How to Use the Sponge and Dough Technique | Ask Dr. Lin Ep 12 | BAKERpedia
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How to Use the Sponge and Dough Technique | Ask Dr. Lin Ep 12 | BAKERpedia

(upbeat piano music) – [DR. LIN] Hi everyone. Welcome to the Ask Dr. Lin show, where I answer questions that
hit daily. The best part of my job is that I get to meet commercial bakers from all over the world. So, hey there, thank you joining me today. I am Dr. Lin from BAKERpedia, the world’s largest resource for technical baking information, and the only place you should go first when you need all your technical questions answered on the go. What I usually do on this show is to answer the questions that
concerns commercial bakers. Yes, you know when you’re QA manager tells you your loaves are not up to spec. And your proofer and your
oven are working just fine, but you don’t know what the problem is. Who has the time to do
an hour-long research on the internet, and sometimes come back with nothing? Well, this is what the show is for. Place any comments on the topics that you are researching on BAKERpedia, and I’ll do my best to
answer them on the show. Today’s show is brought to you by Diosna. Do you have up to 1100-pound batches of sponge to make? Well try out the Diosna
wheatplant compactline for the flexible production
of different sponges for your high speed lines. With variable stirring speeds, rest periods, and temperature control, consistancy in your
sponges can be achieved, especially with the use of the StartGut. Yes, they have sourdough starters. Finally, someone you can depend on when you accidentally throw
away your mother dough. Need to learn more? Go to today. Today’s show is on sponge and dough. Sponge and dough. Yes, my favorite technique. You get to learn why later. It’s the baker’s best friend. Let’s put it this way, the sponge and dough method
is the most-used method for commercial bread making in the U.S. It’s a type of bulk fermentation. This process involves two stages. First, a light, airy sponge is created through mixing about 50-70% of the flour, water,
yeast, and improving agents and allowing them to ferment. Next, the remaining ingredients
are mixed into the sponge, resulting in a dough. This method of producing bread
is becoming popular again due to clean label initiatives that depend less on
chemical dough development and more on natural dough maturation, which is experienced in the
sponge fermentation process. – [Dr. Lin] About 70% of
the flour, 40% of the water, and all the yeast are placed
into the horizontal mixer. Mix the ingredients in the sponge on low til the dough cleans up. Then mix them high until it
forms a homogenous dough. The more you mix at this stage, the faster the dough will mature. We will talk later about
the effect of hydration at this stage. Discharge the sponge into a greased trough with a target temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit,
24 degrees Celsius, and ferment for two and a
half to four and a half hours, targeting an end temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit
or 30 degrees Celsius. The fermentation room is set at a relative humidity of around 65%. This actually is preventing
a skin formation. The sponge is ready for use
when it reaches full maturation. This is determined by touch, or a pull test in most bakeries. By this time the sponge
will have large air pockets and will contract rapidly at the tap. In the second stage the
sponge has its final mix. So, hoist the sponge and empty the trough into the final mixer. Add in the remaining
ingredients into the mixer and mix until the dough fully develops. The final dough can be processed by a rapid processing method, immediately sized and shaped or given a short period
of bulk fermentation. [Dr. Lin] Go to our
“Gluten Hydration” page where we examine this theory. Gluten hydration is key to help unfold the proteins in the flour and to make it more
functional in its cross-links. The more hydration, the stronger
the gluten network gets. That is why overnight doughs
are so good to work with if you ever have the chance to try this. Instead of mixing a dough
to full development, mix it ’til the flour and water and yeast comes together into a ball. Let this ball ferment for eight hours. What’s happening during this period, this next fermentation, is the hydration of the proteins. Together with the enzymes from the yeast that helps clip the larger proteins into smaller proteins that unfolds faster, the gluten keeps hydrating
and becomes more functional. This is why, after eight hours
of fermentation in that ball, the dough just needs
a few folds and voila! You have a fully developed dough. Therefore, gluten hydration works. Which means, if you give more work, or mixing in the sponge stage, it will be fully functional and mature in a shorter period of time. Try this. Give your sponges an
extra minute of mix time, and I will guarantee that you will reach a dough maturation stage faster. The quick answer is no. To really explain this question, let’s get back to the
