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Malt loaf is a common snack food in the United Kingdom. Malt loaf has a sweet taste and a very chewy texture like very heavy, soft bread. It is made from malt and often contains fruit such as raisins. Malt loaf is usually eaten sliced and with butter.
In 1889, John Montgomerie of Scotland filed a U.S. patent application titled Making Malted Bread which was granted in 1890. This patent asserted a prior patent existed in England dated 1886. Montgomerie claimed a novel saccharification process which involved warming a portion of dough mixed with diastatic malt extract to an appropriate mash temperature and holding it for a time so the extract's enzymes would pre-digest some of the starch.
Manufactured malt loaves
Soreen (// SOR-een) is a popular brand of malt loaf. The name is derived from 'Sorensen', the name of the family that once ran the company. Rikki Sorensen developed the loaf in conjunction with a business partner Green, hence the name, Soreen. Rikki was also responsible for developing the technique for drying egg white used in many cooking recipes. In 2003 Warburtons sold the brand to Inter Link Foods and in 2007 Soreen became part of McCambridge Group. Aunt Ellen's is another popular brand. Both are produced in Manchester.
Harvo was another brand of malt loaf which was made in Birmingham until the company went bankrupt in 1973. In some areas the name Harvo or Harvo Loaf is still often used to describe malt loaf regardless of the brand.
Variants in other countries
In December and during the holiday season, a similar type of bread called vörtbröd (literally “wort bread”) is very popular in Sweden. The dough's water is replaced by beer wort, adding sweetness and flavor to the bread. Several different spices and fruits commonly associated with Christmas are also added, e.g., cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and raisins. It is often the bread of choice in the sop called dopp i grytan (“dip in the pot”) popularly eaten on Christmas Eve.
- U.S. Patent 423,263
- "Julordlista - Christmas Glossary". Retrieved 2013-Jan-04. "vörtbröd" → "malt loaf, malt bread"
- "Google translate: bread flavored with wort". Retrieved 2013-Jan-04. Unknown parameter
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