The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using a Proofer for Pizza Skins

loggerspizza's picture

Using a Proofer for Pizza Skins

I have a pizzeria where we specialize in medium thickness sourdough crust. I find that our best pizzas are the ones that have had hours to rise in the warm kitchen before topping and baking. Anyone have any thoughts on using a proofer/warming cabinet for pizza skins? Recommendations for a good proofer/warming cabinet? Thanks! Sam

btock's picture

I run a small bakery and use Bongard proofer/retarders. If you're letting your pizza dough rise in a warm kitchen then a proofer will esentially serve the same purpose. My feeling is that, in general, proofers are not necessary as you can find ways to create warm moist environments anywhere to make the dough happy. However, proofers do make things more controlled and consistent. One aspect i like about the proofers we have is that i can put unproofed dough in on a retarding setting and set a timer so it may switch into a proof box at say 4:00 am so by 5:00 am i have proofed bread ready to go in the oven. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I once made 10 pizzas (at home) and put them in the freezer. A couple of days later, I opened the freezer and couldn't believe what my baking mania had wrought: 10 pizzas! Eat that and you be 500 lbs. come New Years.

I tossed all 10 in the garbage.

A day later, feeling exceptionally guilty I'd wasted so much food, I removed one of them from the garbage (still securely wrapped with foil and parchment) and baked it up.

The crust was perfection (light as air, flavourful, crispy), easily the best pizza crust I'd ever made (before or since), and it was the result of a frozen pizza dough rising slowly over 24 hours.

That said, a proofer may or may not work. It depends on the temperatures it can hold, so just make sure you have one that can hold a temperature that fits your proofing schedule. Also, not sure how many pizzas will fit in a proofer, but likely nowhere near as many as you'll sell in a day. Maybe 40 if you can space the proofing racks close enough?