the butter, golden syrup, malt extract and sugar in a small saucepan. The syrup and malt extract are both sticky – it makes it a lot easier to spoon them out of the jar or tin if you warm the spoon in just boiled water first. Put the pan over a medium/low heat and stir the mixture until the butter is melted, and the sugar has completely dissolved.

Weigh the oats and seeds out into a large mixing bowl and stir so that the seeds are mixed right through the oats. Add the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir again until all the oats and seeds are coated in the sticky, sweet mixture. Transfer the mixture to your baking tin lined with grease proof paper and, using the back of the spoon, press down gently to flatten out the top. If the oats are sticking to the spoon, heat it with boiled water as you did when weighing out the malt extract.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. When the flapjacks are a lovely light golden brown colour on top, take them from the oven and leave them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Transfer the flapjacks, still on the baking parchment, to a cooling rack to finish cooling and firm up. Cut into pieces when cool.


125g butter
50g golden syrup
40g organic barley malt extract
55g soft light brown sugar
275g rolled oats
50g pumpkin seeds
30g sunflower seeds
30g brown linseed

Vanessa Kimbell runs the Sourdough School, Northampton


featured products

Jumbo Rolled Oats | £1.03

Jumbo rolled oats are an excellent cereal for toppings on breads and rolls and are perfect for many uses in the kitchen such as porridge, meat loaf and biscuits. Why not just add a handful to your bowl of cereal, or mixed in to yogurt?

Organic Barley Malt Extract | £2.19

An extract of organic barley and organic malted barley containing a complex mix of carbohydrates, trace elements and vitamins.

Pumpkin Seeds | £4.72

Pumpkin seeds make ideal for topping breads and rolls, for adding to doughs, biscuits and salads.

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