Dough proofing is an important step in the bread and pizza-making process, involving the fermentation and rising of the dough. After the initial mixing of flour, water, yeast, and salt, the dough is left to rest—in a warm environment for faster proofing, or in a cooler environment for retarded proofing. During this proofing period, yeast ferments the sugars in the dough, producing carbon dioxide gas that causes the dough to rise. This process contributes to the development of flavor, texture, and structure in the final baked product. Proofing times can vary depending on the type of dough and recipe, but it typically ranges from a few hours to a few days. Proper dough proofing is essential for achieving the desired lightness, elasticity, and flavor in bread and pizza crusts, making it a key factor in the success of the final baked goods.

Long proofing times are considered essential for Pizza Napoletana.