The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Improved Proofer...takes the guess work out of the equation...

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CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

Improved Proofer...takes the guess work out of the equation...

When making Pan D'oro recently I realized...it being winter in the North East and my house hovering around 62-65*(by choice)I had to come up with a better way of keeping a constant temperature for my sweet starter. I could always fall back on the old pot holder trick (3 folded pot holders=76*) in the stove door with the light on. It works in a pinch but, I always run into this problem of proofing temperature. In the summer it is too hot (I can't bake or i have to use ice water baths) and in the winter it is too cold. I've been tooling around with many ideas on how to make a proofer work... a plug-in car refrigerator/cooler or wine vault for the summer and a heater/light bulb for the winter. The Pan D'oro made it happen. I turned again to the internet and with the help of MC@Farine  I found a design for a proofer that Steve@Bread cetera posted @Fresh Loaf, and I took it a step further. I went looking for a thermostat for reptiles.... and ended up at Craigs list with the perfect solution... a Ranco ETC microprocessor  temperature controller thermostat that plugs into the heating unit or refrigeration system. It really takes the prize and i got it for a good price from a home brewer who started making babies and his wife made him stop making suds. After fooling around with it...I have found... I can control  the internal temperature within a degree of where i want it to be......the only thing I would consider changing is the probe. I have found that i can insert it into the dough and and get spot on readings...a new tip to the probe would make it perfect! The rest of the proofer is make shift.  I got a sheet of insulation board from Home Depot and cut it to fit my in my pantry. The heat source is a 75 w light bulb. I also have an indoor outdoor thermometer i had laying around that sound an alarm if it goes past a set temperature...just as a fail safe.My original intention was to get a small refrigerator or wine vault so I could bake all summer without a problem. The project has been put on hold...I have been busy packing my house to rent for an extended trip to France in the very near future. Iam going to try to find a way to take it with me! If you have any question comment below...or drop my a note...


Cheers...



                                                                   


 


 


 


 

Comments

foolishpoolish's picture
foolishpoolish

That looks great!


Can you tell me more about the construction of the insulated housing. I'm about useless when it comes to anything involving saws, drills or otherwise - so I definitely need some pointers.


Thanks!


FP


 

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

If you would leave me a message in my  FL box here...i can get into some detailed pointers.


I could not find one on your blog site.


judd

korish's picture
korish

I have the same problem regarding proofing, I bake lots of bread in my WFO and my wife is asking me to start proofing them in the garage, so I'm looking out for a proofing cabinet, Loved your Idea.


http://www.ourwholesomehomes.com/search/label/Bake-n-Blog

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

Another idea that I would like to share from my previous experience that is very similiar to Captain Batard's proofer is that I used a dishwasher or an oven as my proof box.  I too use a reptile thermometer and a very small desk lamp as my heat source, but instead of making a proofing box, I used my dishwasher since it is lined with metal, and it can hold the heat well.  The dishwasher is hardly used since we wash the dishes by hand.  Sometimes when the oven is not in use, I will use that as a proof box, and it does hold the heat well.  When I use oven or dishwasher as a proof box, I try not to aim the light source at the bread being proofed or starter being kept warm since I don't want to bake it.  Hope this is helpful.