A sponge set at the average stiffness should be ready for its first drop in from 3 to 4 hours, according to temperature in shop and strength of flour used. After the sponge commences to recede, it will take on the average half an hour before it has dropped back and commences to rise again. From this stage it will require another half hour before it will be ready for the second drop. Therefore, a sponge ready for its first drop, will require one more hour to get ready for the second drop.

In straight dough, the age to the dough is given by allowing it to rest from 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until light enough so that it will recede if touched by the hand. Then lay your dough together, allow to rise again, but not quite as high as first time, about 3 inches less. Lay over again, and proceed to scale for plain bread.

For richer doughs, where more ingredients, as sugar and fat are added, allow doughs to get proof the third time, lay over once more, and 15 minutes thereafter it is ready for the bench.

The proper amount of space to give a straight dough in dough trough for full development is 7 cubic feet for every 100 pounds of flour used for doughing.