If you are just starting out as a baker, you will have come across the term proofing somewhere in your training. Proofing is a common process used in baking - especially amongst bread products which use yeast dough. In this blog, we’ll cover what proofing is and which baked goods need proofing to reach their maximum potential.

What is proofing?

Proofing is a baking process which involves allowing dough to rise (usually during fermentation). During proofing, yeast agents in the dough consume carbohydrates to produce carbon dioxide, which in turn, produces air bubbles in the dough. This allows the dough to become fluffy, airy and soft when baked.

Proofing is a long process and may require up to two and a half hours after dough shaping. It also must be timed correctly, as too short of a period may result in the dough not developing enough air bubbles (under proofing and becoming hard dough when baked). In contrast, over proofing may cause the dough to become too loose and for toppings inside the dough to leak out.

The process should also be done in a proofing container, which has enough space for the dough to rise to two to three times its original size.

Which baked goods need to be proofed?

All goods which contain yeast in the dough should be proofed - however, there are a couple in which proofing is extra important to produce the well-loved soft and fluffy texture.

These are:

  • Viennoiseries (e.g. croissants and Danishes)
  • Enriched breads (e.g. brioche and challah)
  • Yeasted breads (e.g. sourdough bread)
  • Pizza and focaccia
  • Donuts (especially raised donuts)
  • Cinnamon scrolls and rolls
  • Buns (e.g. finger buns, hot cross buns, morning buns).

Want to learn more about proofing, and the baked goods which require application of the process? Visit Suprima Bakeries for more information!