Friday, July 06, 2007

The Many Uses of Malt.

Today, July 6th

The Horlick brothers' new product - a malted milk drink- was finally released on this day in 1886. The English brothers migrated to America and created a product that would ultimately find its biggest market in India, which proves that the Internet is not solely responsible for globalisation. The product was the result of the brothers’ efforts to find a way to make milk easier to digest, or so the traditional story goes. Horlicks is value-added milk, essentially. Calorie added, calcium added, and flavour added.

What is this thing called Malt? It is ‘barley or other grain prepared for brewing, distilling, or vinegar-making, esp. by steeping, germinating, and kiln-drying.’ These malted cereals are then use to manufacture a whole range of things which enhance our lives: about 96% of all of the malt produced in the world goes to make beer; about 3% to produce malt whisky, and an infinitesimal (but significant) amount to make Maltesers™. The rest goes into such things as malted milk drinks (which are value-added milkshakes, essentially), Chocolate Malted Milk Cake (if you are very lucky), and (especially if you are English) - Malt Loaf.

A large part of the marketing of ‘malted’ products focussed on the supposed health benefits of malt (taking it for medicinal reasons is many a beer-drinker’s excuse, methinks). There are medicinal preparations containing malt which also contain other supplements, which explains the warning in the following recipe. It is from The Times, in 1977. Take heed of the warning, unless you don’t mind your fruit loaf tasting fishy.

Malt Bread.
You can buy malt extract from a chemist – make sure you get malt extract and not the malt and cod-liver oil mixture.
Makes 1 large loaf.
12 oz self raising flour.
½ level teaspoon salt
2 oz castor sugar
4 oz sultanas
2 rounded tablespoons malt extract
1 rounded tablespoon black treacle
½ pint milk
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing basin. Add the sugar and sultanas. Measure the malt extract, treacle and milk into a saucepan and warm over low heat stirring to blend them together. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix very thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into a well buttered 2 lb loaf tin and bake in the centre of a moderate oven (350 deg F or gas 4) for 1 ¼ hours. Loosen sides and turn out. While the loaf is warm from the oven, brush with a hot glaze made by boiling together for one minute one tablespoon each of castor sugar, milk and water – this gives the malt bread a shiny top. Allow to cool.

If you have a favourite Malt recipe, I'd love to hear it.

Monday’s Story …

Tripe, Glasgow Style.

Quotation for the Day …

The powder is mixed with water and tastes exactly like powder mixed with water. Art Buchwald -On liquid diets.

8 comments:

Katie K said...

Your article on malt is much appreciated. We fell in love with Harrods Malted Biscuits and I would love to be able to make my own. If you or one of your readers have a recipe I would greatly appreciate it. We can't buy them here in the States. Thanks.

Lapinbizarre said...

Now I have something to do with the jar of malt extract that I bought last month in a fit of childhood nostalgia. Ate one spoonful; didn't taste quite "right" (American not British malt extract), and it's been sitting on the shelf, ignored, ever since. Will try the recipe this evening.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Katie - I dont have a recipe for the biscuits, but I hope someone else does. There is a Harrod's cookbook that pops up from time to time on eBay. I wonder if it has a recipe in it? Anyone out there know?

Roger: thanks for your many comments over recent days, I have been too snowed under with life in general to respond to every one. I have fond memories too of malt extract as doled out to English children (and to malt loaf), and intended to make a loaf myself this weekend. Unfortunately I forgot to take my shopping list when I went shopping - which always has serious consequences - and I forgot the malt extract. I'm going to pop back to the supermarket today. We'll compare results.

Liz & Louka said...

There's a lovely recipe for "malted milk biscuits" in the Women's Weekly biscuits and slices cookbook. However, the malt (or rather, malted milk powder) isn't that noticeable in them as they also contain a large amount of chocolate!

Katie K said...

Thanks but those cookbooks aren't available here in the States.

Ash said...

Love Horlicks but we can't get it here in Holland.

cristel said...

A spoon of Malt Extact daily is good for fighting off the colds of winter and high in potassium, also strengthens the bones.
At £2.00 a jar from the Health Food Shop it worth every penny, then make it into Pankakes,Hot Milky drinks, Biscuits or Malt Loaf,
My favourate is always on the spoon

Anonymous said...

Me too Cristel. I ate it by the spoonful when I was young and have just bought a jar and eating it by the spoonful again - delicious! Helen