As a kid, most of us probably grew up drinking malted milk or enjoying one of those large, rectangular boxes of malted milk ball while watching the newest movie at the theater.
Fast forward to years later when a bread recipe calls for malt powder. Immediately, memories of those childhood treats pop up once again and we wonder if malted milk powder and malt powder are indeed the same thing.
The quick and easy answer is a resounding, “No!”
Malt powder is made from wheat flour and another grain, usually barley. On the other hand, malted milk powder is malt powder with milk solids added to it.
To take things a step further, malt powder comes in two forms: diastatic and non-diastatic. Diastatic malt powder contains active enzymes that help convert starch into sugar. This action can accelerate the rising process and make bread rise more quickly. It can usually be found in powdered form.
Non-diastatic malt is only used for that distinctive malty flavor and deep caramel color. It does not contain any active enzymes and is available as a syrup.
So, the next time you find yourself munching on malted milk balls or enjoying your morning bagel, you can feel confident that you now know the difference between both varieties of malt powder.