@tstavely Good morning, Tony. I actually do use both commercial flour and home milled whole grains in my breads. The primary reason, at least for me, is that I simply never had the desire to try and replicate commercial bread flour. I was very happy knowing I could buy a top quality organic bread flour. When it came to adding whole grain to my bread, I decided that fresh home milled was both nutritionally and flavor-wise the way I wanted to go. However, being able to purchase top quality ground whole grain flour is a great option for those who prefer not to mill their own. When I decided to begin this bread journey, back in February 2018, I purchased my Mockmill 100, all my bread baking flour, whole grain and supplies from Breadtopia while my sourdough starter was getting ready to be used. I had received a portion of some starter that had been made by a very dear local friend. She had been baking with it for years and was more than willing to share some with me. That starter, named Cyril, is now about 2-1/2 years old and he’s my faithful happy starter.
Tony, may I humbly address something you wrote in your post? You wrote, “Still, for now I’m shamed by Leader and striving to use only my own flour, or mostly so.” Dear Tony, do what is right for YOU; what you desire to use when baking. If you want to use only your own freshly milled grains into flour, then do so. It’s a wonderful choice. If you want to find and use a top quality commercially prepared bread flour to mix with your freshly milled grains, then do so. It’s also a wonderful choice. It does save time, energy, and there’s less mess than using a sieve (I’ve used one and I swear my whole kitchen counter ended up coated in flour dust). When I read that you felt shamed by the words and opinion of a book author, it saddened me. Reading and learning all you can on this bread journey is most gratifying and produces the most successful outcome. But when the words of an author, which are the author’s stated opinion in his book, feel like they’re causing distress to the reader, you, then it’s time to perhaps step back and find another source to read. I have never read Leader’s book and am not familiar with him at all. In my heart I am saddened to think that the words and personal opinion of an author has shamed you into thinking there is only one way to do something just because the author feels it’s the “correct” way. I pray that you have the mind and discernment to determine what is the best course of action for you. You are perfectly capable of choosing the ingredients and techniques you want to use for your breads. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, preferring this technique, liking this ingredient better than another…learning what is Tony’s way of baking is your unique bread journey. Being shamed into doing something just because someone else does it shouldn’t be a part of the decision. Your bread baking should bring you joy, not pain. I do realize that I may have overstepped my boundaries in writing this portion of my post. If I have, I very sincerely apologize and ask you to please forgive me. My desire for you is only the best.