Although our Persephone bakers have done the relatively hard part of hand laminating the dough for your bake-at-home pastries, you really must simulate a proofing box for them to get close to the real thing. Cook's Illustrated offers tips to achieve the best results.

Turning Your Oven into a Proof Box by Cook's Illustrated, published January 2012 

Professional bakers often have a proof box on hand. Home cooks don't. Or do they?

When professional bakers let dough rise, they often make use of a proof box: a large cabinet that holds the air temperature between 80 and 90 degrees and humidity around 75 percent—conditions ideal for yeast activity. Whenever our kitchen is particularly cold or dry, we start to wonder about homespun imitations. After trial and error, we finally landed on a consistently effective method.

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and place a loaf or cake pan in the bottom of the oven.
  • Place the container of dough on the middle rack and pour 3 cups of boiling water into the pan.
  • Close the oven door and allow the dough to rise as instructed (Persephone Note : we provide instructions with every bake-at-home item!).
  • If you limit the time that the oven door is open, the proof box can be used for both the first and second rise without the need to refresh the water.