The final rise or Proof of the dough is just as crucial to your final product as the first stages of the process. I have found that many pay less attention to proofing and the results from incorrectly proofing bread can lead to dense bread, bread that does not reach its full potential or even a collapse of your bread if over-proofed.
To proof bread properly you need to set up the correct environment for it. Heat, humidity and avoid drafts. This is why I recommend using a proofing box. The Brod & Taylor proofing box ( check out the link for the most current price on Amazon ) offers just that at a fair price, with minimal space requirement as it folds away and tucks into your cupboard quite easily.
I personally use this unit in my home kitchen. I have had this now for over a year and it still works as good as the first day. I highly recommend getting this proofer as it will definitely improve your finished product.
Why do you need a proofing box?
Yes, there are ways to proof your bread without a proofing box. but it is not as good for the bread as a proofing box is.
You can proof the bread in your oven with the light while adding some boiling water to a pan a the bottom of the oven. This will definitely do the trick for you. The issue I first ran into when I started baking at home was that my oven and baking stone weren’t up to temperature in time.
I would have to take out the bread from the oven. Preheat the oven and put in the baking stone I use. The problem is that the oven and stone take too long to get up to temperature and that would leave my bread out too long after proofing.
There is a way to combat this deficiency but you are just getting into more and more procedures and places to fail, this is why I wholeheartedly recommend a proofing box.
The Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer & Slow Cooker
When the proofing box is fully erect the internal dimensions are 15 x 12.5 x 8.5 inches.
These dimensions allow for 2 bread pans easily. Or 2 oval proofing baskets for you sourdough lovers. NOTE: this will not hold round proofing boxes as average dimensions for a round basket are around 9″. Make sure you use OVAL baskets here.
In addition, the manufacturer also offers a shelf kit. This is useful if you have a couple of baking sheets you need to proof. Rolls or buns are usually what this second shelf is used for.
The temperature control allows you to set the perfect temperature for your needs. The ideal temperature to proof your bread should be 30 degrees Celsius or 86 Fahrenheit.
I do recommend you get an external thermostat in this case as you only have a temperature control here and not an actual reading of the inside temperature. These controls while useful to set temperature are not always accurate. Using a thermostat to insure you have the correct / desired temperature is important.
Humidity is introduced into the proofing box by filling an aluminum reservoir at the bottom of the proofing box with water. This reservoir is heated by the elements of the proofing box creating a humidity level of around 60-80%
This unit is rated at 200W of power. The element does turn on and off as needed. This is automatically controlled by the internal thermostat located at the base of the unit. It is how it keeps the temperature steady. Due to this turning on and off the unit actually consumes about 30-60W of power ( about the same as an old incandescent light bulb.
Using a proofing box will not only improve your finished product texture and volume but will also cut down on your proofing times (if you use room temperature to proof your dough ) by about 25%.
Note: this unit does not come with a timer. You will have to set your own time and check up on your bread from time to time. The window on the cover allows you to check up on the progress of your proof without opening up the box. This is an amazingly useful feature as you don’t have to open up the box, loose heat, and humidity in the process.
This unit is completely silent which is quite nice.
How to use
- pour water into the reservoir
- Preheat the unit for about 30 min ( manufacturer says to preheat for about 10-15 min but I find that letting it go for 30 min is actually more accurate) MAKE SURE TO CLOSE THE UNIT WHILE PREHEATING.
- Place your bread gently on the rack and cover
- Set a timer on your phone or a kitchen timer for 2 hours and check up on it
- Proofing should take a total of about 3 hours for sourdough bread.
For more info on timing and some additional useful info you can check out the User Manual ( link is available at the end of this post )
In addition to proofing bread, this appliance has other functionalities such as cultivating yogurt and also functions as a slow cooker.
I have also used this product to start my sourdough starter. It certainly helps speed up the process.
I personally also use this for creating my leven for my sourdoughs as well.
Temperature range: 70–195F / 21–90C
Typical humidity: 60-80%
Reinforced polypropylene body
Aluminum water tray
Interior dimensions: 14.75 x 12.5 x 8” high, 8.5″ high without rack / 37.5 x 32 x 20 cm high
Open exterior dimensions: 18 x 14.5 x 10” high / 46 x 37 x 25.5cm high
Closed exterior dimensions: 18 x 14.5 x 2.75” high / 46 x 37 x 6.5cm high
Weight: 9.5 lbs / 120V, 60Hz (200W)
I really can’t praise this product enough. It is a very good solution for home proofing. It is super compact, does not use a lot of energy, quiet, saves time, easy to clean and worth every penny.
For your convenience, I am attaching a link HERE so you can check it out on Amazon.
Happy proofing everyone!