to sponge or not to sponge?
I have looked up a few recipes to use my very first starter in, and I've noticed that half call for mixing up a sponge and half don't. I would imagine that making a sponge would make a huge difference in the taste, but some big names in the sourdough world don't use them. Does it make that much of a difference? Also, with a sponge, do you knead it or just "mix" it. I've seen different wording for recipes and I'm not sure how best to prepare one since I never have used one before. Advice? Opinions?