Dough Proofer

Looking for recommendations on dough proofer. Any brands to avoid and what manufacturers have been the most reliable in your experiences?

Also, considering impact of changing from bulk fermentation at room temp to immediately dividing into dough balls after mixing and moving to the dough proofer. The more controlled environment of the proofer has to be better for the 1-2 hour proofing process after mixing. From the proofer the dough would retard in the walk-in for 24-48 hours.

All your expert opinions greatly appreciated.

~Luca

Luca;
Are you looking for a dough “proofer” (operates at between 75 and 110F with adjustable humidity control) or are you looking for a dough “retarder” aka cooler which operates at between 36 and 42F. ? Proofers are typically used for proofing the dough in the pan when making thick crust pizzas while a retarder is used to cold ferment the dough, usually in ball form.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Tom -

I generally do a bulk proof (in a giant 4 ft diameter bowl) at room temp right after mixing. However to conserve space and provide greater flexibility in other baking needs, my intent was to cut and ball right after mixing and place in dough proofer for 1-1.5 hrs. Then transfer to walk-in for 24+ hours.

The three angles I’m working are:

  1. Removing the giant bowl previously used to bulk proof
  2. Use temp controlled proofer to remove variation in ambient temps
  3. Better process flow. Mix>cut/ball/>proofer>walk-in

Thanks for any and all input.
~Luca

We have sold hundreds of Lockwood proof/Hold cabinets. Excellent life. I recommend them.
George Mills

Be sure to take extra efforts in consistently hitting your targeted finished dough temperature, with the process you describe the finished dough temperature will be by far the most important variable which will have the greatest impact upon the finished dough as well as the finished product.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks George and Tom. Exactly what I needed.
~Luca

We have a Gemini roll in proof box, had a Baxter roll in before this. The Baxter lasted for 25 years, Gemini is still going strong at ~10 years