autolyse or sponge with milk
I am very new to trying to make bread using whole grains. I have a few questions. I appreciate your input. I have been diligently studying this site for the past couple of weeks and taking many notes. I am using organic hard winter red wheat and am milling my own.
1. I don't use salt to cook or bake with. I know that most feel it is needed for flavor, but my concern is will if affect the bread's performance?
2. If I use an autolyse with milk, can it sit out on the counter or should I put it in the refrigerator? I have done this once with it on the counter for an hour and once with it in the refrigerator overnight. And if it goes into the refrigerator, should I let it warm up to room temp. the next day before using it? I use raw milk. I also used a sponge with the milk heated up and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. It was like a dough the next morning, not like a batter.
3. The bread with the autolyse for 1 hour was very bland. I followed a recipe exactly, except for switching the milk for the water. The recipe also required 2 tablespoons of soy lecithin, which didn't seem to help much. So I decided to do the autolyse overnight with my next recipe and I increased the milk, honey, and butter. These were dinner rolls and turned out very tasty. My family wants a bread that is made from whole wheat, but is not like a brick or heavy crumb. I buy a bread from Trader Joe's that is called an organic whole wheat artisan sandwich bread. It's ingredients are organic whole wheat flour, filtered water, sea salt, and organic whey. That is all. It is a great sandwich bread. This is what I am wanting to make. What are some of your suggestions? I do not want to use any white flour or all purpose flour or wheat gluten. I want all organic and for some reason , I can't find organic wheat gluten anywhere. I shop health food stores all the time and have also looked on the internet.
4. Can you explain the soy lecithin to me? How about ascorbic acid?
5. I also only came across one recipe that called for eggs, but stated that if I put the loaf in the refrigerator that it would turn into a brick. Why would this happen?
6. I am using a Kitchen Aid mill and I mill it twice. It I were to get another mill that grinds the flour finer, would it make a difference in my bread texture? My family doesn't like the crumb texture, they want the same as the wheat sandwich bread from TJ's.
Thank you so much for helping me.