Proving is something of an art. It is affected by a number of external factors such as the temperature in the room and air humidity, as well as the type of bread you are baking.
Proving at room temperature
A typical wheat dough should prove for 45-60 minutes at room temperature.
Rye bread needs 60-70 minutes’ proving at room temperature.
One tip is to use the oven for proving your dough. Set the temperature to 30 degrees and then put your dough in to prove.
Proving dough cold/overnight
If you prove your dough over a longer period of time it is still important to follow the recipe. If it says 2 x 60 minutes then do that first before you put the dough in the fridge to prove overnight. This produces a loaf with more character, with a lovely crust and moist crumb.
Proving in a bread basket is a good tip. The dough will be slightly less firm and it also produces an attractive surface on the loaf. A cold-proved dough requires around 12-16 hours’ proving.
Your Ankarsrum proving lid
You might like to prove your dough in the bowl, using the proving lid. This means the moisture will remain in the bowl, producing smooth, fine dough.