Monday 26 December 2016

Malt Loaf

I'm heading off on a long, cold ride tomorrow...a ride run by a local bike shop called Velolife. My prep for this has mainly been baking a batch of my special cycling flapjack, and also fuelling up on some home-made malt loaf. I hadn't planned on this, however I found a jar of malt extract at the back of the cupboard, hiding behind a tin of black treacle, and at that point it seemed a bit rude not to. Not sure if I should be worried that I randomly have all the ingredients for a malt loaf just sitting around (actually, that's a slight lie...I didn't have any wholemeal strong flour, so I made it with just white flour...)

I haven't made this for ages (hence me forgetting about the malt extract...I mean, what else can it be used for? (I've just googled, and the only other things I can find are chocolate tarts, and biscuits...which might not actually be a bad shout!).

The main thing I've done with the recipe is change tablespoons into weight...I always find tablespoon measurements frustrating, especially with super-adhesive substances like syrup, treacle etc, as it's virtually meaningless! it's not like you're going to be able to get a level tablespoon of the mixture in (once you take into account the bottom and side, and the virtual impossibility of getting everything off). I've worked on 20g per tablespoon (though I'm pretty sure with practice I could get significantly more on one).

Malt Loaf - Recipe

  • Grease 2 1lb/500g loaf tins with butter


  • 25g butter
  • 20g soft brown sugar
  • 60g malt extract
  • 40g black treacle
  • 450g strong white flour (you can swap 100g of this for wholemeal bread flour)
  • 8g salt
  • 14g fast-action yeast
  • 225g sultanas
  • 250ml warm water (I did 30 seconds in the microwave)
  • Honey (to glaze)

1) Put the butter, sugar, treacle and malt extract in a small saucepan

2) Stir over a low heat until the sugar and butter have melted. Don't overheat it, as you then want to put it to one side to cool down (ideally under 40'C, as you want it to be cool enough to not kill the yeast)

3) Place the flour, salt and yeast in a stand mixer bowl with the dough hook attachment

4) Add the sultanas, water and cooled syrup mixture to the bowl

5) Mix/knead until a smooth dough is formed (I found that after ~4 minutes the dough started to come off the sides of the bowl, and formed a handleable dough

6) Transfer the dough to a well floured surface

7) Chop it in half (this involved careful use of a set of scales with flour on top!)

8) Form each half into a sausage the same length as the loaf tins, and put them in the tins

9) Cover, and allow to prove at room temperature for approximately 2 hours (1 bad Christmas movie!). The dough should be proud of the top of the tin

10) Pre-heat the oven to 180-190'C

11) bake the loaves in the oven for ~30 minutes...a skewer should come out clean when they are done.

12) Remove form the oven to a wire rack

13) Put a small dollop of honey of top of each loaf, and using a pastry brush spread it over the top to glaze it.

14) Remove the tin once it's cool enough, and allow to cool completely