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Malt loaf facts for kids

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Malt loaf
Malt loaf.jpeg
Place of origin Scotland
Region or state Unknown
Created by John Montgomerie
Main ingredients Malt, fruits

Malt loaf is a type of sweet leavened bread made with malt extract as a primary ingredient. Malt loaf has a chewy texture, and often contains raisins. Malt loaf is usually eaten sliced and spread with butter for tea. Malt flour is sometimes used to supplement the flavour of the malt loaf.


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 to allow the extract's enzymes to break down some of the starch into maltose.

Commercial production

"Soreen" is a popular brand of malt loaf. The name is derived from "Sorensen", the name of the family that once owned the company, and "Green", a business partner; hence the name Soreen. In 2003 Warburtons sold the brand to Inter Link Foods; in 2007 Soreen became part of McCambridge Group. In 2014 UK food group Samworth Brothers bought the Soreen brand for an undisclosed sum. "Aunt Ellen's" is another popular brand of malt loaf. Both are produced in Manchester.

"Harvo" was a brand of malt loaf which was made at the company's bakery at 257 Lawley Street, 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.   The Harvo trademark was later held by one of the Premier Foods companies, associated with its takeover of Rank Hovis McDougall, RHBB (IP) Ltd; The Harvo trademark expired in 2006.

Variants in other countries

In December and during the holiday season, a similar type of bread called vörtbröd (literally “wort bread”) is popular in Scandinavia. The dough's water is supplied by beer wort, adding sweetness and flavour to the bread. Several different spices and fruits commonly associated with Christmas are also added, e.g., cloves, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and raisins. Malt bread is one of many variants of baguettes sold in Russia. It is produced in local city bakeries.

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