The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Uses for over-fermented sponge

bakingmad's picture

Uses for over-fermented sponge

Hello, everyone.

I was wondering what uses an over-fermented sponge could have. 

I'm obsessing over this sponge that's been sitting around for 24-hours.  The little yeasties don't want to be put to waste.   

Please think of the little yeasties.


Thank you.


*Addendum-  The "sponge" that I referred to is from the Cook's Illustrated "Bakery-style French Baguettes (3/2000) recipe.



1/8-tsp instant yeastor 1/4-tsp regular dry yeast

6-ounces bottled water (by weight) or spring water, 110 to 115 degrees

6-ounces unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably King Arthur



proth5's picture

If you had an over fermented sourdough pre ferment there are a number of uses - waffles, pancakes, muffins, etc.  The unique flavor of sourdough will enhance the flavor of these baked goods that also include other types of leaven.

But what you have is an over fermented pre ferment with commercial yeast.  The gluten will be degraded and the yeast are pretty much near exhaustion, its flavor enhancement to other baked goods is nominal at best.

You can "waste" the pre ferment by throwing it away - or you can really waste it, addditonal ingredients, time, and effort by trying to bake with it.  I personally, would throw it away with my only regret being that I couldn't do my bake that day.

Yeast is a fungus.  It has no complex emotions.  It lives unaware and dies unaware. It reproduces like mad.  They were destined to die anyway.  There are plenty more where they came from.

Look at their demise unbaked as part of the cost of your baking education. Education is never a waste. 

Care for your friends and your family.  Care for those less fortunate. Throw over ripe pre ferment away.

BakerBen's picture

Amen ...

yozzause's picture

If you have a compost heap in the garden it will enjoy a retirement with interaction with other yeasts bacteria and fungi and  be of some use in the end product. regards yozza.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Run your minnows into the sponge and angle for the big ones!  Fish like sd too!  A minnow in sd dough must be a delicacy!  Sushi on pate fermente!   Oh do try it. :)