I want to prepare buttermilk sourdough pancakes:
- One part sourdough starter
- Two parts flour
- Two parts buttermilk
- Sugar to taste (about a quarter part, depending on mood)
The idea is to leave it overnight and let the sourdough SCOBY incorporate the buttermilk culture. In the morning, the sponge can be used for pancakes, waffles, etc. At a chemical level, the yeast eat the flour and make sugars and carbon dioxide bubbles, the lactic acid bacteria eat lactose and other sugars and make lactic acid, the overall pH drops from a milky 8 to a sour 4, and the buttermilk effectively spoils but in a very controlled fashion.
I'm currently snowed in due to a blizzard. I don't have any buttermilk, but I do have some milk. From a chemist's perspective, surely the desired reaction will proceed eventually, and the only changes will be how long it takes for the culture to rise and sweeten, and the overall proportions of lactic acid bacteria. However, from a cooking perspective, those two things matter quite a bit. What are the consequences of substituting milk for buttermilk in sourdough recipes?
As a practical matter, I do have some lemon juice and can sour milk into buttermilk using that common combination. I'm mostly curious about whether there's a flavor or safety reason for preferring prepared buttermilk.