Skip to main content

Sponge or Starters

It's just part flour, water and a tiny bit of yeast or none (if you're making a Sourdough starter). Mix using a wooden spoon, cover and leave for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hrs.

That's a sponge, a pre-ferment or patê fermenteè.  The formula could be anything from 2% to as high as 80% of your base flour depending on the kind of bread you are making, but it ultimately ends up on you as the baker deciding on how much sponge you really need or want. Martha Stewart sometimes uses a cup of flour where she adds a tsp of yeast, ferments it for half an  hour to 1 hour. That's here recipe. Mine varies too depending mostly on the type of bread I want to make and then the ingredients.

The length of fermentation also depends on your production demands and the kind of recipe you're making. Longer fermentation yields more flavor. That's a fact. 
If you ask me, I prefer an overnight sponge, the kind I mix in less than 5 minutes then leave for the next day.

I suggest you experiment on different permutations and observe what happens to the sponge and the effect it has on your finished product. I can tell you a specific formula of say 30% flour and 100% hydration but if you don't think you like the end product, then it's useless. 

Fermentation makes a flavorful bread even if the only ingredients you use are flour, water, yeast and salt. I guess I have to add time as the last ingredient.
pizza crust and other lean type of breads benefit from a sponge ànd dough method.

Your favorite Pandesal will taste wonderful if made with a sponge as well. 

and of course any breads such as this whole grain loaf.

Reservations are now accepted for February 17 20 24 Commercial Breadmaking Lessons. 
Fee is P9000.00 3 Days Whole day session.
Fee is inclusive of lunch.
Visit for details or text me, Shirley Villafranca at 09495705091

Students need to wear flat shoes and a comfy cotton top. You will be doing most of the work so hope to see you in my class.
Also do not forget to bring a container for your breads of the day samples.


Anonymous said…
Love the tip, mybfriend was a former student of yours and i tasted some of the breads wsuch as cinnamon rolls. Yummy.

Popular posts from this blog

3rd Class Flour, What's It All About

For starters i cannot make this Hard Monay if i did not bring any 3rd class flour or soft weak flour to New York. Once i ran out of 3rd class and tried Cake Flour, it turned bad, do not even think of using All Purpose, it will be soft but not chewy as this one made with yes, 3rd class indeed. So third class is hard to find here in the US if you will use that term. You have to say or look for soft wheat flour, that's it, not hard wheat flour, not cake or All purpose but something in between these two. It is easy to find in the Phil., just ask your local bakery suppliers and they know it is Tercera. Tercera is not for bread, bakers use it basically for cookies, cakes and other pastries, but we bakers know how to create bread recipes using part of this flour with the bread flour or hard wheat flour. It makes a softer version of any of your fave breads, with a cheaper price tag. Plus if i own a bakery, i get to use the third class for my cakes and cookies, lowering my food cost i…

Bake Malunggay Pandesal and Set Up A Bakery At Home

Two of my students for this month, Jenn Apares and Belle Nakpil. Having fun on our 3rd day of session making Monggo Breads.

Jenn was able to bake these Malunggay Pandesal as part of their assignment and things to do at home in between our session. This is why there are always a 2 day gap in my class, to give the students time to practice what they've learned and then bring some dough and bread for me to look at. Belle forgot her breads at home so i am very satisfied with Jenn's first time with Pandesal.

It needs at least 3% malunggay to be visible but the Pandesal is excellent. I am so happy for Jenn, she can now help her parents' bakery. Finally. This is only after our 2nd session, i admit i have to push my students but it was all worth the challenge. Plus, they had fun doing it!!!

after chopping the fresh leaves, just pulse them into the finished dough, lightly kneading to incorporate the veggies.

Now that obviously has Malunggay! My last advice is to reduce the amount …

instant yeasts and active dry yeast in bread making

My first experience with yeast baking did not go well at first despite the many baking books i have in my collection( which were all wiped out by the typhoon Ondoy, sept 26, 2009). The most ridiculous thing is that in your attempt to proof the yeast, you actually just snuff the life out of it by using water that is too hot for the yeast to handle. So you throw it out and then try again. Later on, many years after, i found out from my teacher in class that i did not even have to do this, simply use tap water, add a teaspoon of sugar, then the yeast, stir and voila!!! Wait for the dough to bloom or froth and your done. This is if you are using active dry yeast. Instant means you simply dump it in the flour mix, no blooming necessary.

Shown here in these images, two types of yeasts, the active dry has to be bloomed first before using, then when the yeast froths, you can dump it into the mixing bowl.

The instant yeast on the other hand, is more convenient to use, i weigh it with the rest of…