I am trying to create a sourdough sandwich bread loaf recipe using baker's percentages and I want to replace some of the water for milk. However, I have no idea if it will be too soft or not at the percentage listed below. Is that percentage just right or would I need to decrease or increase it a bit? and I would love any feedback when using milk. I am not using high-heat milk powder, though. Instead, I am scalding the milk before putting it in my recipe. I am also using King Arthur's All-Purpose flour. Here are the following percentages:

  1. Water: 31%
  2. Whole Milk: 25%
  3. Butter: 12%
  4. Brown Sugar: 2%
  5. Starter: 10% (100% hydration)
  6. Salt: 1.7%

If I missed anything that anyone needed in order to help further I apologize. Thank you for your help in advanced!

1 Answer 1


This is impossible to answer. The minimum amount of milk to add is zero, the maximum amount is as much as you can work with the bread without the dough turning into a liquid batter. Between these two extremes, it is all up to personal taste. The only criteria you suggested was "if it will be too soft" - but one person's too soft is another's too hard. The only way you can do is bake it and decide how it relates to your personal taste.

  • 1
    So you put in all that effort to not help? I understand that trial and error is huge in anything we do in life. I just wanted some insight from people with the knowledge of using milk along with butter and sugar. What are their thresholds that they have worked with in the FINAL PRODUCT? For example, there is a soft where you cut into the bread and it cannot hold itself up, which makes it tough to work with. I am pretty new to this so any help/insight would be appreciated.
    – Tug
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 0:12
  • @Josh I understand why you would have preferred a clear answer. I just think this clear answer does not exist, at all. There is no magical percentage of milk at which bread becomes unworkable. There isn't even some kind of standard ratio, the way there is for other products, and if you stray too far away, it gets qualities most people dislike, such as ice cream made with the wrong amount of solids getting ice crystals. For any amount of milk you put in, the bread will be recognizable as bread, and will be tasty - but some people will prefer...
    – rumtscho
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 7:46
  • ... bread on the one end of the scale, others will prefer it on another end. There is no way for me, or anybody else, to guess what your personal preference for bread is. And in this case, there are no criteria to be employed beyond personal preference. I get it that you expected to be such criteria, because they come up frequently enough in other foods, but it so happens you picked a case where it doesn't matter and you can use any ratio.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 7:48
  • I am sure you are a very experienced and you have a plethora of knowledge. I completely agree with you that personal taste and handling preferences are subjective 100%. I can also see how it would be impossible to give an exact percentage. I should have been more clear as to ask what their insight is, anything at all. I am in the dark when it comes to new ingredients so if there is anything I should know beforehand then I would take it into consideration. I try to learn off of other's, whether they are mistakes or simply knowledge about an ingredient. It seems like there really isn't any...
    – Tug
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 18:15
  • ...insight as this is simply personal preference. I just started small for now. If I do not like something about the amount I committed to then I will make an adjustment in the future. However, mistakes are definitely a good thing in order for someone to grow. I just like having the knowledge and learning from others. Thanks for your insight into this subject.
    – Tug
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 18:17

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