Home Bread-Bakers v006.n032.9

Using a sponge technique for bread machines

mark.stephens@gsfc.nasa.gov (mark stephens)
Mon, 14 Aug 1995 10:14:12 -0400
We just got a breadman Plus a few months ago.  While I'm happy with the
ease of use I thought the texture of the white bread was a tad too course.
So I tried making a sponge with the water, about 4oz of flour, 1 Tbs malt
and yeast.  Let rise 15min, pour in and add rest of ingredients.  Worked
like a charm.  Very light and fluffy with even, small holes.  Of course,
don't try this with the timer!

In moving to a more whole wheat bread, I've tried to use the same
technique, but with the whole wheat setting.  This has a 30 min rest before
mixing the ingredients and lets the bread rise/rest three times.  I let the
sponge rise 15 min by choosing the WW setting ahead of time.

The first two times I produced a really horrible yeasty, tasting brick!
The yeast had gone to town and exhausted it's supply of sugar (malt in this
case).  Cutting back on the yeast, went from 2.5 tsp to 1, and not using
any malt in the sponge helped.  The bread still did not rise as much as I'd
like but at least it tasted good.  I do know that WW bread will not rise as
much, but by half!?

Any other folks try this sponge technique in a bread machine?  Or am I just
crazy and only think it's better (or worth the effort!)?  Here's the

    4 oz    white bread flour
   10 oz    whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup   water
    1 tsp   yeast
    1 Tbs   malted milk
  1/2 cup   oats
    2 Tbs   powered milk
1 1/2 Tbs   oil

Preset machine to WW regular about 15 min before sponge is mixed.
Sponge: Warm water, yeast (sprinkled on top, mixed in) with 4oz bread flour
with about 1/4 cup ww flour.  Pour into machines basket.
Put in flour next followed by rest of ingredents.
Rise time for sponge is about 15-20 min.

The best WW bread I've ever made came from the Tasajera (sp?)
Cookbook...those monks in California.  They start with a sponge and let the
bread rise four times.  Great bread, but it takes a good chunk of the day
to make.


mark stephens                                    "In constraint,
NASA HQ, Code B, 8C57                             is freedom"
300 E St. SW, Washington D.C., 20546-0001
(202) 358-2499       mark.stephens@gsfc.nasa.gov