Bread Proofing 101

You may have heard of baby proofing and pet proofing, but bread proofing has an entirely different meaning. In this context, proofing means allowing dough to rise as part of the baking process, and it can be done once or several times over to get the desired effect.

When you proof your bread, you’re affecting the fermentation of the yeast and letting the dough rise properly. It’s the activity of the yeast that lets the dough rise, thanks to respiration. Bulk fermentation, or the first proof, is when the yeast creates the flavor and overall shape of the bread. Once the dough has been kneaded, folded, and stretched, it can undergo its last round of proofing to achieve its final shape.

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