Did you know that you can proof dough in the Instant Pot?
What is Dough Proofing
What exactly is proofing?
Technically the term, proofing, is used by bakers to name the second rise stage of dough. The term for the first rise of dough is called bulk fermentation or bulk proofing.
Most commonly the term proofing is used for both first and second rise. So as not to confuse everyone, I’m calling the first rise as proofing. This first rise proofing is the method we’ll be learning how to do with the Instant Pot in this post.
The first rise period is when most of the fermentation and flavor gets developed. The yeast is hard at work, eating the sugars, releasing ethanol and creating CO2 which makes pillowy air pockets that expand the dough size. This rise time is crucial to a delicious flavor!
After the first rise, the dough is punched down to release gasses and the dough is shaped according the recipe to rise a second time. The second rise will allow the dough to increase in size, continuing the fermentation and flavor to develop.
Now that we have the basics covered, let’s make some dough to proof!
making the dough
First, mix your bread/roll according to your recipe until dough has reached the first dough rising stage.
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Prep the Instant Pot
After you’ve made your dough, it’s time to prep the Instant Pot.
Rip off a piece of parchment paper big enough to hold dough inside.
Or you can skip the paper and spray inside with non stick spray. I find that it’s easy to remove and have a prep surface with the parchment paper method. Both methods work great though!
Press the parchment paper into the liner pot and spray with non stick spray. Remove dough from mixing bowl and gently shape the dough into a ball size shape to fit inside the Instant Pot liner. It doesn’t need to be perfect because it will stretch and round out as it rises.
how to proof dough in Instant Pot
Press YOGURT button on Instant Pot, then select LOW temperature setting. After a few seconds, the Instant Pot will beep. Cover with a lid that fits, or if you have the clear Instant Pot lid, or any plate that is big enough to cover the liner.
Don’t use the regular Instant Pot lid, just in case your dough rises too much otherwise you’ll be left with a doughy mess to clean out of your sealing ring and edges of the lid. Not so fun to clean.
how long to proof dough in Instant pot
Set a timer to check at 30 minutes. Check whether the dough has double in size after 30 minutes and every 10-15 minutes afterwards up to an hour. For most common bread dough recipes, the dough will be doubled in 30 minutes.
However, at some lower altitudes, it may take an hour.
Some recipes like sourdough may require a much longer rising time. Follow your recipe proofing time and then check it at half the time listed on the recipe.
The warmer environment of the Instant Pot on YOGURT mode allows the dough to proof/rise quicker.
(Picture of dough shaped into rolls, ready for their second rise from my Best Homemade Rolls recipe.)
what comes after proofing
After dough proofing has been achieved, proceed back to the recipe you’re following. You may find that the recipe now calls for the dough to be punched down to release the gases, followed by shaping the dough into rolls or loaves for another rise.
(Picture from Best Homemade Rolls recipe)
can i proof dough without the yogurt button
Sadly, no. This method only works with the models with the Yogurt button. You can’t proof dough in the Instant Pot with the KEEP WARM function or SAUTE mode. Those will make the Instant Pot run too hot and will be a mess to clean up.
That’s it! This little Instant Pot hack makes the dough proofing so easy and quick! Don’t be afraid to give it a try next time your making dough!
Need an Instant Pot Cheat Sheet for cooking times?
more recipes to try: