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Air Fryer Bread: The Ultimate Test

Baking bread at home can be a delightful experience. The process of mixing, kneading, and watching the dough rise is rewarding, but it can also be quite lengthy. The slowest part is often the proofing — the time it takes for the dough to rise. Traditionally, bakers proof their dough in a warm, draft-free spot. This can take hours, and if the temperature isn’t consistent, the dough might not rise properly. That’s where this air fryer hack comes in.

This modern kitchen gadget has quickly become a must-have appliance for its ability to cook food quickly with less oil. However, its versatility extends beyond frying or roasting — it’s an excellent place to proof bread dough. Unlike traditional ovens, which can have hot spots or take a long time to preheat, the air fryer heats up quickly and evenly. The consistent warmth creates an ideal environment for yeast to activate, helping the dough to rise more efficiently. Another benefit of using an air fryer for proofing is its compact size. It’s smaller than most ovens and other proofing gadgets, making it a convenient option for kitchens with limited space. Once your dough has risen, you can actually use the same appliance to bake your bread, saving time and reducing the need for additional equipment.

How to proof bread dough in an air fryer

Adding parchment paper to air fryer

To get started, prepare your dough according to your favorite bread recipe, then preheat your air fryer to the lowest temperature for a few minutes to ensure it’s at a stable temperature before adding your dough. Next, place the dough in a greased heat-resistant container or on a piece of parchment paper that fits in your air fryer basket. Close the air fryer, ensuring it’s secure to maintain the warmth inside. Set a timer for about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your recipe and the desired rise. During this time, check the dough’s progress occasionally, but try to avoid opening the air fryer too often, as this can let the heat escape and slow down the proofing process.

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If your air fryer has a specific “proof” setting, you can use that instead of manually setting the temperature and time. This feature is designed to maintain the ideal condition for proofing bread dough, ensuring consistent warmth. Just select the proof setting and follow the same process — placing the dough in the basket and letting it rise. Once your dough has risen to the desired level, you can proceed with baking as usual. If you’re using the air fryer for baking, simply increase the temperature and set the appropriate time to bake your bread to perfection. This seamless transition from proofing to baking in the air fryer reduces the need for multiple appliances and streamlines the entire process.

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