what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Paul Hollywood’s malt loaf

Another recipe from Paul Hollywood’s tv series. [Edit 2 Oct 2013] This page is getting lots of views this weekend, I’d appreciate any comments you have about why you’ve searched for it. Thank you 🙂 I see that they are repeating Paul Hollywood’s tv series at the moment, which is great if it encourages more people to start baking. I’ve made loads of these loaves over the last 5 months, they are very easy. I’ve also found that if it looks like too much, then cutting a loaf into thirds or halves and freezing a bit is a good idea. Now back to the story….

I’m making this because frequent readers will know I’m training for the LondonSurrey 100 mile bike ride in August. As a result I am eating carbs like they are going out of fashion, and I need something that’s not too sugar loaded and isn’t cake to be taking on rides and eating as snacks. So as I do buy the occasional Soreen loaf I thought I’d have a go at the Paul Hollywood version. Original Soreen contains similar ingredients to the Paul Hollywood version, but no treacle and includes E150c (caramel) and preservatives.

The recipe is available here. A pretty straightforward selection of ingredients, with treacle to give it browness. I’m not sure why he tells you to go to a baker for malt extract, I got mine in Holland and Barrett and Potters’ Herbal Rayners Essentials , Meridian Foods brands are  also quite widely available. There’s also the whole other world of brewing malts that could also be used. Some readers may recognise malt extract as ‘Roo’s strengthening medicine’, from the Winnie the Pooh stories. Like Kanga, my mother also used to give me malt extract on a spoon as a dietary supplement. It apparently contains vitamin A and riboflavin, and according to a Daily Telegraph article, the sugars are too easily absorbed causing an insulin spike and possibly diabetes in the long run. Well, a little of what you fancy won’t do much harm I suppose. I quite like the taste but don’t like the stringiness getting it out of the jar.

For my effort, I found I didn’t have any sultanas so threw in a selection of golden raisins, regular raisins, currants, and a few dried cherries that looked like they needed eating up. I also don’t have two 1lb loaf tins so it all went in one big one, and I used a flexible silicone one in case it stuck fast.


Easy recipe, mixing the gloopy ingredients and butter first. I used the microwave as all my small pans were in the wash after Sunday lunch. Then add to the dried ingredients with some water. No tricky kneading, just enough to make sure it is mixed up evenly. Then it goes into the loaf tin for a rise. I gave mine an hour and a half as I thought two hours looked too long, given the speed it was going it. Finally into the oven. The recipe says 30 to 40 mins, mine got the full 40, the last 10 with a foil cover.

It didn’t rise a lot in the oven. I have topped it off with the recommended tablespoon of warmed honey (in the microwave again!).  Then it was left to cool.


Results? Yes, you get what it says on the tin. It’s not overly sweet, the fruit is plentiful and it’s not a fluffy bun-like crumb. The crust is nice and a bit crunchy. It will definitely get eaten. It would probably survive as a cycling snack wrapped in film or foil and put in a pocket, but it could be a bit less robust than a bun. Having worn my legs out cycling up the Col de Cogenhoe today, I’m not so sure it’ll last until my next long outing, so I might have to make another one for next weekend. At least it’s easy.


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19 thoughts on “Paul Hollywood’s malt loaf

  1. Just one query IC, doesn’t Soreen have rye flour as well as malt as an ingredient?

  2. Mark Fern on said:

    I have made this three times now and cannot seem to get it right. I have watched the programme and Paul says 2tblsp of malt extract but, the recipe lists 3tblsp, not sure if this would make any difference. However, each time I turn them out they are always very hard, tough and a very tight crumb. I didn’t think that I had but, have I overworked it? – each time they have been left for 90mins and risen well before going into the oven. Any help appreciated.

    • I’ve only done it once, and may have another go tomorrow, so will think very carefully about what I’m doing. I followed the online recipe last time so 3tblsp malt. I barely touched the dough as it was too sticky for me. I just sort of folded it over a few times like I would a Dan Lepard loaf until it was all mixed, Paul Hollywood says knead for a few minutes and I certainly didn’t do that. I also did one big one, not two small ones, so there’s less surface area overall to dry out. It was definitely firm though, not tough or tight, but firm and not soft like a bun would be. It also wasn’t like a Soreen loaf either, so if you’re expecting that it isn’t really soft and sticky/gluey like that is.

      • Mark Fern on said:

        Thanks looking forward to your next bake and results, hope they are better than mine. Wasn’t expecting Soreen [still like that] not from watching the TV prog but, did not expect it to be more like a stale loaf.

