The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Dough Doublers

Loafer's picture

Dough Doublers

In lieu of the acrylic dough doubler buckets(, what do y'all use for rising your dough that you can really see through and verify doubling? I can't handle buying a bucket for $15.. that doesn't make sense to me.  I've always just used a set of opaque plastic bowls, but now that I do sourdough doughs, it is becoming more important that I wait for doubling.


verminiusrex's picture

At Sam's Club I got 3 packs of 6 quart containers, one pack is square and cost about $26 or so, the others are round and cost about $15.  I use these when I do big  batches of dough (about 5 lbs worth max), otherwise I have a rather eclectic collection of bowls from different sources that nest inside each other nicely for storage that I normally use for proofing.

 For a single loaf I usually go by time and sight for doubling, I only visually confirm it for large batches that don't always double in 2 hours during my normal proofing method (pan of hot water in a cold oven).

Thegreenbaker's picture

Really? I just use the bench. :S I cover the dough in a wet tea towel.

If I need it to go in the fridge, I put it in a stainless steel bowl with a dinner plate on top.......I try not to use tooo much plastic.

When doing preferments....I usually only make a poolish or pate fermente which are quite wet so I do the same as above. Stainless steel bowl and dinner plate.

In the case of needing to know if it is doubled...I know in average weather (around 20 deg celsius) it will take around 90 mins to 2 hours.

In Winter, it can take 2 hours to 4 hours to double. especially on the first rise before you punch or stretch and fold for a second rise (before its divided and shaped) 

I just look at the dough. if it looks like it has doubled, I do the next stage.......if I am unsure, I leave it for a bit longer.......


I hope I made sense!!!



BROTKUNST's picture

That makes sense, Thegreenbaker - However these buckets are a small investment and they give you alot of information about how your dough or preferment is doing in the current environment and composition. It's very easy to quantify the activity and compare with other setups (if you keep notes). This information is not necessary when you focus on one loaf but its good to have when you use it for your own advancement.



Thegreenbaker's picture

I dont keep notes broknust. :S

I am a very slack baker in that regard. All I want is a great tasting bread that looks good. I give myself a pat on the back when I get large irregular crumb, but it isnt often and I dont quite aim for it either. I just dont have the time with my family.

Not to mention, I try not to spend more than I need to. although these tubs sound like a great idea, I am sure in Australia they are alot more we have a smaller baking supply I have already found it lacking.

I make do for now, and if I come across some that arent too pricey, I will definitely consider it, but I like my bowls as I have less washing up! lol!



verminiusrex's picture

I use bowls because I can move them to the cold oven with another bowl of hot water, which makes a great proofer.  I also have a tiny kitchen so counter space is at a premium.  Another great reason is that if you overproof (I've forgotten dough before), it doesn't escape it's confines and envelop everything around it in a sticky, doughy mass.

 It's also the way that I learned to do bread, and I am very much a creature of habit.  If I had to leave the dough out to proof on the counter, it would drive me nuts because it isn's my usual baking method.

SDbaker's picture

If you live near a Smart and Final, check them out.  I bought 3 "dough doublers" there, Identical to KA, at 1/3 cost.  Think it was a three pack for 12 dollars.  Also a great place for poppy seeds if you like Ptr Rhnts "Struan" bread and 10lb bags of KA flour.

I use these containers all the time, can do a poolish or pre-ferment in one, a dough in another, and a soaker in the other. They stack.  They are relatively vertical, so a visual double is easy (I use a rubber band to mark off the starting line).  They clean easily.  I believe they are polyethylene not acrylic, same as KA - not window transparent, but about 95% translucent and very easy to see the contents. Love them.

 SD Baker

leemid's picture

I use a 1 qt poly container for starters and a 2 qt for dough, which may limit some of you... but I get a batch of 1450 grams to double in the 2 qt. Here's where they are: and what they look like. The one qt with lid costs 90 cents, the 2 qt with lid costs $1.40.

2 qt.2 qt.1 qt1 qt

Loafer's picture

I'm guessing that those aren't food safe plastics...

leemid's picture

Although they aren't labelled so, they are the same stuff as thousands of other items that are.

Of course, there is the crowd that thinks that nothing plastic is either food safe or planitarily safe. While I don't want to spark an environmental debate, I don't side with them.

That's my story,


Loafer's picture

Understood and agreed. I have some vague vestigial memory of being able to identify the plastic type based upon the recycling ID for the plastic type.  I should look that up.  In any case, I like those containers, but the nearest TAP to me is many miles away. Alas..


colinwhipple's picture

In case anyone cares, I went looking on the net, and this is the best link I could find on Food Safe Plastic:



susanfnp's picture

I often just eyeball or go by dough feel.However, I read of this technique somewhere (sorry I can't remember where, if it was anyone reading this, please let me know so I can give due credit):

If your dough is rising in a container that doesn't lend itself well to judging volume increases, take a small amount of dough and put it into any small transparent straight-sided container in which it will be easy to see how much that dough has risen. Put it to ferment in the same place as your main container of dough. The theory is that they rise at the same rate, so when the little one has doubled, so has the big one.


zolablue's picture

I have purchased many different sizes of the Cambro buckets from Surfas online:

They are much less expensive and come in both clear, which I bought, and the translucent.  They are exactly the same thing you could buy at KAF but come in many more sizes.  I bought sizes ranging from 1-quart which are great for pre-ferments, 2-quart sizes which I also use for pre-ferments and 4 & 6-quart rising buckets.  It really helped me to be able to see the increments.  Just be sure to purchase the lids which are listed separately.  This company has excellent customer service and super fast shipping.

