How we tested
If you have a cold, drafty kitchen and need a way to control the temperature at which your dough proofs (rises), the Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer ($148) offers a solution. This 10½-inch-tall box provides a 12 by 15-inch surface large enough for a bowl of dough or two loaf pans. Its enclosed heating element lets you regulate the temperature while a small water pan creates a humid environment. We made a batch of bread dough and divided it in two, leaving half in the proofer and half in a cold oven with a pan of boiling water, the test kitchen method for replicating a proofer box. The oven temperature started at 95 degrees and then dropped to 80 degrees over 2 hours and 15 minutes, while the proofer held at 85 degrees (the temperature we set). The dough was equally well risen using both methods. The folding proofer offers two advantages: It allows you to use your oven for other purposes while your dough rises, plus it gives you precise temperature control. Hard-core bakers may want to splurge; the rest of us can simply use our ovens.