Turbo-Charging Carl's
(or doping a starter)
Growing starter with malted barley flour
This is mainly a text page, the next pages have the pictures showing the differences.
HOME->SD->Turbo-Charging Carl's->Grow/Rise->Bake/Crust/Crumb

Once and a while, I have longings for emperor buns thinking it would be neat to get this together with sourdough:

The recipe for the buns calls for yeast, sugar and malt extract and - German type numbered flour, of cause. Now, yeast would be a last resort but maybe diastatic malted barley flour could have some positive affect towards nice brown, light and crispy buns.

The other factor making me try this was the occasional paleness of my white flour sourdough breads which I suspect is due to a lack of sugar left for browning

I got 1 lb of 6-row malted barley and malted rye from a brewer's supply store, milled and discovered that I would be able to make about over 1 ton of bread when using 1/10 % as flour additive in the same way as it is added to flours.

Measuring 1/10 % and evenly distributing it in flour with for the batch sizes I have (500 g-ish for testing) was another, unsolved issue.

So I thought, what the heck! Let's see what it does to a starter when I feed it with 10 % of malted barley flour and give it some workout.

Indeed, there were some significant effects, the malted starter really took off.

On the upside:
  • Grown from 30 g the regular starter took almost double the time time to reach the same pH as the malted starter.
  • The malted starter was always ahead in rise.
  • The malted starter dough fermented faster.
  • The malted starter bread had browner crust and loftier crumb.
On the down side:
  • The malted starter dough was much more shredded.
  • The malted starter crumb was more tranlucent and rubbery
  • The speed of the malted starter
  • The difference in dough "feel" right after mixing
  • The difference in crumb structure
  • The total impact overall of adding malted barley


  • I find this worth pursuing, maybe with less starter frementation and lower dough hydration.
Date Time Fermenting time running total Regular Malted Action
08/13 10:00       Use 30 g of active starter, add 30 g flour and water each - malted starter flour always included 10 % malted barley flour, grow at 80/85 F
  15:00 05.00 4.10 4.03 triple by adding 90 g flour and water each
      5.21 5.12 pH after feeding
  20:30 10.50 4.25 3.86 Malted starter is done at this point, put in fridge
08/14 00:30 14.50 3.90   It took the regular starter 5 hours longer to reach approximately the same pH, put in fridge.
  07:30 14.50 4.03   Take out of fridge, pH went up again, continue fermenting.
  08:30 15.50 3.93   Still more to go.
  09:30 16.50 3.86   Finally reached the same pH as the malted starter - I two hours more, maybe 1/2 for warming up again.
  10:18   5.21 5.11 Done mixing - (use SDcalc , n. w for exact amounts) -125 g starter weight 20 % starter (100% hydration) of total dough weicht, 68 % dough hydration , 1.8 % salt, KA better for bread flour.
Start 1. rise
  12:20   5.00 4.70 2 hours rise, deflate, start 2. rise at 85 - 95 F
  14:45   3.82 3.50 2. rise end after 2 hours, shape
  14.57       rest
15.21       slash & bake at 550 F for 6 minutes, then at 425 F with boiling water bowl and spritzing repeatedly with spray bottle during the first 10 minutes.
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