The Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer is kind of like an air sous-vide – by controlling the air temperature, you can better regulate your bread’s proofing. And it’s a concept that works. The proofer flat-packs small enough that I could stash it anywhere I’d store a suitcase. And the controls are simple – off/on, increase or decrease the temperature, and a digital readout of the current temperature are all you see.
I decided to test the proofer on one of the busiest baking days of the year – Thanksgiving. I made two recipes, the wheat sandwich bread from the included recipe kit and Steamed Scallion Buns. The bread required two proofing stages, and the scallion buns only required one rise, but I was also blind-baking a pie crust while making the buns. The scallion bun’s recipe recommended leaving them in an oven to rise for an hour, so I left the dough in the proofer at 85 degrees instead.
The sandwich bread had a great crumb and was nicely moist, but wasn’t as flavorful as I like my bread to be. It’s a great sandwich bread for those who want their sandwich fillings to be the star of the show, and delicious with jam. The scallion bun dough rose just fine in the proofer, creating soft, chewy bread after a quick steaming. It also allowed me to work on making that pie crust, which saved me an hour I would have spent waiting for the dough to finish.
For someone who is cooking one or two loaves at a time, or needs the oven open for other pursuits, this is a great device. I had the proofer resting on the coffee table, which opened up the oven and a fair bit of counter space. It’s also great for people who have homes with inconsistent temperatures in the kitchen.
My major critique of the proofer is that, for people who proof bread in clear proofing boxes, you would need a vertical clear panel. The top view lets you see round loaves or loaves that are in their pans. I also dislike how easy it is to scratch the heating plate when you’re unpacking and repacking the unit. Also, since it’s made of plastic, it makes me wonder if doing a long proof at one of the higher temperatures would be detrimental.
If you’re the kind of person that bakes 4-5 loaves a day, you probably need a professional proofer anyway. If you’re looking for a space-saving tool for making bread that opens up your oven for other recipes without heating up your whole kitchen, you’re going to love the Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer.
Thank you, Brød & Taylor, for the last image!