Warm and humid: the perfect place for stuff to grow. That’s probably exactly the sort of environment you want to avoid for most of your kitchen, but creating those conditions is highly desirable for a few basic tasks. If you’re trying to make bread or yogurt, you’ve likely been using DIY solutions or workarounds like taking up your oven during the process. Now, you don’t have to.
The Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer is basically a heated box with excellent thermal regulation that helps your bread or other pro-biotic foods culture, ferment, or rise. This 10-inch-tall unit provides about a foot-square surface large enough for a bowl of fresh dough or a couple of small loaf pans. There is a water tray to help keep the humidity to the desired range (60-80%), and a digital temperature controls to help you get within a couple of degrees of your target (from 70F to 120F).
The company offers a handy list of tips for ideal temperatures that can help you figure out the best settings for your type of bread, from rye to sourdough, though we basically set it on 81 degrees and left it at that for a few experiments. Our kitchen is a bit drafty and can swing wildly during the summer from boiling to too cold, so a consistent and reliable place to help nurture our fragile yeast is a nice find. One question that was on our minds: how does the folding enter in? And the answer is simple, as the unit can easily fold flat to take up very little space, allowing you to slide it away until called upon.
If you aren’t familiar with the firm, they make quite a few interesting items, ideal gifts for the chef who has everything. Earlier this year we checked out their nifty Professional Knife Sharpener, but the proofer is actually one of their core products, invented by the company founder. It’s his last name, along with the Norwegian word for ‘bread’, that were the inspiration for the company’s title. Not everyone needs a proofer- but it’s a seemingly-niche product with plenty of uses, with recipes that aren’t all about dough but expand to brewing kombucha and even chocolate-making. The Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer is available now, online and in stores, for around $150.