Choosing a Temperature for Rising Bread
With the touch of a button you can select a temperature for rising bread that fits your needs. At lower temperatures breads take longer to rise but develop more flavor, while warmer temperatures are more convenient because doughs rise faster.
If a recipe or cookbook specifies a rising temperature, use that. Often there is guidance in the opening section of a book on what temperatures were used to ferment dough, or what the author considers “warm room temperature” to be. If a Desired Dough Temperature (DDT) is specified, it should also be used for proofing. DDT is the temperature of your dough after kneading.
Our bread recipe specifications have been written for the Proofer with water in the tray and no cover on the dough. Covering the dough container with plastic wrap can result in a warmer dough temperature and over-proofing.
- A universal temperature that works well for a wide variety of breads is 81 °F / 27 °C. If you love simplicity, just set the Proofer to 81 °F and know that it will work well for most breads.
- Sourdough works in a range of 70-85 °F / 21-30 °C. Warmer temps of 85 °F / 30 °C will help promote acidity in sourdough while cooler temps of 70-75 °F / 21-24 °C will favor the yeast and help create milder flavors.
- Commercial yeast is vigorous and thrives at a wide range of temperatures. For a good balance between flavor development and yeast activity in lean doughs, consider a temperature of 75-78 °F / 24-26 °C.
- Sweet doughs and croissants often contain butter and do well at temps that are warm, but below the melting point of butter. We recommend 80 °F / 27 °C for these doughs, or 84 °F / 29 °C if they are cold from the refrigerator.
- Rye breads have weaker gluten and higher enzyme activity than wheat breads. A Proofer setting of 80-85 °F / 27-30 °C will shorten fermentation time and help keep the enzymes from degrading the dough too quickly.
- Cold dough often needs an extra hour (or more) per lb / 500 g added to its rising time. Frozen dough should be thawed in the refrigerator before proofing.
- In a hurry? Mix the dough with lukewarm 100 °F / 38 °C water, then ferment at 85-90 °F / 30-32 °C. Temperatures above 90 °F / 32 °C may adversely affect flavor in yeast breads.
- Pre-ferments that rise overnight need a cool temperature to help ensure that they don’t over-ferment while unattended. Set the Proofer to 70-72 °F /21-22 °C.
Yeast loves humidity, and doughs need moisture to prevent a dry skin from forming on the outside of the dough. The Proofer’s water tray helps maintain ideal humidity 60-80% for rising dough. Most doughs and shaped loaves will not need to be covered while in the Proofer. However, if using the Proofer for an extended fermentation at a lower temperature, such as an overnight (12 hours) biga or pre-ferment, it is safest to cover the bowl or container.
The temperature of the water or liquid that your dough is mixed with will affect the temperature of your dough and proofing. Ideally, dough temperature should be close to the temperature you would like to rise your bread at. For instance, an overnight pre-ferment that will rise at 70 °F / 21 °C should be mixed with water that is close to 70 °F / 21 °C. And a dough that will be proofed at 85 °F / 30 °C should be mixed with warmer water. It’s no problem, though, if you end up using cooler water, just know that rising will take a little longer with cooler dough. Always use cooler room temperature water when mixing and kneading in the food processor, because it warms dough during processing. Long kneading times in a stand mixer will also warm the dough, so cooler liquids are appropriate.
- Visit the Test Kitchen to see the latest Proofer recipes and articles.
- See why the Proofer excels at making yogurt and DIY superfoods.
- Go to our collection of bread recipes.