Can I substitute Chinese-style maltose (麥芽糖 if you want to search it up) for barley malt syrup in bagels?
From what I understand, the flavour won't be exactly the same, but I'm not sure whether the latter affects the hydration, and how they should be substituted. Can they be swapped directly 1 to 1 (by weight), or must the quantity be adjusted?

Also, if you are not sure what I mean by maltose and barley malt syrup, here are some Amazon links:
Barley malt syrup

  • Are you talking about for the dough, or for the water you boil them in? If the latter, what bagel recipe are you using?
    – FuzzyChef
    Mar 24, 2020 at 0:29
  • @FuzzyChef mainly the dough, and also the water, but the boiling liquid surely matters less than the dough itself. If you want the recipe, I can edit the question.
    – mbjb
    Mar 24, 2020 at 4:20
  • You'll get more informed answers if you include the recipe, or a link to a very similar recipe.
    – FuzzyChef
    Mar 24, 2020 at 5:45

1 Answer 1


I would expect that substitution to work fine, in a 1:1 swap.

Both Brown Rice Syrup (what you're calling Maltose) and Barley Malt have a high amount of maltose-the-sugar, plus an assortment of other sugars. Both are pretty close to pure glucose in their actual sugar content, while at the same time tasting less sweet because of their composition and some of their minority content.

Barley Malt is going to be a bit "darker", with more "roasted" flavors than commercially manufacturer brown rice syrup (although artisan traditionally made brown rice syrup would be very similar). So it won't add quite as much flavor to the bagel dough as barley malt will. However, speaking from experience, you can make bagels using white sugar instead of any kind of malt, and they still come out fine.

There's one exception here, and that's pumpernickel bagels. These dark brown bagels depend heavily on the roasted flavors of dark barley malt (in either syrup or powder form). I wouldn't try substituting with those.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer. I already made the substitution yesterday, and they turned out nicely. Also, I think the maltose that I have is actually all "maltose-the-sugar", which is made from sprouted wheat.
    – mbjb
    Mar 24, 2020 at 9:52
  • Cool, glad they worked!
    – FuzzyChef
    Mar 24, 2020 at 21:45

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