How to perfectly proof bread? Easy -- use a Brisker! Briskers can be used as a dough proofer (also known as a proofing box) because they maintain the ideal temperature and humidity for proofing dough and allowing it to rise (also known as proving). This can be especially important for sourdough bread recipes that call for extended proofing periods and can help shorten the time required. Brisker is also ideal for proofing pizza dough quickly. Brisker's contained environment helps prevent drafts or inconsistencies and results in better bread, consistently.
Proofing bread is the fermentation process where yeast to consumes sugars in the dough, causing it to rise. A Brisker allows for this process to happen consistently throughout the dough, resulting in better tasting bread and a light & airy texture. Briskers also accelerate the process vs. leaving the bread at room temperature, allowing you to create delicious bread in much less time.
For most bread recipes, the dough goes through the proofing process twice: first proof and final proof. Using a Brisker helps prevent under proofing (where the process doesn't occur fully and the resulting bread is flat, dense, and tasteless). Properly timed, it also avoids over-proofing, where the bread grows so large that it develops bubbles that pop and leave the bread without sufficient structure.
First proof, or bulk fermentation, is when the entire batch of dough ferments before dividing it and creating individual loaves or rolls. The Brisker is much larger than typical bread proofers, and allows for large batches to ferment all at once. This is critical because most of the yeast fermentation process occurs during first proof, and consistency here leads to consistently great bread.
After first proof, dough typically undergoes punching down, kneading, folding, stretching and then dividing and shaping into individual loaves or rolls. These individual loaves or rolls then undergo a final proof. The final proof is shorter than first proof and, again, the Brisker helps to accelerate and smooth out this process. Dough typically doubles in size during final proof before you then score and bake it.
(Optional) Increase Proofing Humidity Level in Brisker
To boost the humidity level in the Brisker, simply put hot water in a glass bowl and leave in the back of the Brisker while your dough proofs. Experiment with different bowl sizes and amounts of water to perfectly dial in your humidity level!
(Optional) Make Your Own Croutons
Remember, the Brisker holds items at high temperatures and low humidity. While this is ideal for proofing bread, after bread has been baked it the Brisker will rapidly dry bread out. This is perfect for creating your own croutons, but will dry out traditional bread and so should not be used as a bread box while it is plugged in.