Microwave Oven for a Bread Proofing Box

Wheatberry Bread Dough Ready for the Oven
Wheatberry Bread Dough Ready for the Oven

Most baking days I enjoy retarding my bread dough, feeling the slower rise results in a more complex flavor. But there are days when I don’t have enough time to take the leisurely approach. On those days, I use the rapid method for proofing my dough by using the microwave as a proofing box. This method takes about half the conventional time for proofing. Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the yeast dough according to your recipe.
  2. Place 3 ½ cups water in a 4 cup glass container and microwave on High until boiling (about 7 minutes)
  3. Grease a glass bowl using 2-3 tsp. vegetable oil. Add your dough to bowl and turn the dough over to oil the top.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and set bowl in a microwave beside the container of boiling water.
  5. Microwave on Low (10% Power) for 5 minutes or on Medium Low (30% Power) for 2 minutes. Do not open door. Let dough rise 20 to 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Punch down dough, shape and place in non-metal baking pan. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for second rising of dough.

REF: Prepared by Patricia Redlinger, Ph.D. ISU Extension Food Science Specialist, November 1988.

Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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4 thoughts on “Microwave Oven for a Bread Proofing Box

  1. Hello Beth

    This is a brilliant idea. I am the same. I do like to see the dough raising slowly when I have time. But there are days where I have to get bread from the shop as I do not have time (especially when friends come along as a surprise visit).

    And I really like my bread. In fact, I like it so much that I have even put an article about the best 6 types of bread to eat (at the bottom of this article https://omigy.com/health/healthy-eating/bread/bread-side-effects/). You’ll see, the bread I am talking about is great (with or without grain really).

    I do not like the use of the microwave, but in these circumstances, I believe it is justified.

    I will definitely try your method. Like this, I do not need to panic when friends are around and run to the shop to get some bread. Especially so that my bakery is 15 mins drive from where I live.

    Sincerely yours,


  2. If you want to speed things up a little but are not sure if you like the microwave idea. Try turning on your oven at 350 for about 1 minute. Then shut it off. Put your prepped and lightly oiled dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap then place a hot, moist, dish towel over the bowl and place in your slightly warm oven for about 40 min. Or until dough has doubled in size.
    This is how I do my yeast doughs all the time, and it work great for me and I hope you try it with great results. Enjoy. From Momma’s Baker Boy.

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