Brod and Taylor Bread Proofer – Review

 

Brod and Taylor sent several of us online blogging bakers their new Folding Bread Proofer. I was one of them. My Technical Administrator on the Sourdough Forum and I were talking about jerry rigging our own proofer before I received notice from Brod and Taylor about testing their new proofer.

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We wondered if Brod and Taylor’s proofer was a glorified hot plate and was it worth the money to invest in it. Then, that same week, I heard from them that they wished me to test it out for them.

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So of course I said “Yes!” I have mentioned in earlier posts a bit about my use of the proofer. Now that I have used it for several batches, I would like to share my observations on Brod and Taylor’s new folding bread proofer.

I have been pleasantly surprised. No, I would not have bought this proofer if left up to my own devices, because us at home bread baker’s are good at jerry rigging for our obsession.

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Yes, I would have missed out because although I think they missed the sweet spot on the price by about $20.00, it is well worth the money and knowing what I know now, I would have bought one.   I already got one free so they are not paying me any more to say this, I could say it sucks and don’t bother if I wanted to :)

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Here is what I have observed:

  • The ability to fold up the proofer is terrific. It folds up very easily to store in a skinny place.
  • Even though the proofer does not have tight fitting seams, it keeps a good even temperature.
  • It is sooooo wonderful to have the temperature control- that is the single most important feature of this proofer.
  • The lid has a problem fitting on the edges once you set it up. The hinges are made to fit the item when it is closed or collapsed. If you look under the lid however, you will see where there are two protrusions that fit into some slots for the lid to line up with so it can shut properly. Once you know that, it is easy.
  • I think Brod and Taylor need to put that on their list of “to redo” items for their next iteration. The hinges need to fit and clip to the open sides as well as the shut case (I know that probably doesn’t make much sense, but it will once you get yours).
  • There is a small pan for adding water to keep the humidity high which is a good thing.
  • It would be nice to have an internal thermometer so the user can see the temp without having to add their own.
  • One other problem is that the proofer needs to be large enough to fit two 9″ diameter round bannetons. It will fit them one on top of the other if you have a small grate to put over the bottom banneton:

It fits two 9″ small bannetons very well:

It also will accomodate two 13″ larger long bannetons: (well you can see it WILL fit two, the other one escaped before I remembered to take a pic)

 

Proofing at 85F and 3 hour autolyse with Big Bear's Bread formula

One other thing I would like to mention is that they include a very short cord with a longer one being available for purchase. I needed to run out and get an extension cord right away because I keep the proofer on my dining room table and a short cord would not have worked almost anywhere in my  house. So get the longer cord if you are buying it for a gift for someone.

 

Proofing at 76F after overnight ferment

 

I am really enjoying my new proofer, I am glad I have one. It has made my ability to push the “sour” and “holey” experiments to the max with the ability to control the temperature. The drawback is that while I am able to get some great results using temperature control, I can’t pass that on to  you in my blogging if you can’t control the temps as well.

I have read about many other uses for the proofer, like tempering chocolate, keeping fondant and other candies warm and even making yogurt (remember a hotpad and towels in the olden days?) . My friend Mike Avery at Sourdough Home mentioned he liked to use his Brod and Taylor proofer for keeping his starter an even temperature.

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So I strongly suggest you hint to your favorite Santa Clause to have one under the Christmas tree this year.

Hurrah Brod and Taylor, for an exciting new product for the advanced at home baker.

.Many of us are willing to pay 400.00 plus for a dough mixer, I bought several. However, I got rid of all of them but one and have not used a mixer for about three years, preferring a dough folding trough. So of the two, I would rather do without the mixer than the proofer. Just my two cents worth. If you have a Brod and Taylor proofer,any feedback you might want to share with us is very welcome.

Disclaimer: Although I received this proofer free from Brod and Taylor for review and testing, I do not receive any money from them for doing so. I do receive a small percentage from any links that send you to Amazon to purchase it though…

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Happy Baking everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Responses to 'Brod and Taylor Bread Proofer – Review'

  1. Ken Jordan says:

    Nice review and it looks like a great product. Seems a bit pricey to me so will have to think about it a bit. Currently, I live in Manila PH so need something to cool down, not heat up but that will change as we relocate to the midwest. I want to hear about your 3 hour autolyse. Did I miss something?

  2. MC says:

    Teresa, your review is spot on! I have the same proofer (which I got out of despair because I just couldn’t keep my dough or my starter warm enough and my usual proofer is out of commission) and I second everything you write. The proofer is indeed a bit overpriced (I think we are paying for the idea of making it foldable, which is a big plus indeed). They do need to figure out a better way of adjusting the lid to the walls. It would also be great if it were slightly wider and higher. This being said, it works very nicely. I love it that heat comes from the bottom, which is precisely what the dough needs and it doesn’t seem to fluctuate much temperature-wise. I keep my levain in it when it is maturing and I love being able to adjust the temperature according to the fermentation time I am looking for. Definitely a great Xmas idea for a favorite home baker, especially one who doesn’t live in a balmy climate…

  3. northwestsourdough says:

    Hi MC, it really would be a great gift for the home baker. Not a stocking stuffer though…. ;)

  4. Franko says:

    Hi Teresa,
    I had the opportunity to test the Brod & Taylor Proofer recently as well. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25991/results-testing-brod-amp-taylor-folding-proofer
    It seems we had very similar observations testing the proofer particularly regarding the lid. I totally agree that some sort of hinge for it needs to be included in future models. The fact it recovers the set heat in a few minutes after the lid is replaced offsets my main concern with the fit but it would be nice to have it attached in some way.
    Considering all the +’s it brings in terms of heat control and moisture it’s so much better than what I had been using I wouldn’t have had any buyers remorse had I paid for it though. The proofer is getting a great deal more use than my mixer does, so dollar for dollar the cost would have delivered greater value to me than what I shelled out for my mixer. I enjoyed your review and the photos of the lovely loaves you’ve made using the proofer.
    Best Wishes,
    Franko

    • northwestsourdough says:

      Thanks for your comments and link Franco. I will visit your blog and post a link so we can have a circular link to both reviews. You did a great review. It has been fun working with this new proofer…

  5. LindyD says:

    Great review, Teresa. I purchased my B&T proofer a couple weeks ago and totally love it. After reading Sylvia’s remark on TFL about proper positioning of the top, I had no problems the first time I set it up. I was somewhat skeptical that it would actually maintain the programmed temperature, so I keep a small thermometer on the rack each time I use it. So far it’s been 100% accurate. It easily holds my two 9-inch brotforms and I plan to experiment with a couple of batards, using only my couche. I always do the DDT calculations and it’s been a joy to see the proper temp can be maintained throughout the bulk fermentation. While my home is warm during the winter months (thanks to wood heat), no one spot has the consistent temp the proofer maintains, so my dough has always cooled down. No more, and I can’t wait to play with rye sourdoughs in the next few weeks. As to the price, I was happy to see that it is listed at Amazon for $148 – which I think is a very fair price for an excellent and innovative piece of equipment, especially one that folds up and can be stored in my kitchen drawer.

  6. Akiko says:

    Your review is very helpful! I will keep your review in my mind. By the way, all of your loaves are fantastic!!

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