Bread FAQ

Is there one temperature that works well for rising all types of bread?

The temperature we find ourselves setting over and over again is 80F/27C. This is a temperature that can work for nearly any type of bread, from sweet rolls to croissants to sourdough and even rye. Don’t hesitate to use a warmer setting (90-95F/32-35C) if you are in a hurry, but for many recipes 80F/27C represents a nice balance between a slower, more flavor-producing speed and a faster, more convenient speed.

Why can’t I just proof dough in my oven?

FWSY_Brown

This rustic mixed-grain boule had a robust, full flavor from a long, carefully-controlled fermentation in the Proofer.

Most ovens do not control temperature accurately below 200°F/93°C. Ovens are considered generally unpredictable for proofing, and even using oven lights for heating can result in overheating the dough and developing off flavors or killing yeast. Sourdough is particularly vulnerable to temperature variations.  Overly warm temperatures can kill off delicate wild yeast and produce dense, acidic and poorly risen bread.

Besides accuracy, using an oven for proofing presents timing challenges when you need the oven for other cooking.

Another timing challenge is that many recipes call for preheating the oven for an hour so that it is fully heated when bread dough goes in. That means that if you are using an oven to rise dough, it has to come out of the oven for up to an hour prior to baking. Having a separate, reliable Proofer provides much better control over practical considerations in baking.

See more under Bread Rising Tips.

Proofing bread at home… What have bakers been doing until now?

Dangerous makeshift proofing setup

Dangerous makeshift proofing setup

Until now, there has been no convenient counter top or Folding Proofer made specifically for home bakers for proofing bread at home.

Home bakers have resorted to makeshift styrofoam coolers with light bulbs, bathroom showers and other (sometimes dangerous) contraptions trying to create the perfect bread proofing environment.

Professionals with more space and money often invest in industrial proofing ovens or cabinets.

What is the difference between the Proofer and a bread machine?

The Folding Proofer is not a bread machine. It is a proofing environment for the fermenting and rising of yeast dough. It eliminates the troublesome temperature and humidity variables that have made it difficult for all bakers–beginners and professionals who bake bread at home. With the Folding Proofer, there is no longer a difficulty finding that “warm, draft free place” in your home for dough to rise. The Proofer makes it possible to bake bread at home with predictable, excellent results.

making bread

Compared to a loaf made in a bread machine, you will find hand-made bread has improved texture and taste. You will still mix your own dough and for some breads knead by hand or with a mixer. You will use your own pans or bake free-form loaves in traditional shapes.

Purists and novice bakers alike will tell you higher-quality, more delicious loaves are made with a temperature-controlled proofing environment and baking in a separate oven.

General Operation FAQ

Why isn’t the air temperature inside my Proofer the same as the setting?

The Proofer is calibrated to keep the contents of a jar or bowl at the designated temperature setting not the air inside.

To test the temperature of the Proofer, fill a small metal cup (about a quarter cup/250ml or less) half full with room temperature water and place on the wire rack in the center of the Proofer. Set the Proofer to 84F/29C. Wait 60 minutes and then measure the temperature of the water. The water temperature should be within 1-2 degrees of the set point.

Heating in the Proofer takes place by two mechanisms: Convective and radiative heating. Convective heating occurs when the air in the Proofer is heated by the aluminum plate – then rises. It passes its heat energy into the object in the Proofer. Radiative heating occurs when the heat in the aluminum plate is passed directly to the object in the Proofer without heating the intervening air – just as when you feel the intense heat of a fi re when you hold out your hand – it is much hotter than the surrounding air. This is why measurements of the air inside the Proofer will give unreliable readings.

Can I run my Proofer for more than a few hours at a time?

Yes, the Proofer is durable and may be run continuously. It uses very little electricity, only about 30 watts per hour when set at 75F/24C.

What are the dimensions?

Dimensions

Folding Proofer
Inside (open): 14.75” x 12.5” x 8” high
Outside (open): 18” x 14.5” x 10.5” high
Outside (closed): 18” x 14.5” x 2.75” high
Weight: 7.5 lbs.

Inside (open):  37.5 cm x 32 cm x 20 cm high
Outside (open):  46 cm x 37 cm x 27 cm high
Outside (closed): 46 cm x 37 cm x 6.5 cm high
Weight: 3.4 kg

Find more on our Product Specifications page

I put bread dough in my Proofer and it doesn’t feel warm. Is it working properly?

If your Proofer was set to a cooler temp (75F/24C), it may not feel very warm to the touch even when it is working properly. To test it, or to speed rising, set it at 90-98F/32-35C and check for a pleasantly warm feel when you touch the center of the aluminum base plate. If you have been rising bread in an oven or other area that is quite warm, you may need to set the Proofer temperature higher to obtain similar results.

Will the Proofer work in any environment?

If the ambient temperature of the room where the Proofer is located is quite cool– lower than 59F/15C, or very warm- above 77F/25C, the temperature setting may need to be adjusted a few degrees higher or lower to achieve the desired result.

Does the Proofer have a thermostat?

Yes, there is a thermostat located in the base of the Proofer. The heating element cycles on and off according to the temperature of the aluminum plate. This cycling on and off occurs within a very narrow range, making the Proofer very accurate and reliable at maintaining a steady temperature.

Can I Download an Instruction Manual?

Click on a link below to download the instruction manual for either the US and Canada Model (120 Volt) or the International Model (220-240 Volt).

The Proofer doesn’t seem to get hot enough at the higher end of its temperature range. Is it working properly?

