The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bad idea for a cheap proofing box?

Miller's picture

Bad idea for a cheap proofing box?

I came across this incubator and I immediately thought that perhaps it could it be used as a small proofing box. The only reservation that I have is about its dimensions. They are stated to be approximately 31x20x22cm /12.20"x7.87"x8.66"(L*W*H). I wonder if it would at least work as a box in which I may put my starter to create a levain for baking.

pmccool's picture

You could use a picnic cooler.  Place a quart/liter bottle of hot tap water in the cooler for the heat source.  Then put the dough container in the cooler and close the lid. Check it in an hour or so for progress. 


Miller's picture

I suppose that I could learn to use the picnic cooler as you suggest, but I also like the idea of having a thermostat to set the temperature. That way, like a bad workman, I can blame my tools for any problems!

barryvabeach's picture

Looks nice to me, though I am not sure if those dimensions were the interior dimensions of the box or the exterior.  If you only need to to proof levian, it should work fine. 

Miller's picture

I'm mostly interested in levain for which I understand a temperature around 24-25º C would be ideal. For dough proofing my oven has a suitable setting.

suave's picture

Those cheap thermostats typically don't do well at temperatures close to ambient. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

fish tank heater and thermostat?  Just make sure they are stuck inside a big jar of water... (and that inside a small insulated box).  

You could also sew a pocket inside your sweater and carry it next to your heart ❤️.    :)

Miller's picture

I like the idea of taking a stroll with my starter.


idaveindy's picture

and you could use a cooler of any size, likely one you already have.  Along with an extension cord, a light bulb socket, and an incandescent light bulb of 25 to 40 watts.


Barbarat's picture

Hi, I got one of those temp controlled mats used for terrarium or in green houses. about 20 bucks. I use a plastic tub with lid, some old sheets as insulation. Works very well for my levains and also for some dough in bread pans. Very happy with this solutions.


PS has more space than a normal cooler.

Miller's picture

How many Watts is the mat?