I have been baking sourdough with a starter I created about two years ago. I bake two loaves at a time and give the 2nd loaf away to neighbors and friends. Recently, one of the friends told me that she knew someone with a decades old starter that made “real sourdough”. She offered to get some of the starter that had been in the family since the early 80s. Ever interested, I agreed but was surprised to find it used milk instead of water.
I spoke to the “original owner” who confirmed it had always used milk and he offered his basic sourdough white recipe. I want to first replicate his bread before I experiment, but the starter is very very soupy. He maintains it with equal parts flour and non fat milk by volume (not weight). When I measure and weigh his “cup to a cup” approach, I get 140 g to a cup of flour, 230 g to a cup of non fat milk. When I do the math, I get a hydration for the starter at 164% !
Every recipe I can find for a milk based starter on the internet also uses an “equal volume” approach.
Leaving out the starter, his bread recipe (for two loaves) uses 1000 g flour to 750 g water…roughly 75 % hydration…a wet dough in my experience even without the soupy starter added.
I’m used to a 100 % hydration water based starter and wonder if anyone has insights, tips or tricks before I attempt his recipe. (I suppose I can always adjust as I mix, but I’d love some suggestions.)