Modern ovens come with a lot of settings. Some even have preset times for your roast, different types of meat, pizza, and especially baked goods.
Talking about baked goods, if you are familiar with baking your own bread, pizza dough, and pastry, you might come across the word proofing. It is a process where you let the dough rest and plump up.
This process is necessary to make your dough soft, fluffy, and have air pockets inside. The mixture of yeast inside your dough needs some time to incorporate. And hence you get the fluffy interior of your pastry, pizza, or bread.
It’s more of a chemical process that takes a hell lot of time. But it can be done quickly with an oven. To know how it is done, you will need to know what is proofing mode on an oven.
We are going to discuss the details about it in this article.
What Is Proofing Mode on an Oven and How Does It Work
If you have baked bread or made pizza dough, you will be familiar with the combination of yeast, sugar, and warm water. You activate the yeast, mix it with the flour of your choice and knead it. And by kneading it we mean gently. Then let it rest for a few hours. Which is a lot of time.
It is an ancient technic of rising your dough before baking. All the famous bakers have done this and some even do this. Which gives the dough a fluffy, airy texture to it.
But as fun, as it is eating the bread, the time-consuming process can be cut down by a lot using the ovens proofing mode. Yes! Most modern ovens come with this preset mode that you can use to proof your dough. And that too with less time.
How to Use the Proofing Mode on Your Oven
If you want to use the proofing mode on your oven, you can follow some simple steps. It is not rocket science, and you will get around it quite easily.
Step 1: Prepare Your Dough
Mix your ingredients, sugar, yeast, and warm water, and incorporate it with the flour of your choice. Any good dough needs a bit of kneading. You can use a flour mixer in the initial stage, but afterward, your hand is the best tool. So knead it accordingly.
Step 2: Placing the Dough in the Oven
Using the pan of your choice, obviously oven-safe, put your dough in the oven. You do not need to cover it with any cloth, dump towel, or plastic food wrap. Your oven will do everything by itself. And press the proofing mode on.
Step 3: Watch the Magic Happen
In the proofing mode, you need to have moisture and a temperature between 70-100 degrees. Which the oven does for you. You won’t need to put any bowl of water in the oven if your oven already has a proofing mode. It will take 15-20 minutes in the oven to proof your dough.
Step 4: Take Out Your Dough for Baking
When the oven is done proofing your dough, you can take the dough out. Now you can do whatever you were thinking of doing with it in the first place. Bake bread, pizza or make a pastry, the possibilities are endless.
Why Is Proofing Important
When you are baking bread, pizza, or croissant, you need your dough to have air in them. Normal flour and water mixture cannot give you that. That is why we incorporate yeast and sugar with them.
This starts a fermentation process that releases carbon dioxide into the dough. Which creates the air pockets. Which makes the bread, pastry, or pizza light and airy.
But the fermentation process takes time. It can take up to 2-3 hours to proof in a warm and humid environment. Which is a big deal.
You don’t have all day to wait for your dough to proof so that you can make just one pizza. And there is the thing of forgetting about it, which leads to over-proofing.
When your dough is overproof, the airs come out of it instead of staying inside. This flattens the dough and will not incorporate it into your dish.
Thankfully, your oven is here to rescue you. Rather than taking 3 hours, it just takes 15 minutes. Depending on the size of your dough, it might take a bit longer or less.
But still, it is faster than waiting for 3 hours and forgetting about it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the proof setting on my oven?
The proof setting on your oven is for proofing your baking dough. It can be for bread, pizza, or pastry. Normally proofing takes a lot of time and work. You have to place the dough mixed with yeast in a warm and humid environment for over 3 hours. This helps the yeast to incorporate with the flour and create air bubbles in them. Hence your bread or pastry gets a fluffy texture. The oven does this in just 15-20 minutes with the proofing mode without any covering or such.
Do you cover dough when proofing in the oven?
No. There is no need for any type of covering. Plastic wrap, dump towel, or plain cloth covering is needed when you are proofing your dough outside the oven. It also requires a temperature of 70 degrees and above, which is hard to achieve without the proper settings.
Is proofing the same as rising?
Rising is the first step of the dough fermentation and combination with the yeast. Proofing on the other hand is the step when the yeast gets fully incorporated with the flour mixture and creates air pockets.
Using the proofing mode on your oven can cut down a lot of time. Especially if you are a frequent baker. This allows you to work on your dough right away after it is proofed. If you leave it to proof by itself, it not only takes a long period but also holds the possibility of forgetting. And you don’t want to deal with an over-proofed dough. It won’t rise as perfect-proofed dough and will be soggy after it is baked.