The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Fermentation Bin of My Dreams

gcook17's picture

The Fermentation Bin of My Dreams

 I was getting tired of covering my mixing bowl with plastic wrap to keep the dough from drying out while it fermented.  For me, unrolling, tearing, stretching plastic wrap has always been like wrestling an octopus.  Besides, I hate throwing it away after using it for a few hours.  I wanted to find a dough fermentation bin that had a top that would keep in the moisture but wasn't airtight.  I was buying half sheet pans at my local Smart-n-Final and noticed what looked like the perfect containers. They were plenty big enough for folding the dough in the container.  They had smooth bottoms that would allow the use of a plastic dough scraper and make cleaning easy.  They had tops with little vent thingies that could be opened or closed.  Most amazing of all they were cheap.  They came three in a package for about $20.  The only problem was that I had to get three of them which I didn't think I needed.  I decided to wait until I had scouted around to see if I could find something comparable that I could buy just one of.   Some bins had convoluted bottoms that would make it impossible to scrape out the dough.  They had fancy lids that sealed so well that no gas could escape and complicated seals that would make them hard to clean.  The better ones cost almost three times as much so I finally got the set of three.

Here are some pictures.  The familiar book is in the picture to give an idea of how big they are.  The brand is Reynolds.  The largest batch of dough I've used it for so far was 6 lbs. 

Here's a close-up of the vent.  The almost readable word on it is "Casuals."


xaipete's picture

Great idea on your vented bowls. I have a similar type of bowl in several sizes made by Rubbermade for produce. I pulled one of them out last night and put my starter in it, and it worked great. Mine are a lot smaller than yours though. Thanks for the suggestion.


jannrn's picture

Excellent and they look GREAT!!! But I am in Florida and there is no "Smart-N-Final" in this state that I am aware of! I just finished an assignment in CA and if I had only known, I would have gone there. I agree with you that it is really hard to find a container that will make it easy to rise the dough without sealing it totally....have you ever had the lid blown off?? It scared the MUDD out of me! Anyway, I will look for these at my local stores and see if I can find them. Any idea if they are available online??

Thanks again!!


gcook17's picture

I have a rye starter that I keep in a plastic container that must be airtight because it's always blowing its top.  A few weeks ago my wife said she heard a weird noise in the middle of the night.  I went into the kitchen to look and found the rye starter lid three feet away from the container.

dmsnyder's picture

Anchor Glass makes an 8 cup "measuring cup" with a tight fitting plastic top. I love it because 1) it's glass and I can see the dough through it, and 2) It has measurements on it, so I know exactly how much the dough has expanded.

This is large enough for most breads I made - up to about 3.5 lbs of dough. For larger recipes, I need to use a very large ceramic bowl. I have a round silicon cover that gets airtight and fits all but the largest bowls.

I share your aversion to plasti-crap.