Thursday, March 29, 2007


By the long process, there are two ways of combining the ingredients in order to make bread. One is known as the sponge method and the other as the straight-dough method.

The long-process sponge method is employed when sufficient time can be allowed to permit the natural growth of the yeast. To make bread according to this process, start it in the evening by warming the liquid and dissolving the yeast and then adding these ingredients to the sugar, salt, and fat, which should first be placed in the mixing bowl. Stir this mixture well, and then add one-half of the quantity of flour that is to be used, stirring this also. Place this mixture, or sponge, as such a mixture is called, where it will remain warm, or at a temperature of from 65° to 70° Fahrenheit, through the night. In the morning, stir the remaining flour into the sponge and knead for a few minutes the dough thus formed. When this is accomplished, put the dough in a warm place and allow it to rise until it doubles in bulk. When the dough is in this condition, it is ready to be kneaded again, after which it may be shaped into loaves, placed in the pans, allowed to double in bulk again, and finally baked.

The long-process straight-dough method is a shortened form of the method just explained. It does away with the necessity of one kneading and one rising and consequently saves considerable time and labor. To make bread by this method, combine the ingredients in the evening as for the sponge method, but instead of adding only half of the flour, put all of it into the mixture, make a stiff dough at once, and knead. Then allow this to rise during the night, so that in the morning it can be kneaded again and put directly into the bread pans. After it rises in the pans until it doubles in bulk, it is ready to be baked.

The only disadvantage of the straight-dough method is that a stiff dough rises more slowly than a sponge, but since the entire night is given to the rising no difficulty will be experienced in carrying out this process. A point to remember, however, is that dough made according to this method must be kept warmer than that made by the sponge method.

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