Did you know that bread proofing is one of the many things you can do in an instant pot? In fact, Bread and Buzz talked about the crazy number of hacks you can do with this nifty appliance.
Just when you thought this multi-cooker couldn’t come up with more surprises, it brings out the yogurt function for proofing dough that leaves our jaws hanging. Before we dive into how this instant-pot technique works, let’s first find out what bread proofing really is.
The Science Behind Bread Proofing
When bread proofs, its dough ferments and rises, giving it that airy texture. It is also during this phase when gluten begins to develop in flour, and sugar and yeast interact to give rise to carbon dioxide. When this happens, the dough starts to form pores on its surface.
Proofing or fermenting usually takes place twice to ensure effectiveness. That’s because the initial method might only make way for the formation of larger pores instead of the smaller, lighter ones it aims to achieve.
After completing a second round of fermenting, the result should be narrower air gaps and a crisper, more even crust. Do you think you can achieve this using an instant pot?
Proofing Bread Using an Instant Pot
Commercial proofers are a staple in many restaurants. They ensure all the right elements fall into place so that yeast performs accordingly. Basically, it maintains a temperature no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity level of around 75 to 80 percent so that yeast grows how it should.
Another appliance that allows yeast to thrive is the instant pot. Thanks to its yogurt feature, which is basically for turning milk into yogurt, it can provide the ideal atmosphere for fermenting bacteria in the dough. That means it can also work for bread proofing as well as some of the best commercial proofers out there.
How Long Do You Have To Wait for the Dough To Proof?
The general rule is not to remove the dough until it becomes twice its original size. Using the instant pot, your baseline would be 30 minutes. You can go a little over that if you need to, but don’t go more than 40 minutes, as that would overproof the dough.
Steps for Proofing Bread in an Instant Pot
To proof the dough in an instant pot, you want to follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Brush Steel Insert
An instant pot comes with a steel insert. Lightly brush this component and then position the dough on it. Then, lightly apply oil on top of your dough.
Step 2: Cover the Insert
Use an aluminum foil or glass lid to cover the insert. With a glass lid, you should be able to keep track of what’s going on inside the pot.
It also isn’t advisable to use the lid that comes with your pot since dough tends to stick to it, causing it to lock in place. This could cause a whole lot of trouble for you later on, particularly when it comes to cleaning.
Step 3: Adjust the Settings
Make sure to adjust the yogurt feature to a low setting and set your timer.
Step 4: Remove the Dough
Once the yeast reaches just the right size, turn the instant pot off and remove it. For the final step, go ahead and feel free to bake or shape the dough according to the recipe.
How To Tell if the Dough Has Been Proofed Just Right?
If the dough has doubled its original size, then you’re good. If it is difficult to tell if that’s what happened, you can use the fingertip or knuckle method to find out. This involves touching the dough with the said parts and seeing how it reacts.
Should it cause a dent that bounces back little by little and almost returns to its former shape, you’re in the clear. On the other hand, if the return bounce is swift or if the dent collapses, then it has been under-proofed and over-proofed, respectively.
What Does “Double in Size” Mean?
While some have no problem judging if the dough has doubled in size, others can find it difficult. If you don’t plan on touching your bread to find out if it has grown enough, using a pot with markings is a good way to avoid doing so. It should also increase your chances of obtaining accurate results sans touch-measurements.
You can either mark non-marked pots or purchase ones that already have markings. There’s a good number of the latter available on the market, and they can make the entire process so much easier.
Fancy Proofing Dough in an Instant Pot?
Go ahead and give it a go! An instant pot can be just as good at proofing dough as some of the best commercial proofers out there. It’s a hack you definitely want to give a try one of these days, if not today.
An instant pot prevents you from having to worry about the conditions outside when fermenting. It also saves time and gives consistent results, which are exactly what we all try to achieve when baking.