Welcome to Real Baking with Rose, the personal blog of author Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Watch the Baking Bible
Come Alive
BEN FINK

Spend A Moment with Rose, in this video portrait by Ben Fink.

Check out my new creations




Rose's Alpha Bakers

Rose's Alpha Bakers for the Bread Bible

RSS AND MORE



Get the blog delivered by email. Enter your address:

Eat your books

Current Announcements

December 1, THE BLOG WILL HAVE A NEW HOME AND DESIGN ON SQUARESPACE!

Ideal Environment for Raising Bread Dough

Feb 7, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

DAVE QUESTION
Hello, Rose.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to restart my bread
baking routines from 20 years ago.

I don't want to use a bread machine. I like kneading and all that.

I am concerned that yeast won't rise properly for me. I'm just
unlucky somehow in Northern California. I did fine when I lived in
San Diego.

I have a gas oven but it seems like a cheap gas oven in that it
may leak heat. When I put dough in there to rise -- relying on the
pilot light to creat the right temperature environment -- it's usually
disappointing.

I've tried putting hot water in a dish on the bottom of the oven, but
I don't have any instructions on how often to replenish the water
and how hot to make the water.

I also wonder whether it's better to cover the dough with saran
wrap or a warm damp towel that won't stay warm very long. My
mother told me to use a towel.

I hope you can help.

Thanks very much.

ROSE REPLY

this is an important question that several people have asked, so I'm going to address is here.

When bread rises at a cool temperature, it develops complex flavors. When the temperature exceeds eighty five degrees Fahrenheit off flavors result. The pilot light of an oven usually results in temperatures of about a hundred and fifteen degrees which can actually kill the yeast. If you leave the oven light on however, it should be just the right temperature.

A small container of very hot water also works well. Instead of an oven you can use a large plastic box to cover the bread and container of water. I change the water every thirty minutes.

Comments

I have found that heating water in my microwave for two minutes, then removing the water and closing the door until I'm ready to put in my dough. The microwave stays just the right warmth to rise the dough.

REPLY

Some ovens do have proofing settings -- mine does. It's a fairly new Bosch with gas stovetop and electric oven with a convection option. The oven can do all sorts of things besides bake and broil -- proof, warm, dehydrate -- I'm not even sure about some of them!

REPLY

Mike Denney
Mike Denney
01/31/2009 01:13 PM

It sure would be nice if regular kitchen ovens could be made to do do things like raising bread and making yogurt. All it takes is the proper thermostat. Amazing they haven't thought of this yet.

REPLY

This thread is a bit old, but for anyone interested have a look at www.berkshirebread.com It is exactly what you are looking for - a bread dough raising box designed for the home kitchen.

REPLY

Thanks, Janis. I appreciate the info.

REPLY

Kathy, professional bakers use "proof boxes" - heat and humidity controlled boxes, often very large - where they place yeast doughs and let them rise, but I've never seen one for home use (not that I've looked very hard, to be honest). My oven has a "proof" setting, which is what I use.

REPLY

Is there such a thing as a bread raising machine? Not a bread making machine--just one that controls temperature and humidity for helping bread to rise?

REPLY

I'm trying to find a photo of the cupcake wedding cake from the June 2004 issue of Bon Appetit. Does anyone have a photo of the cupcake cake?

REPLY

Thanks very much for the advice, Rose.

REPLY

POST A COMMENT

Name:  
Email:  
(won't be displayed, but it is used to display your picture, if you have a Gravatar)
 

Comment

You may use HTML tags for style.

Rose's Chocolate Baking Essentials on Craftsy

EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Sign up for Rose's newsletter, a once-a-month mouthwatering treat!

DATE ARCHIVE

Featured on finecooking.com