For the past week I have been having a blast constructing a proofing box.
Like so much of what I have done with baking in these past almost 2 years, I couldn't have done this without the help of others who have gone before me and posted their boxes here for all of us to see. I leaned heavily on their ideas.
Before I began I knew I had several criteria my box had to meet. They were that it:
- must be large enough to hold sheet trays, loaf pans, baskets and leaven jars all at the same time if necessary.
- must have a door that opened from the front of the box.
- must be made out of glass for 2 reasons - Glass is clean and allows viewing.
I knew all of those criteria had been met when I found a 18x18x24 reptile terrarium at a local reptile store.
Everything else fell smoothly into place once I had a friend install a piece of Plexiglas's on the side of the box which allowed him to also install a light socket.
Photos below show how it looks now.
The heat source is a 60 watt ceramic heat emitter. (Initially I used an appliance 40 watt bulb but found out that the ceramic heat emitters handle the 'on' and 'off' cycles better than light bulbs and they don't fill the room with additional light and they are supposed to last for ages....)
The air is circulated by a 80mm computer case fan.
The temperature is regulated by a reptile cage thermostat.
The towel around the box allows me to regulate the temp. from the outside when the room temp. is low in the mornings. I like to think it adds a little added insulation.
The top of the box provides me with a mini desk where I can keep my recipe sheets. (The glass is tempered glass.)
So far it has run perfectly. The temp. stays within a 3-4 degree range between 74° and 77°. The bottom level of the box is perfect for my leaven builds as it is cooler than the area up on the shelves.
The computer fan does a great job circulating the hot air around the box.
All runs on auto pilot. (I love lamp timers :-)
The breads made in it so far have been great. All rising on schedule.
My family is ecstatic that my make shift proofing area on our dining room table is gone and the table is now always available for unobstructed meals *^)
Again I give a hearty thanks to all who have shared ideas here.