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Joe Randazzo asked:
Please explain what 3/4 proof means in yeast dough. Is it time of fermentation or size of product?

America’s Breadbasket responds:
Proof in bread baking indicates the period of time a product is allowed to rise after it is shaped and placed on or in pans and set out at room temperature.

Products are usually proofed until doubled in size, so 3/4 proof means that it has not quite reached the doubled in size status.

Products are "proofed" in a humid, draft-free, 95 to 100 degree F. place.

Some ovens, like my new home oven, have a proofing feature that is very helpful with this bread making step.

Cindy Falk
Nutrition Educator, Kansas Wheat

Follow-up: If it takes one hour and a half to double in fermentation, will it take approximately an hour and a half to double when proofing both at room temperature? Also what brand of stove do you have? Sounds interesting with proof box.

Our new Kansas Wheat Commission Test Kitchen has Wolf built-in double wall ovens with a PROOF feature. I like the PROOF feature because I test recipes for the National Festival of Breads baking contest, and this feature guarantees that each bread recipe is proofing at a consistent temperature. We are remodeling our home kitchen and I selected a KitchenAid freestanding 30-inch range and the oven has a bread proofing setting. I am sorry to say that I haven't used the oven yet as it was just installed yesterday!

How long it takes for dough to rise depends on many factors, including the recipe, room temperature, and humidity. Yeast dough is considered "ripe" when it has risen enough--usually doubling in size. The ripe test determines if the dough is ready to be punched down and shaped. Gently stick two fingers in the risen dough up to the second knuckle and then take them out. If the indentations, remains, the dough is "ripe" and ready for punch down. If not, cover and let the dough rise longer. Repeat test. For example, it always seems to take a few more minutes for whole grain dough to rise.

Happy baking!

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