OK, so you’ve done your mise en place, mixed, autolysed, kneaded, fermented, shaped your dough, and now it’s on it’s final rise, known as proofing. The recipe says the dough should almost double, but what does that really mean? How can you tell when your loaves are proofed and ready to bake? Easy, just give it a poke.
So, how does the “poke test” work? You poke a finger gently but firmly into the dough, about a quarter to half an inch (maybe a centimeter), then watch what happens when you remove your finger.
- If the place you poked doesn’t fill back in, you have allowed the dough to overproof.
- If it fills back in immediately, the dough is underproofed.
- If, however, the poke hole fills in slowly, your dough is properly proofed and ready to bake.
That’s all there is to it. So, the next time you bake and want to know if your dough is ready, poke away!