The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to measure proofing

ramat123's picture

How to measure proofing


Here is a question I'm encounter over and over again.

What's the best measurement of a good final proofing.

Assuming 85% proofing is a good level for the last 15% proofing using over spring how do I test for the 85%.

I am using finger pressing waiting for the dough to get back to its original shape slowly but miss quite a lot.

When I miss, the heat in the oven, working against the humiduty wins and I get (small) cracks in the loaf.

Any ideas, tips?

Thanks a lot,


Chuck's picture

I'm still hoping somebody else has a better response because I've had the same problem.

But in the meantime: I discovered the hard way that if you don't want to leave a deep mark, but aren't super-experienced either, the "finger poke" test is awfully inaccurate. What worked for me was to poke my finger in deeply (up to the base of the fingernail), and to use my watch to meter the time consistently to see if the hole would spring back half way in ten seconds. After several months of experience this becomes so automatic you can dispense with the silly-looking watch and poke shallower holes; once in a while re-calibrating by going back to the OCD style of testing.