purpose of fermentation. The purpose of sponge fermentation is for the production of
carbon dioxide, alcohol, and enzymes that are needed for dough hydration or dough maturation. So, remember, when you ferment, you have to look for these two things. These two are actually separate actions, and dough maturation
can depend on point one. But dough maturation can
also depend on how much the dough hydrates at mixing. So, this is why mixing more
at the sponge stage matters, and mixing ’til full
development at the sponge stage matures the dough faster. And you will achieve a
bulk fermentation faster. If you really want to
quicken sponge fermentation, the answer is to put more time into mixing the dough
and not into increasing the room temperature. The key is not the volume
but dough maturation. How fast can you get to dough maturation is the limiting factor. What is dough maturation? It’s like when a dough is at equilibrium for extensibility and elasticity. To do this, as mentioned above, the gluten proteins in the
dough needs to hydrate enough and fold and function. Without the proper hydration, fermentation can take a
longer time to happen. Remember, the key here is dough maturation and how fast can you get there. [Dr. Lin] All right,
let’s take a break here to give our sponsor a shout-out. This episode is brought to you by Diosna. Did you know that Diosna’s
wendelmixer is different because it has
counter-rotating mixing tools? I know, the wendelmixing tool looks weird, like infinity symbols, but they’re like that for a reason. And because they are counter-rotating, they expose more surface area on the flour particles for hydration. This leads to faster hydration and therefore quicker dough development, shortening your mixing times. With the ability to handle
batches up to 1300 pounds, this is a big deal. Faster mixing times means
lower dough temperatures. Lower dough temps means, well, better quality products
coming out of proofer. So yes, the mixer is important. So, go to today to learn more about the wendelmixer. Well, it really depends
on the fermentation time. If you want your dough to mature faster at the bulk fermentation stage, then yes, place the dough
conditioners in there. More residence time for
the dough conditioners to work at this stage
will prep it properly for the dough pump and
divide it down the line. However, please note, if
the dough conditioners are enzymes, you have
to treat it with care. The best is to ask your
ingredients supplier if adding in the enzyme-based
dough conditioners into the sponge would
be helpful or hurtful. One more note, if you use green flour, I would advise for you to
add the dough conditioners into the sponge stage. [Dr. Lin] Green flour needs the most help in dough maturation because
it hardly has any time to oxidize and strengthen. I hope this answers your question. Sometimes, when (bleep) hits the fan and your line breaks down, your sponge could be
sitting there for hours. Some bakers will revive it
with more yeast and flour, but that takes a skill. If you are that full on the
vitality of your sponge, the best bet is to portion it into thirds and reuse it in thirds for
the upcoming sponge batches. Whatever you decide,
please, please, please do not throw away your sponge. Or, this is gonna happen. If throwing away the dough
makes the most sense, please always put it through the oven to deactivate the yeast
before dumping it away. It may save you from many
embarrassing Facebook posts. So when you grow, expand,
and if you want to invest in a sponge and dough system, what are the advantages? The advantages are less mixing time and energy, it is the most versatile dough
system in bread production from the production of artisan
bread to hamburger buns. There is a need for less
or no dough conditioners, especially if you use H flour. There is an increasing aroma,
flavor, and shelf life. The disadvantages are that
it requires more equipment, and therefore more floor space is needed, making it more expensive, and it also needs a longer processing time from mixer to packaging, with more sanitation time involved. Therefore, these results
in higher labor costs. If you want to learn
more about dough systems, just buy our e-book. All right, that’s all
for this segment today. Need more questions on
sponge and dough answered? Send them to [email protected] Thank you for joining
me today on Ask Dr. Lin. As you know, BAKERpedia
thrives on sponsorships. We can’t, and I can’t do what I do here, without our sponsors. So, I’m thankful to sponsors like Diosna, the dough experts. Diosna’s brand of spiral mixers are well-known with commercial bakers. When I was at Dave’s Killer Bread, back in the days before it was sold, we would salivate over new Diosna mixers because it was a work horse. Mixers like the Premium Spiral Mixer PSPV can mix up to 660 pounds. And they would mix all day and all night. So, if you want a work horse for a mixer, go to today to learn more. All right, before I go, please like and subscribe to this channel. ‘Til the next time, bakers. Mix it all up! (upbeat piano music)

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