Just for fun, I put 7 oz of warm water and .5 oz of amber medium malt syrup in my spray bottle. This of course is the spray bottle I use to spray my bread dough just before baking, not a new whacky tanning spray!! I had two – 1 lb loaves of basic white sourdough that I was working with. I sprayed the first loaf with plain water and it came out like this:
Then I made up the mixture and sprayed the second loaf with the malt syrup water combo. Here is what it looks like:
The loaves were about the same length, although you cannot tell in the pictures because of the camera angle, whichever loaf was in front looked the longest. The loaf that was sprayed with malt syrup and water definitely “opened” up more and was larger. I think the malt/water may have allowed more expansion. Here is a picture of the interior:
The one sprayed with malt is on the right. The malt sprayed loaf had a darker crust which was thinner and crispier. The water sprayed loaf was lighter, had more definition, a better “ear” and was crunchier. Neither one was better. It would be whatever your preference is. I liked them both and did not have a preference, but it was fun to try it out and see what happened. I do think if you spray with a malt/water mixture, it is better not to slash as deeply.
Have fun baking, I always do! Teresa
Edited to add: Pour out your leftover malt/water mixture when you are done and clean out the bottle really well or you will end up with a molded mess. Also, experiment with adding even more malt to the water to see what results you get.