Malt is cereal grain that has been dried, sprouted, dried a second time and then toasted in an oven. Any grain can be malted, including wheat, oats and rice, however barley malt is the most common type of malt that you’re likely to come across. Grains are malted to give them additional layers of flavor and malted grains are known to add both additional sweetness and a roasted flavor to products that they are used in. Malted barley is a staple ingredient for many beers and whiskeys.
Outside of the liquor industry, you’ll usually see malted milk, rather than malted grains. Malted milk powder is a mixture of malted barley, milk and flour that is evaporated into a fine powder. The powder has a strong dairy flavor and a toasty, caramel note – which comes entirely from the malted barley – and it can be used in all kinds of recipes, from milk shakes to cookies to cakes. You can pick up a container of it in the baking aisle or the beverage aisle at most grocery stores, then remake favorite soda fountain classics from your childhood or transform a favorite recipe by incorporating a tablespoon or two into a recipe to bring in malt’s unique flavor. Malt is usually paired with vanilla and chocolate, but can work well with other flavors if you feel inspired to experiment in the kitchen