Why can’t I just proof dough in my oven?
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 Proofing Tips.
What have bakers been doing until now?
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.
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 temperature inside my Proofer the same as the setting?
It is important to understand that the Proofer is calibrated to keep its contents near the temperature set point – not the air inside.
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 an object plated in the Proofer. Radiative heating occurs when the heat in the aluminum plate is passed directly to the objects in the Proofer without heating the intervening air – just as when you feel the intense heat of a fire 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.
To test the temperature of the Proofer, fill a small metal cup (1 cup is best) half full with room temperature water and place on the wire rack in the center of the Proofer. Turn on the Proofer & set to 85F. Wait 45 minutes and then measure the temperature of the water. The water temperature should be within 1-2 degrees of the set point value. Materials such as wet dough will respond in a similar manner.
Inside (open): 15” x 12 ½” x 8 ½” high
Outside (open): 18” x 14 ½” x 10 ½” high
Outside (closed): 18” x 14 ½” x 2 ¾” high
Weight: 7 lbs.
Inside (open): 38 cm x 32 cm x 22 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: 3.2 kg
Find more on our Product Specifications page
How do I fold my Proofer for storage?
1. Remove the rack and water tray. Fold down the walls.
2. Place the water tray at the front.
3. Set the rack on top of the walls and water tray, upside-down with the feet facing upward as in photo A.
4. Push the rack to the back-most position so that when closed the feet on the lid fit into their spaces. The rack will be held in place by the cross guides as shown in photo B.
5. Fold cord and place on top of rack toward back. (Applies to 120V model only.)
6. Gently close the Proofer lid. It should click securely closed.
What is a Proofer or Proofing Box?
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
Press 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.
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.
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.
To 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?
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?
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.