You might wonder why it has taken the Rex Baker MONTHS to develop his new Malt Loaf.

On the other hand, those new local Friends who aren’t of a certain age or didn’t grow up in the UK, haven’t even heard of Malt Loaf!    As well as wanting to develop the Best of world breads, Rex wants to champion great British produce like Malt Loaf which is practically unique to the UK.

The secret of Rex Artisan Bakery product development

The Rex Baker is inspired by food memories.

He fondly remembers enjoying Soreen Malt Loaf with his Granny, who he loved very much & who was wife to the original Rex. So in a way,  his efforts to recreate a distinctive, delicious, wholesome and healthy malt loaf  is homage to her.

When it comes to developing such a loaf, many of you may see the parallels between the brewing & bread baking professions. In essence the same basic ingredients are used: grain, water & yeast.   It turns out that the Malt Loaf has come from Britain’s love of Bitter Ale, which has the malty tones & also hops for the bitter tones.malt loaf

In Rex Malt Loaf we therefore introduced Malted Barley, which gives British beer its colour & malty overtones but we don’t want the bitter  undertones from hops (although – that could inspire another bread in the future!)

Further, we want sweetness, we want moistness & stickiness but we want a rich malty flavour.

The challenge we faced was in deciding to avoid the use of certain ingredients common to Factory bread versions:

Instead after multiple attempts, the Rex Baker has settled on the combination of Black Treacle for rich deep caramel overtones; & Honey for light sweetness & natural preservative qualities. Together they give a rich deep flavour.  Then Rex discovered the winning  mixture of Organic Prunes again for their deeper richer flavour with sultanas for their sweetness – sultanas only made a reappearance in Version 8 of Rex Malt Loaf!  Most other loaves on the market just seem to use Raisins.

malt loaf wrapped in clingfilmIn Version 15 which finally reached the February bake list, the Rex Baker has selected four different malt flours, straight from the brewing industry, to achieve the malty overtones and the stickiness. Of these flours, Chocolate Malt is very dark & bitter and is used to make Stouts & Porters like Guinness.  These different malt flours together make the product very tricky! So tricky that the Yeast finds it difficult to do its thing, so the Rex Baker has employed a technique called a ‘flying sponge’ where we get the yeast very active in a very wet pre-ferment before we make the final dough.  It also means as usual with Rex bread, the flour is all well fermented which gives you a more complex flavour and is thought to be better for your digestion.

And then finally the Rex Malt Loaf also uses a mixture of White & Wholemeal Organic Flours – this seems to make Rex unique, no other recipe seems to use Wholemeal but we believe the 30% Wholemeal further adds to the richness of flavour.

So it took no fewer than 15 versions & a lot of trial & error to develop the latest new Rex product – that’s the secret.

We do hope you enjoy our Malt Loaf.   Rex Bakery can guarantee it will not last anywhere as long as the Soreen Loaf which might sit on shelves for months, and will not be as artificially sweet.  But we do think it is much richer in flavour, is nearly as sticky and the all-naturally healthy home-made Rex loaf  inspires the food memory of Malt Loaf with Granny as a child.

We are supplying Malt Loaf wrapped in food-safe clingfilm & recommend you keep the open end wrapped in this until all consumed.

Ingredients check:

Organic White Bread Flour
Organic Wholemeal Bread flour
Diastatic Malt Flour
Sunblest Malt Flour
Amber Spray Malt
Dark Malt Flour
Organic Chopped Prunes
Dark Treacle

You will also note that Rex Malt Loaf has NO DAIRY , so it can be enjoyed by those with an allergy in that area 🙂