I'd like to proof (or bulk ferment) my dough for around 12 hours, My refrigerator is set to high 30s (maybe very low 40s), and if I am bulk fermenting at that temp, it takes forever to proof. Even if I bulk ferment at room temp and proof in the refrigerator, all bets are off as to how long it takes. (I've proofed for 1 hour at room temp, put it in the fridge overnight, taken dough out of the fridge, only to find that it has barely budged. Result: show up late for work:)). So I'm thinking of finding a cheap way to get a predictable 55 degrees, which should move things faster and also reduce uncertainty.
I have found 2 options so far:
- wine cooler. This seems expensive, but precise - it appears good wine coolers keep temp, plus have humidity controls (why?), plus I'll need a fairly big one to proof (say) 3-4 loaves of bread.
- mini fridge with a good thermostat, and put a pan of water in it to keep the humidity up. I don't know whether this works as well, but I'm thinking it should be ok, and cost only like $150 at most.
Any ideas? If either idea above has worked for you, I'd appreciate knowing what brand cooler/fridge you bought, and what your arrangement was.