In this article we will be exploring how adding malted ingredients can contribute towards enhancing the sensory experience of biscuits, cookies and crackers. We shall also look at the ingredients themselves, explain how they are made and why they are used.

Malt flours are made from carefully selected UK malting barley bought from within a 50-mile radius of Muntons site, which are then partially grown under controlled conditions, kilned dried in large ovens and finally the tiny rootlets removed. Some malts are roasted in a large rotating roasting drum until the desired colour of malt has been reached. The roasted grain malt is then milled into a fine-particle flour. They are very versatile and can be treated as any other flour. At Muntons we have a wide range of malted flours to suit many applications needs, proving to be a cost-effective way of adding colour and flavour. Let’s consider a few examples below.

Take the humble biscuit and cracker. By simply partially replacing your white flour in the recipe and adding malt flours at a 5.6% inclusion (biscuits) or 2.6% (Crackers) a wide range of colour variation can be achieved in the final product:

These images clearly demonstrate the varying degrees of colour intensity various malt flours can make to a simple biscuit or cracker at various inclusions.

Minolta colour testing (LAB*) on the biscuits above illustrate this further by highlighting that crystal malts can provide more warmer colours such as reds and yellows whilst the roasted malts provide darker colours.

Of course, as with all our ingredients there are always additional benefits. So, alongside the addition of colour and premiumising the product, there is also the introduction of additional flavour notes. These work well on their own or as a carrier, enhancing (or rounding) flavours already in existence in the recipe.

Here it is possible to see that as the degree of roasting increases, cereal, sweet and nutty flavours reduce, whilst burnt, coffee, smoky and bitter flavours increase. Notably, chocolate notes peak with Red Malt flour then decrease when darker colours are generated through roasted kilned malt.

Malted flours can also be used as a blend or with additional malted ingredients to create novel flavours or replicate flavours in products such as ‘beer’ (by taking roasted malts that have smoky and bitter flavours) and blending them with hopped malted ingredients. Coffee flavours can be imparted without the need for the addition of coffee to the biscuit or by simply working alongside a flavoured biscuit crème.

Here we have explored how our malted flours can be used in biscuits and crackers but of course there are many more applications for these versatile flours across the food sector. Not only are malted flours natural products, made using only cereal grains, but they are tasty and are good for you too!