The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Home made proof box

  • Pin It
LeeYong's picture

Home made proof box


Since the Fall/Winter is approaching... I was wondering if anyone ever built a home made proof box before with great success? Last winter I just put my loaf in the microwave with my loaf resting on top of hot water. Today is the first day where my kitchen is just too cool and it's taking my loaf forever to double for my s/f.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Happy baking!


SteveB's picture


I've constructed and used the proof box shown here with good results.




Yippee's picture

and I can vouch for its versatility. You'll love it!


RonRay's picture

While you are building a more permanent proof box, you could use your unheated oven by using its built-in light bulb. With the door closed, I measure my oven's temperature at near 90ºF and by adjustment in the slightly open door can control it from about 85º to 90ºF.

SteveB's box certainly is the better long term solution ;)


spacey's picture

I use a shallower proofing box with the following materials:

2 plastic boxes built to nest (from e.g. bed bath and beyond, or some hardware stores, depending on the size you want).


4 pieces of PVC pipe (2" diameter, though this can change based on the size of the box) cut to fit in the box.

3 PVC elbows

1 PVC T (to allow water into the pipes).

1 Aquarium thermostat/heater.

I just keep it plugged in all the time, and on a restaurant shelf in my office.  It uses a negligible amount of electricity compared to the computers and routers etc. around it, and I can use it as a rising box and a proofing box.  It's pretty broad and low-profile.  I can post pics if the description interests you.

Total cost is about $60, though I could have bought the thermostat/heater cheaper on-line.

spacey's picture

Here are some pictures.

1) The box, open, where you can see the fishtank heater/thermostat.  I think this is a 25w model.  In this shot you can see that there is a corner where I used a PVC "T" to allow water in so the interior of the pipe is filled with water:

2) The boxes come with lids. Here is a shot from the side with the lid up.  It keeps out fruit flies (there's a pear tree that the downstairs neighbor takes care of, and it's heavy with fruit right now). 

3) From the side, you can see the stacking, with the PVC pipe acting as a spacer, with the 2 jars of starter inside, and a lid on. 

4) Here is some bread that got its start in the box:


The internal space is enough for 3 circular bannetons/brotforms along with the starter jars. 

When I check the internal temp. with an IR thermometer, the temperature is always what it's dialed in for, so I've been happy with the safety and convenience of this solution.

RonRay's picture

I think it would be a nice contribution to have pics posted on the subject. Then others could refer to them, if you did post pics that made the configuration clear.

RonRay's picture

The photos do a great job of "hanging flesh" on your earlier description. Thanks for the informative work.


annsie's picture

Now, through about March 23 2012, the Container Store has a sale on several tranluscent  file totes that are of a very good size for proofing boxes, one that's watertight, with lids that are hinged in the center so you can open only half the box at a time, if you want.  They're made of polypropylene, which is non-reactive and safe for food.  All totes are under $20.  I'm getting one for sure!  Found a Wilton non-stick cooling rack that would sit on top of a Pyrex casserole dish full of hot water, so you can put your bread on top.  This is much like the proofing cabinet used in the doughnut shop I worked in years ago.

daddio's picture

Hi, i have started a small weekend business in my neighborhood selling pastries, and quickly had a problem of too many sheet pans and not enough room, plus the humidity issue is crucial with delicate croissant dough.
After some browsing, i decided to simply build my own proof box. visited the local wood shop, and the cut the wood on the spot, while i was there i saw the wooden window rails, which seemed like an easy choice to hold the rails, instead of visiting a metal shop. Some wood screws, and a few angle holders, as well as a thick plastic wrap (leaving the front open) here is the result:

home made proof box

For temp, i dont have a problem, as its mostly warm where i live. Air conditioner for half an hour can heat up the room thats enough.

  currently use a cold steam room humidifier, which steams the box pretty well, i can leave it on for half an hour, and shut it off. (waiting for a smaller humidifier to arrive)

And here it is with some proofing croissants and nutella croissant braids :)



lew_c's picture

I use an aquarium heater placed in a tall heavy jar filled with water and placed in a largish cooler/ice chest covered with a heavy bed spread.  Provides excellent temperature regulation and has only three parts, but a digital thermometer with a remote probe is a very nice accessory.  BTW, the heater temperature is adjustable and I originally used this for incubating tempeh.