Proofing Dough in the Oven

Date Published: July 12th, 2020 | Last Updated: July 12th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: how-to

I used to hate working with dough. No matter how hard I tried, when it came to the proofing stage where you leave your dough to rise or “double in size”, mine never did as it was supposed to no matter how closely I followed the recipe. Perhaps it was because I grew up in Canada where it was difficult to find a warm place for my dough to rise (central heating made sure we’re always at perfect room temperature) or maybe the humidity conditions were never right. Whatever the reason was, it was always disappointing to see the dough I spent half an hour hand kneading prior to still be a flat ball after even 2 or 3 hours of resting time.I avoided breads and pastries at all costs, until I stumbled upon this method of proofing dough. It’s so easy and fool-proof and best of all, it doesn’t matter what season or temperature your home is! All you need is some hot water and an oven.


Get your dough ball and place it into a glass bowl. Put your bowl in the middle rack of the oven (make sure there’s enough room above your rack for the dough to rise).

Fill a flat baking dish halfway with boiling water and put it on the bottom rack of your oven. (The size of the tray doesn’t matter too much as long as it’s not too small since it’ll decrease the surface area).

Close the oven door and let the steam and heat from the hot water proof your dough for you. You do NOT need to turn your oven on at all during this process. That’s it! Easy, huh?

Leave your dough in the oven for the specified proofing time in your recipe. For proofing times more than an hour, I’d recommend refreshing the hot water in the pan after 1 hour.

Try not to open the oven while the dough is proofing because the warmth and steam will escape and will slow down your proofing process. If you must open your oven, do it quickly or just refresh the hot water after doing so.

Note: you do NOT need to cover your dough with a moist tea towel with this method. The tea towel usually prevents your dough from drying out when proofing your dough the traditional way. However, since we’re keeping the dough in a concealed oven with plenty of humidity, there’s no chance for it to dry out.

Ta-da! Beautifully risen aerated dough.

I haven’t made a recipe video for this but if you’d like me to make one, let me know in the comments! If you have any other comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!