The Fresh Loaf

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Sponge timing and amounts

petercook's picture

Sponge timing and amounts

I am a bit confused about creating a sponge. Some bread book authors use a little as a 60% hydration while others use as much as 151% hydration. With that said I'd like to know if my sponge making can be improved.

1/4 cup of warm water, 1/8 tsp dry yeast, mixed and set aside.

1/4 cup of warm water and 2 tblsp of the yeasted water (throw away the rest)

1/2 cup of unbleached whole wheat flour

mix by hand for 2 minutes, cover tightly and set aside at room temp for 14-24 hours or until it triples. refridgerate until ready to use.

Is there any way to extract more flavor from my sponge?  Also, About 20% of my dough is the sponge. Can I go to a higher percentage of sponge in my dough? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks

mwilson's picture

Sponge is of a dough consistency.

Biga, very firm 40-50% hydration

Sponge, 60-65% hydration

Poolish, 100%+ hydration

Please read this article.

The best way to achieve flavour is to use some wholegrain flour and as for fermentation, long and cool is the rule.