Lardy Cake Sponge

Sponge is a mixture of yeast, flour, and water that, when allowed to sit, bubbles and ferments; used in bread, it imparts a tangy flavor.

  • Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for bowl

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1/4 cup warm water and the yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups warm water and the flour; mix on low speed, 2 minutes; the sponge should feel like a very wet dough.

  3. Place sponge in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store sponge, refrigerated, up to 1 week, or freeze in plastic for up to 3 months. Bring sponge to room temperature before using.

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