Retarding shaped loaves - container and equipment concerns
Does anyone have any experience retarding shaped loaves in a temperature-controlled fridge? I have a theory that an second-hand fridge, maintained at 10-12C, will allow me to retard 36 loaves. I've been considering deep plastic pizza dough boxes to hold the brotforms, but I'm concerned that these may not allow sufficiently rapid cooling of the dough. Does anyone have any experience? Educated guesses? Better suggestions?
I'm moving up from a few years of regular home bread baking to very small production (to sell to friends, etc.). I've always preferred the taste and crumb of dough retarded during secondary fermentation (and the schedule control it allows). My best results have been acheived by using an old freezer, hooked up to an eBay temperature controller set to 10-12C for an overnight fermentation (directly after shaping), with the brotforms sealed in ziplocs to prevent excessive drying. My loaves are generally whole grain or 50:50 whole grain:white, scaled to 750g.
I'm considering buying 6 stackable deep pizza dough boxes, which should hold 6 brotforms each, more or less filling a standard fridge. I'm assuming the fridge will be better than the old freezer as there is much more airflow in a fridge. I'm concerned, however, that the dough boxes, which are designed to seal to one another, will insulate the dough too much and prevent sufficient cooling. Pizza dough boxes have the additional benefit for me that they can be used to transport shaped loaves, as I need to move dough to a rented oven until I can build my own WFO (this would be much more difficult if the brotforms were stacked on sheet pans or boards, which I have also considered).
Obviously, in the long term, some sort of retarder that can accept racks would be ideal, but I don't want to spend too much capital on that right now. If someone has a brilliant idea to build a retarder on the cheap in my basement, I'd love to hear about it.