Diastatic malt is malt extract that contains enzymes called diastase. These enzymes break starch down into simple sugars (namely maltose) and are used as a very powerful food for yeast in bread production. Since it contains sugar itself and makes even more sugar available by allowing the diastase to act on any starch present, it will increase the leavening effect of yeast more than a similar amount of plain sugar.

It also promotes browning of bread via the maillard reaction.

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