Sponge or straight dough
A common technique to achieve a good flavour in bread is to make an overnight sponge with half the flour, all the water and the yeast. But I always mix everything, knead and then put in the fridge overnight. Is there any advantage to the sponge method compared to my straight dough with long bulk ferment technique?
I was told that the reason for putting only half the flour in the sponge was because the baker didn't know exactly how much bread to make until the next day. The sponge still helped develop the flavour but it saved having to throw away a lot of dough if demand was lower than expected. Since I know exactly how much bread I need to make I might as well use the straight dough method. Any thoughts?