Unusual method of bread making - has anyone heard of this?

I want to make brioche & thought I'd try a new recipe. It says to mix equal amts. flour and water (1/2 cup) with an envelope of yeast, for your starter. Then form a ball and put it into a big bowl of warm water for 40 min. When the starter is ready (to be added to rest of dough) it will rise to the top of the water. Has anyone tried this method? And what's the purpose?

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ktr
ktr March 30, 2016

I'm thinking the point of the bowl of warm water is to keep the dough warm and therefore speed up how quickly the dough rises.

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Smaug
Smaug March 30, 2016

I have seen this in brioche recipes, I think it's pretty standard (not a brioche fan, so I've only read the recipes casually). Seems a bit wet to form a ball. Kind of a neat method of judging when your dough is ready.

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