Malt Extracts are made by soaking powdered malt in water, heating and then reducing the mixture to a syrup or paste. Malt extract is used in brewing and distilling, in the manufacture of breakfast cereals, as a coffee substitute and in baking.
Malt is hydroscopic, so retains moisture and so gives a moist texture to brown bread. Malt also gives off carbon dioxide during proving and baking so helping dough to rose, while giving it a sweet flavour.
Dowell, P., Bailey, A. (1980) The Book of Ingredients, Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0718119150.