I’ve found that there are two meanings for “proofing”, when you dissolve active dry yeast in a little water and maybe a little sugar or honey, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until it starts to bubble, and as a synonym for rising after the ingredients, including salt, are mixed. I meant the latter, just a long and slow rise in the fridge.
That dough I made back in April lasted until about a week ago. I reserved some of the dough from each batch and used it to make subsequent batches. It finally petered out after a month, and I started again with another packet of instant yeast (which doesn’t need proofing in the first sense of the word). I lucked into a regular source of yeast from our local hippie bakery, so I’m all set, going forward.