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Preferment. A ferment (q.v.), also referred to as a broth, brew, or liquid ferment (q.v.) or liquid sponge, of a liquid or semiliquid pumpable consistency, that forms a preliminary dough stage and is combined with flour (q.v.) and other ingredients during the final dough (q.v.) mixing stage. It may be either totally flour-free, i.e., essentially a suspension of yeast (q.v.) in an aqueous solution of yeast nutrients (q.v.), such as sugar (q.v.), yeast food (q.v.) and buffer salts (q.v.), or contain varying amounts of flour up to about 60% based on the water portion.