I finally got my hands on a Brød & Taylor folding proofer and wanted to share my review notes with you. Typically, I proof bread overnight in the fridge when baking during the week. My weekend bakes usually proof during the day and this can take many hours as my Edinburgh flat rarely reaches temperatures above 20°C and is usually lower.
The folding proofer is essentially a large cabinet that holds air temperature at a set level and provides a warm and moist environment for optimal dough proofing. I don’t have a proofing cabinet in my rather dated kitchen set-up and had therefore never tried to work with an ‘artificial’ proofing environment. Although, admittedly, my proofing baskets can been seen on radiators and near our fire place frequently.
What I like about the folding proofer
Ease of assembly – The Brød & Taylor folding proofer is a high-quality product, super easy to set up and subsequently fold away to store.
Limits guesswork – A few degrees difference in dough temperature can change the duration of the bulk fermentation or the final proofing a lot and being able to set the temperature has allowed me to plan my time around the proofing processes a lot better. The home proofer delivers both in terms of predictability as well as reliability.
No need for extra cover – It takes away the need to cover your proofing basket or tins with a polythene bag as the included water tray keeps humidity at an optimum level. Fewer plastic bags used is always a good thing!
Works for all types of dough – I’ve used the folding proofer for yeast-based and sourdough bakes, light wheat and heavy rye loaves as well as for enriched doughs and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the folding proofer has worked well in all instances.
In summary – I’ve found the folding proofer to be a useful and unobtrusive piece of baking kit which has very quickly found its way into my regular baking routine. It heats up to the desired temperature very quickly and the see-through window at the top of the proofer lets you check progress easily (I don’t even have to get up from the couch!)
What would make it even better
I haven’t yet got the add-on shelving which would make proofing a batch of buns much easier. However, that’s easily resolved 🙂
Just a quick post to share my newly developed buttermilk bread recipe with you. I had a purposeless tub of buttermilk sitting in the fridge and didn’t really fancy baking any of the usual options like scones or soda bread. So, I decided to make a buttermilk-based sourdough loaf, using predominantly white bread flour, but providing depth of flavour and taste by adding dark wholemeal rye flour. The resulting loaf tasted delicious (and has been baked five times since), so do give this a try if you like the sound of a buttermilk sourdough bread.
Buttermilk is traditionally a by-product of butter-making – the liquid that is left over after butter is churned from cream. However, what we find in supermarkets nowadays is often made by adding an active bacterial culture to skimmed milk. These cultures convert some of the sugar in the milk (the lactose) into lactic acid which causes the milk to thicken. When used in bread making, buttermilk adds a pleasing tang and tartness and makes the crumb more tender. You’ll also find that the dough has a soft and creamy quality while kneading.
I always use organic ingredients for cooking and baking and although it is not readily available in supermarkets, organic buttermilk can be found in the UK. Daylesford Farm offers the real deal. Creamy and tangy organic buttermilk, made in the traditional way as a byproduct of the butter they produce.
Buttermilk sourdough bread recipe
I used only a small proportion of dark rye flour in my recipe as buttermilk tends to work best with mild flours in order for the tangy flavours to come through and the crumb to remain soft. Add herbs or spices to this buttermilk sourdough bread to play with different flavour combinations.
On day 1, prepare the sourdough by combining the sourdough starter, wholemeal rye flour and water in a medium bowl. Mix well, then cover and leave to rest for 16 -24 hours at room temperature.
On day 2, once the sourdough starter is ready, combine 260g of the refreshed sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the strong white wheat and wholemeal rye flours, the buttermilk (ideally at room temperature), water and salt in a large bowl.
Combine to form a dough, then turn it out onto your work surface.
Knead for 10 minutes.
Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Turn out the dough and knead for 1 minute.
Place back into the bowl again, cover and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.
Turn out the dough and shape into a boule.
Bathe the boule in a flour bath so it’s no longer sticky on the outside, then place seam-side up into a pre-floured proofing basket.
Proof for several hours until risen – it takes about 3 hours in my kitchen – then preheat the oven to 200°C, and – if using – your baking dome at the same time.
Turn out the fully proofed loaf onto the preheated baking plate or a baking tray lined with baking paper. Put the cover on the baking plate.