Here's a peek at the sponge and soaker that I created yesterday. They look pretty much the same to me. One was a bit stickier than the other.
We aren't supposed to say the h-a-t-e word at our house, but I REALLY dislike kneading dough. My homemade pizza crust recipe suggests kneading for 10 minutes. 10 MINUTES! That's a kneading eternity! Anyway, I tried to use my dough hook in the mixer for most of the work, but I did have to turn it out onto a floured surface for a bit of grunt work.
The recipe is very specific: The loaf pan is placed on a baking stone on the bottom rack while a cast-iron skillet with a 1/2 c. water (for steam) sits on the top rack.
This process involved LOTS of wait time! After kneading, allow to rise for 45 minutes. Then, punch, down, shape for the pan, and allow to rise another 45 minutes.
While it is a bit lighter than my usual whole-wheat loaf, it still didn't rise nearly as much as I'd hoped. Bad yeast?
So, while I'm glad that I can now say that I've tried this method, I'm not sure how often I'll be making it. Today's part of the process really did take a lot of hands-on and wait time. We'll see. ;)
For entire recipe, click here.