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Making a Sponge

A sponge – typically a mixture of flour, liquid and yeast – adds a deeper flavor and better texture to finished bread.

  • Add flour to the proofed yeast

    To make a sponge, first proof the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and any other ingredients called for in the recipe and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.

  • Cover and let the sponge stand

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 3 hours at cool room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator, or according to your recipe.

  • Bring sponge to room temperature

    When the sponge is ready it will have risen, be bubbly and have a slightly sour or fermented smell. If the sponge has been refrigerated, bring it to room temperature for 1 hour before finishing the dough. 

  • Troubleshooting: Check on the sponge periodically during proofing. If it doesn’t look bubbly or smell sour, discard it and start again with fresh ingredients.