      • Hi – I managed to underbake it this week, so it’s a bit soggy in the middle. My fault for not remembering to add a bit of time because I baked it all in one pan. Still not sure why yours isn’t how you want, but one thing I thought of today was whether the melted butter, sugar, malt and treacle was cool enough? I just warmed mine enough to allow the butter to be mushed into the rest, so hardly warmed at all and then left the pan to cool on a cold surface while I did the weighing etc. I also use fresh yeast, which I find makes things generally a bit more lively. We’ve nearly eaten this weeks and I need another one for the weekend.

      • Mark Fern on said:

        Hi – When I heated the pan contents I left it for about 20mins to cool, it was only just warm to your finger tip. I remember Paul saying if it is still hot it kills the yeast. Have not given up yet will try another go next week when the builder has finished. I am using Allinsons easy bake yeast sachets and Allinsons very strong white flour [as opposed to strong white] would the strength of flour cause problems? My supermarket at the time only had ‘very strong’ in at the time.

      • The very strong flour might have an effect on the outcome – usually I think it is for making fluffier white loaves or for loaves with some wholemeal in them to make them lighter. And as this loaf has some wholemeal in you’d think it would do the same. However, some googling suggests other users find it makes bread ‘chewy’. My next thought is to ask how you find the dough when you start to knead? Do you get in there straightaway and not mind the stickiness? Do you add more flour to counteract the stickiness or add less water to make it less sticky? This time I left it for 10 mins as I would with a Dan Lepard loaf go give the flour a bit of time to start absorbing the water, and it was a bit less sticky than the previous effort. And I really did only fold it over 10 or 12 times and not engage in the ‘few minutes’ or whatever PH recommends. (See other bloggage – I don’t do that!). If you’re using the stronger flour and giving it some welly the extra gluten that’s released may be the cause of the problem. Also – the temp of the heated things, it shouldn’t feel warm to the finger at all, so maybe better to pop it into a bowl to cool, and/or dilute it with some of the water before it goes in to make sure it isn’t killing the yeast.

      • Mark Fern on said:

        Hi – I really appreciate your comments and will try all your suggestions. Since taking early retirement [now a kept man] I am really enjoying spending time in both baking and cooking. These have been my first attempts at bread making, followed PH bloomer loaf and it came out great. I think I thought the malt loaf would be something like soreen but, I have been given another recipe which I’m told is like a malt loaf although there is no malt extract in it? will try that and see what it comes out like. Thanks for your help.

      • Hope I may have been some help, but just keep trying lots of things, it’s great fun and most of it will be edible!

  3. Pingback: Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 | what? bread?

  4. Jacqueline Rogers on said:

    Just to say thanks for this malt loaf link. Made it today and it is the best recipe so far, very fruit. Yes the dough is very sticky at first but persevere! To start with just use fingertips to push the dough and a plastic spatula to scrape it up and file it eventually it does become a lovely dough.
    I made two changes to the recipe, firstly I used ordinary plain wholemeal flour mixed with the strong white flour, I also brushed the finished bread with a sugar glaze as I didn’t’t have honey.
    Will be making this again soon.

  5. jenny brown on said:

    I made the Paul Hollywood malt loaf at the weekend and whilst it is a nice flavour and texture, the recipe said to leave it to rise until the loaf is over the top of the tin, mine didnt hardly rise at all. Was my malt extract mixture too warm when I mixed it with the flour and yeast?

    • Hello Jenny
      It may well have been. I usually mix the malt extract, treacle and sugar in a pan for the barest amount of time, then put in the butter off the heat and wait for that to melt. If the mixture is warm if I put my finger in it is “too warm”, the same as for any liquid for yeasty baking. The water needs to be at or below blood temperature too, so if you can feel it is warm with your finger, it is also too warm. If they are too cool, things will just take longer, but if they are too hot you will kill the yeast.
      Do have another go!

  6. Mark Fern on said:

    Tried the recipe and failed again or it was a success and it’s just that I don’t like the outcome. Is there a recipe anywhere that will produce a Soreen type loaf, which is my preferred taste. Thanks, Mark

    • Sorry Mark. I don’t know any that are more like a shop bought loaf, or whether you’ve failed or succeeded with this recipe. I’ve made this recipe several times and find it OK. Sorry!

  7. I found the kneading really messy has anyone tried just giving the whole mixture a really good mixing in the bowl and then dividing into 2 tins?

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