The inevitable next beginner question
Now that my wild yeast starter is perking along (How do you get a starter going? Post a whine on this website that it's not going and--whammo! It takes off!), I'm dreaming of actually USING the starter soon. . .
One of the reasons I wanted sourdough was to add to the multigrain loaf I've been baking (recipe here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/multi-grain-loaf-recipe) . The bread is delicious, but stales quickly. My thought is that the addition of some sourdough will improve the longevity fo the dough. I do not intend to use the sourdough as the leavening or sour flavor.
So how much starter should I put in and how much of the AP flour and water should I remove from the original recipe? Am I correct that 100% hydration starter has an equal weight of flour and water, therefore if I add 60 grams of starter I am replacing 30 grams of flour and 30 grams of water in the original recipe?
How do I determine how much starter to use when I am not seeking to leaven with the starter or affect the flavor? Should I start out with a small amount and gradually increase that until I hit on the right combination? Or is there a general rule of thumb proportionally?
That recipe calls for KA "dough improver" to lighten the structure a bit. I don't have the KA product, but I have been substituting 1 TBSP of vital wheat gluten and 1 tsp of vinegar with good results. If I'm adding sourdough starter, will it take the place of either or both of these ingredients, or should I still add one or both?
I'm not going to try to add starter to my multigrain loaf this weekend, as th starter is still very young. But I am going to try sourdough english muffins. My husband has to go out of town to help his mother move to assisted living, so I am cooking my own mother's day breakfast for my kids--after all, they MADE me a mother. And I'll get to try out my mother (dough) for the first time! I am looking forward to homemade english muffins slathered with butter and jam!