The higher temperature range is designed to work well for making yogurt and cheese. For these processes, the lids need to be on jars to prevent evaporation, heat loss, and contamination from the environment. It is fast and simple to test the Proofer, just place a small jar of water with the lid on in the Proofer, set the temperature to 105F/40C, and check the temperature of the water after an hour or two.

How do I fold my Proofer for storage?

1. Remove the rack and water tray. Fold the walls inward and lay them fl at in the base.
2. Place the water tray at the front.
3. Set the rack on top of the walls and water tray, top down with the feet facing up as in
photo A.
4. Position the rack so it is held in place by the cross guides, as shown in photo B.
5. Gently close the Proofer lid. It should click securely closed.

How to store the folding proofer

What is a Proofer or Proofing Box?

Attach the cord to the receptacle on the power panel then plug into an electrical outlet.

A Proofer creates a low-heat, humidity-controlled environment used in bread and pastry baking to provide the ideal conditions for the fermentation of yeast.

The Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer can also be used to make yogurt, melt and temper chocolate, and it is useful for other low-temperature food preparation processes.

How long should I preheat the Proofer?

Generally preheat for 10-15 minutes

temperature setting panelPress ON/OFF once to turn on the Proofer. The green power light will illuminate and the red heating light will light continuously while the Proofer is heating.

The red light will flash while maintaining temperature. Use the UP/DOWN buttons to adjust the temperature.

Yogurt FAQ

Why shouldn’t I put yogurt jars directly over the center of the Proofer?

2 gallons/8 liters yogurt in prooferThe Proofer’s heat source is more concentrated in the center so that there will be enough warmth under the water tray to create humidity for rising bread. For yogurt making, a jar placed directly in the center may rise in temperature as high as 120F/49C, which could begin to damage some of the more delicate yogurt cultures. The Proofer can easily hold eight 1 quart/liter jars (8 inches/20cm high or less) of yogurt without the need to place a jar directly in the center.

My yogurt is lumpy. How do I make smooth yogurt?

Higher temperatures and longer culturing times can cause a lumpy texture and excessive whey separation (similar to the spoon on right on the photo). Follow our high-low directions carefully to achieve smooth yogurt.

yogurt on spoons

Smooth yogurt (left) and curdled yogurt (right).

Our “High-Low” culturing method produces smooth, thick yogurt that is less likely to leak whey, and is less time than most methods.

1. Preheat the Proofer to 120°F (49°C). Place the jars you will use for yogurt into the Proofer to preheat. Make sure to use the rack but not the water tray.

2. Heat your milk to 195°F (91°C) on the stove top and hold it at that temperature for 10 minutes. Allow the milk to cool to 115°F (46°C). Placing the pot in a pan of cold water will speed cooling.

3. Inoculate the heated milk with starter culture when the milk cools to 115°F. This temperature speeds the yogurt through the earlier stages of culturing and is more hospitable to the beneficial lactic acid-producing bacteria and less favorable to undesirable microbes.

4. To inoculate, put one cup of 115°F milk in a small bowl. Add the appropriate amount of starter yogurt (plain yogurt with live cultures) to the bowl. Use 1 tablespoon per 2 cups of milk. For example, for a half gallon of milk, use 4 tablespoons. Stir until smooth. Then add the liquified culture back into the pot of milk and stir gently to distribute.

5. Pour the inoculated milk into the pre-warmed jars, put the lids on the jars and place them back into the Proofer to culture at 120°F. Arrange the jars so that they are not directly over the center of the Proofer, to allow proper heat circulation and to ensure the most accurate culturing temperature.

6. Set a timer for one hour, and when the hour is up, turn down the Proofer to 86°F (30°C). It is important not to let the yogurt remain at 120° for more than an hour in order to avoid whey separation and lumpy texture.

7. Check the yogurt after two hours by gently tilting a jar to the side to see if the milk is in a solidified state. When the yogurt passes the tilt test, put it in the refrigerator and allow it to chill thoroughly.

See more instructions in our Custard-Style Yogurt recipe.

Does boiling before culturing ruin the yogurt?

No. The casein proteins and whey proteins do not coagulate when heated unless acid is also present, and the integrity of the fat in milk is actually strengthened by boiling.

Yogurt temp testsTo test this, we made yogurt from milk that had been simmered long enough to reduce the volume by 25%. The result is a thick, smooth creamy yogurt with the strongest “custard” taste of any of the yogurts we tested. We didn’t choose this method for our custard-style yogurt because the cooked milk/custard taste is so prominent that it starts to seem like something other than yogurt. But it was a favorite among some of our tasters, and it’s good to know that if you accidentally heat the milk hot enough to produce a few bubbles, nothing bad will happen to your yogurt.

How much yogurt can I make per batch?

make up to 2 gallons of yogurt at a time

The Folding Proofer can make up to 2 gallons (8 quarts) of yogurt at a time.

With the Brød and Taylor Folding Proofer, you can make up to two gallons of yogurt at a time.

Unlike other yogurt makers with more limited capacity, the Folding Proofer has the advantage of a large interior space and the ability to set customized culturing temperatures. Rather than running on an automatic cycle, the Folding Proofer allows you to make smooth yogurt in a short period of time, usually 4 hours.

Can I make lactose-free yogurt?

brighter_temp120

Customizable temperature control gives you the ability to make lactose-free yogurt at home

Unlike other yogurt makers, the Folding Proofer can be set to exact temperatures, and culturing can be customized so that you can make lactose-free yogurt from either lactose-free or regular milk.

To make lactose-free yogurt with regular milk, you simply need a longer culturing period to give beneficial bacteria enough time to consume all of the lactose in regular milk.

See our Lactose-Free Yogurt recipe.