I’ve really been getting into making bread lately – I’ve made three different kinds of bread in the last week. The last of the three starts with this sponge, so I’m posting in a mixed-up order, but I’m only doing so because we just ate the bread that I made with this today. So it’s on my mind.
This sponge, or starter, is an important part in making hearty crusty breads. The sponge is mixed and left to ferment at room temperature for at least 24 hrs, which gives the resulting bread a little bit of a tang.
Sponge – adapted from Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
The ingredients are almost the same as her’s but my method is a bit different.
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (I use Saf Instant)
3 1/2 cups A.P. flour
dough bucket with lid – I use a 6 qt bucket, but it’s way bigger than it needs to be
What to do:
Mix all three ingredients in the bucket with a wooden spoon. Make sure they are mixed evenly.
It will bubble up and puff quite a bit, so make sure you leave enough air space for it to triple or quadruple without hitting the lid.
If you’re not going to use it right away, stick it in the fridge. This will deflate it, but it can sit for a week in the fridge or be frozen for 3 months, according to the recipe, if it’s wrapped tight.
Here it is after sitting in the fridge for a day – notice where it was puffed up to before it deflated.
Recipes to use the sponge will be posted soon!