do i prove the bread after i shape it or before

i am making some bread for a 3 hour exam. Basically, i am making it first thing so that it can prove while i make the other products. i need to know if i shape the dough then let it prove or let the dough prove then shape it. - i am platting the dough.

ryan baliszewski


Alyssa February 19, 2018
I bake bread once a week, and it goes through two proofs. After mixing up the dough, I let it sit for 2-6 hours on the countertop. After that, I shape the dough into 2 loaves and let those proof with a damp towel over them for about 20-40 minutes while the oven preheats. Seems to work well, as the bread has never failed to rise and has always been lofty and scrumptious!
Smaug February 19, 2018
For the record, the term is "proof"- ordinarily not a verb, which you are to be congratulated for recognizing (parts of speech have become unfashionable), but the usage is idiomatic. As for making bread, in most cases you do both- the final proofing is usually pretty fast.
creamtea February 19, 2018
In the US, yes, we "proof" the dough, but in the UK it seems they "prove" it. Love those language differences here vs across the pond. :)
Smaug February 19, 2018
But can you trust a people that calls cake pudding? I suspect it's all an insidious plan to undermine America's fine institutions.
Nancy February 19, 2018
Ah. For that, take the argument back to Noah Webster and the OED...
Smaug February 19, 2018
The dictionaries, unfortunately, are slaves to usage; they don't decide what's proper, they merely inform you how people are using the language. This wasn't a bad system back in the days when you generally had to get by an editor to get in print, but in the internet age bad habits spread like wildfire, and there are few to prevent it. Not that it has much to do with proving and proofing, about which I'm sure creamtea is correct, but it is something that people should understand.
creamtea February 18, 2018
When I make challah, I give the dough a first rise before shaping and punch down the dough after the rise. Then I shape. Sometimes I give it a brief second rise after shaping (braiding or coiling). I don't make other types of bread, so can't answer for that but assume it's the same.
ryan B. February 18, 2018
Okay, thank you:)
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