New home miller struggling!
I've been baking regular bread since I was a kid, have had success with sourdoughs, and 100% whole wheat using store-bought whole wheat flour but I'm struggling with home-milled wheat. When my parents divorced a few years ago, in addition to an absentee father, i also got their Nutrimill and ~80 pounds of wheat berries (1/2 soft white, 1/2 hard red). The wheat was originally stored in 5gal buckets in their basement but moved to my mother's storage garage for a year or so before making it's way to me. I've been moderately successful in using 1/2 unsifted soft white and 1/2 store-bought in sandwich and no-knead loaves. (It's a little heavier than normal but it's edible!)
Over the three or so years I've owned the mill I have tried to make a recipe from a home-miller blog here and there - last night, I tried one from a Flour Lab recipe - but I always end up with the same result. The dough takes on a texture of paste or wet sand, no matter how studiously I sift, measure, and autolyse per the instructions. Frustrated, I poked around on this forum a bit last night and found some recommending that when "wet sand" is the texture, it's time to hydrate further. I took this dough to 100% hydration (from a start at about 80% in the recipe - by adding 100g of water last night and 100g additional this morning) before it lost the wet sand texture but it's still not...dough. It's no longer paste, but it's still doesn't seem to have any meaningful gluten development and I'm 100% certain that if i dug my hands into the bowl and tried to lift the dough, i would end up with sticky slop on my hands and 90% of the mass still in the bowl. This recipe is intended to rest overnight in the fridge after autolyzing and, at this point, since I'm already committed to the ingredient loss, I might as well leave it sit overnight and see if that makes something happen, but I'm not hopeful.
There's part of me that thinks "It was free, you didn't ask for it, just use up the grain that you have by blending it with store-bought flour and then run far far far away from this ill-advised experiment," but there's also part of me that knows that my parents used to have success with 100% whole grain bread using this mill and this flour and if they can do it then I can do it...I just don't know how...