MaryinHammondsport's picture

Many many thanks to zolablue for the link to


where I found the dough rising/storage container I needed to work with my new copy of Hertzberg and Francois's book. By the way, though the larger size is still in the catalog, KAF no longer carries anything except the 2 quart one, and the prices are much better at the link above. I knew if I came onto The Fresh Loaf and searched hard enough, someone would have the answer I needed.

I was so thrilled at finding what I wanted that I got all sorts of other stuff, thereby wiping out my savings on the original item, but what else is new?


I absolutely love The Fresh Loaf. As soon as I get my oven back working (I have been without it for 10 days and it is awful!) I will be baking up a storm because I am truly inspired.


All the best, and thanks again --


Mary in Hammondsport

Cooky's picture

For batches of 3 liters and less, one of my most-favored-merchants, American Science & Surplus (, sells these:

Jar-Jar tell a friend about this item so they can check it out
Jar-jar-jar. Our each is a package of (5) white HDPE jars with white screwcaps and graduated markings in black. They start at 4-5/8" tall x 2-3/8" dia, marked in 50ml increments from 50 to 200ml. The 5-7/8" tall x 3" dia is in 100ml increments, 100 to 400. The 7-1/8" tall x 3-5/8" dia is in 200ml increments, 200 to 800. The 8-5/8" tall x 4-3/4" dia is in 500ml, up to 2 liters. The largest, 9-7/8" tall x 6" dia is marked at 1-, 2- and 3000ml. Equivalent pints quarts, etc. are also marked. Use as a teaching tool (they're from Learning Resources®) or for storage in the kitchen or lab.

  36188 HDPE JARS $6.95 / EACH

Photo at the site.



"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

mattie405's picture

I bought my buckets at the local restaurant supply store. they are 6 quarts and with the lid,each cost about $3.30. They aren't clear but very easy to see when dough has doubled and I also use them for storing large amounts of flour too. I also bought the round ones at Sams Club, 3 for $12.86 but bugs got into the flour stored in these. Also bought the large square ones at Sams and they are clear with lids and work as well as the ones I got at the restaurant supply but were more expensive. The ones from the restairant supply are made to store food in the restaurants and come in lots of sizes............I am happiest with these and would have gone and gotten more if I hadn't already gotten the others.

Loafer's picture

I've had trouble finding restaurant supply stores in the San Francisco Bay Area that are willing to do cash and carry for 'civilians.'  Maybe I could wear my culinary school jacket and take my resale certificate ;)

gianfornaio's picture

Many professional kitchens receive some of their food items in large plastic buckets, which they often toss or recycle. Fast food places or delis may get pickles, for example, in big buckets of 5 gallons or larger. Ice cream places may get some of their toppings that way. If you make several loaves at one time, or you like to make really big loaves, you could contact just about any place that prepares food and see if they have any they're planning to get rid of. They may be happy to give them to you. If your local supermarket has a kitchen, they also may have buckets.  

I use a big white bucket that had contained frozen strawberries-- I washed it well and it hasn't given an off flavor to a single loaf; I have used a pickle bucket too, with no briny flavor or scent or other ill effects. My bucket is essentially opaque, but when it's back- or top-lit I can still see how my dough has risen. With a simple measurement (or a "guess-timation," because let's be fair-- even with a clear bucket it's hard to tell at exactly what point the domed dough has doubled) a piece of masking tape can mark a point twice as far up the straight sides of the bucket as the dough started.  

This has the added benefits of knowing your plastic is food-safe and preventing or postponing a tiny portion of environmentally degrading plastic production and disposal.



leemid's picture

I have one of those conundrum questions: why do we worry about plastic degrading and polluting the food we contain in it when in a landfill it takes eons to degrade? Along those same lines, why don't we contain our nuclear (nucular for those in Texas) waste in this indestructable plastic from which we make things like disposable diapers, since it will remain in its current state for the next 30,000 years?

Now before you get all uppity and start a war here, imagine Foghorn Leghorn talking to the little egghead chicken with the large round glasses... "That's a joke, son, that's a joke!"


slidething's picture

Hey Ya'all -

  I use to work in the bakery dept. for a large supermarket --- we got almost all of our pastry creams and fillings for fruit pies in 5 gal. containers ~ both square & round - That we tossed out at the end of the day when they were empty. I have acouple for storing dawg food in - But if asked we would save them for people that asked.

 So..... There ya go - just stop by your local supermarket and ask & ye shall receive .


cej2's picture

I just use the finger poke method. If you poke a finger in the risen dough and it leaves a hole it is doubled...I have been baking bread 50 years.