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Sponge can be refrigerated for one week or frozen for up to three months. Use it to make ciabatta, peasant bread, and olive-filled rolls.

  • Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1995


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, 100 degrees to 110 degrees
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/4 cup warm water and yeast. Let stand until yeast is creamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining water and flour; mix on low speed, 2 minutes. It will be the consistency of a wet dough.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover; let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before using.

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