Definition: In bread baking terms, proofing means to allow the bread dough to rise. Often, in basic yeast bread recipes, the dough will be proofed two times. The first proofing will be in a covered bowl. The second and final proofing will be in a bread pan. Each time the bread is allowed to rise.
Also Known As: proving
After the first proofing, the bread baker punched down the dough and began to form it into a loaf.