The key word in this post’s heading is “need”.
I think there is a some confusion about which malts need to be mashed and which ones do not. We Brew Dudes have come up with this working definition for malts that need to be mashed:
“Grains that contain unconverted starches, from which you require their contribution as a fermentable sugar source, require mashing.”
Malts that fit into this definition are your base malts. They make up the majority of your grain bill and they are going to produce the majority of your fermentables.
Malts that have been processed in a way so that the enzymes that would break down starches into sugar in a mash have been denatured entirely would not fit this definition and would not need to be mashed.
Now there are malts that have been processed where their enzymes haven’t been totally denatured. We feel that if you are using these malts in amounts that are small percentages of your total grain bill, these can be safely steeped rather than need to be mashed.
Of course, we would need to conduct some side by side brewing sessions to see if this statements stands up to a taste test.