How often do you get, what bakers sometimes call "blow out," referring to when a bread is "green" or too young or just not proofed enough. I've found it especially true in winter.
Despite our lack of recent frost, I hit that wall with temperatures and baking this weekend. Cold air and sourdough are especially tricky. A "proofer" is a type of baking hardware that helps address such difficulties, and this weekend, Brod and Taylor, an interesting and innovative cookware design company, sent me their newest creation, a smartly designed (foldable!) proofer.
Straight from the package, the valise styled proofer was simple to assemble. Even had they not provided instructions, the product was basically "plug and play," intuitive to put together. That said, I think the instructions could use some diagrams, for those among us with less basic intuition. More importantly. I could imagine them providing tables regarding temperatures for proofing, especially for wild yeasts. Giving their marketing director, Julie Dykstra, initial feedback, she kindly sent me this response by email.
"We are in the process of upgrading the user guide to include more recipes and detailed instructions. We've just this week posted a pizza crust recipe with detailed proofer time/temps, it's here: http://brodandtaylor.com/bread-more/bread/tomato-and-herb-pizza/
Anyway, the advantage of their product is it shortens the waiting time of the proofing process. It also reduces the ugly looking loaves I described as a result of "blowout."
Here's something interesting. Since recieving and using the proofer, I have returned to using a thermometer, pretty important if you only depend on touch for indication.
Anyway, here is one loaf I made so far with durum flour.
So far, pretty good. In coming weeks, I'll provide updates on my experience with this interesting new device.