Author Topic: Wood Proofing Box  (Read 7973 times)

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Offline scott r

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2010, 04:53:36 AM »
I know you live very close to me, and my indoor humidity has been in the low to mid 20's even through all this rain and flooding we just got.    I think you will have better luck once the summer comes.    Until then you should seal them up or enjoy a very crispy crust!


Offline Matthew

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2010, 06:12:12 AM »
That is the box I use, I got a Marsal wooden proofing box. Here are pictures of the box and lid I made. Only 3 hours, can you tell me why? This is what I do. I bulk ferment the dough for 8 hours in the box. Then I will ball and ferment for another 16 hours, then use. I have been trying to get a 48 hour ferment out of them but there is no way I can. The one time I did do a 48 hour rise I knew it wasn't going to work but I did it anyways. They were way over fermented and they had skinning as well. It didn't work out. I probably should have made the lid so it was more air tight with the second board.

What about doing your bulk ferment in a plastic bin then ball & place in the wooden box 3-4 hours prior to using.  You may also want to consider covering the box with an undyed & unbleached linen or cotton towel prior to putting the lid on.

Matt
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 06:15:30 AM by Matthew »

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2010, 07:31:55 AM »
that is a good idea Matt !
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2010, 08:31:23 AM »
I think I'll just put them in the glad containers till the humidity gets higher like Scott said. I tried a 18hr bulk/6hr ball rise and then a 20hr bulk/4hr ball rise, they both didn't work out that well.

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2010, 01:56:31 PM »
I know what you guys mean with low humidity being tough to work with, I do some charcuterie work at home, and we commonly see relative humidity well below 20% most of the winter. I have set up a drying chamber (drying chamber is a misnomer because the humidity is kept around 70%-85%) to create a more suitable micro-climate for aging my sausages. have you considered trying that for your dough aging?

Anyways, I have used a pan filled with heavily salted water to keep the humidity up. I piled salt in a plastic tub, and covered it with water, if the humidity gets too high, the salt sucks the moisture back in, if the humidity gets too low, it releases the water into the air.

Could you use a humidifying gel-pack similar to what is used in cigar humidors?

or take a defunct refrigerator or another seal-able cabinet, then add a cool-mist humidifier to the bottom of it with a line-voltage humidistat and a hygrometer to solve this problem?

www.sausagemaking.org has several threads on how to build a chamber for aging dry-cured meats, maybe we could snag some idea's from that forum? it is based in the UK, but it has plenty of US members with leads to where you can get supplies here in the US too.

You could even use a working fridge, and use a line-voltage thermostat to control your temperature perfectly too, a control unit with humidity and temperature controls are under $200.00USD, but I guess it all depends on what it is worth to have workable dough.
I plan to do exactly this for my dough fermenting chamber at the restaurant. that way i am not compromising, I get the environment I want.
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2010, 04:13:36 PM »
Did you ever try the damp towel in place of the lid on your box?  I am in michigan with considerably higher humidity, but with it being heating season here my house is dry and this method was the answer for me when I began to have the same issues.  I'd hate to see you do something fancy to get humidity if something easy would do the trick.
-Jeff

Offline Bob1

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2010, 04:46:38 PM »
Just a side note for anyone who feels their house is to dry.  I grew up with baseboard heat and found forced hot air to be brutal.  I installed an April Aire whole house humidifier about 15 years ago and have found it very good.  I do not think I would have lasted another year without it.  Humidifiers can be a lot of maintenance and a breeding ground for bacteria, but one type is not.  It uses fresh water that flows over a honeycoombe when called for.  The water then goes out to a drain so there is no chance for stagnation.  I beleive Home Depot sells a Honeywell that is the same type.  It only takes an hour or two to install, and for about $200 it is a good investment for comfort.

http://www.aprilaire.com/index.php?znfAction=ProductDetails&category=5&item=700

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xgy/R-100344604/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053


Bob

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2010, 06:02:58 PM »
I haven't tried the damp towel because I couldn't find one big enough. The only ones that are big enough to go over the box would be the ones that we use for drying off after a shower and I don't think my mom would like that. I'm going to try the flour and oil on top and see how that works and go from there. I still don't get how the Neapolitan pizzerias would keep theirs from drying without oil or flour on top. Maybe I should make a new lid that is more air tight.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2010, 06:41:19 PM »
I haven't tried the damp towel because I couldn't find one big enough. The only ones that are big enough to go over the box would be the ones that we use for drying off after a shower and I don't think my mom would like that. I'm going to try the flour and oil on top and see how that works and go from there. I still don't get how the Neapolitan pizzerias would keep theirs from drying without oil or flour on top. Maybe I should make a new lid that is more air tight.

I picked up undeyed & unbleached 100% cotton fabric from Ikea for $1.99/metre.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2010, 06:49:44 PM »
I agree with Matt. The towel shouldn't be that hard to find and it's a good thing to have for cases like this one.  :)

Anyway, why only 3 hrs? I don't think wooden dough boxes were really designed for longer periods of proofing/fermentation. I noticed that if I have the dough in a WDB for more than 3 hrs the bottom of the dough ball becomes too dry and the end result is a bottom crust that's way to crunchy and charred, since the wood absorbs most of the moisture from the dough. You can see the wet spot on the wood when you take the dough ball out.

Mike

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Offline bakerbill

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2010, 08:53:51 PM »
I've also been concerned with the seal on a wooden box. (At one point I made a wooden box but was not happy with it. )
My alternative, which works well, is to place a pine board in the bottom of a plastic container with a tight seal. It provides the benefit of the wood along with a tight fit.

bakerbill

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2010, 09:49:55 PM »
What do you think would happen if you went really low-tech and just got got the wood wet enough to add the needed moisture to the atmosphere inside of the box?
Can you soak the lid? or pour water into the box until a good amount is absorbed, pour out the excess and rely on that to keep the dough from drying? Maybe use a pastry cloth to seprate the dough from the box then too?
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2010, 10:02:05 PM »
The board on the bottom will warp if I use that much water. I used water on a peel I got from BBB the other day and it warped in like an hour, it just bowed and a crack down middle. I'll figure it out, I am a real trial and error person, I never get it right the first time or the tenth...

Offline Bob1

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2010, 10:23:54 PM »
I have no experience using a wood box for ferments but I thought the whole idea is to use the wood to suck some moisture out of the ball for a crisp crust.  I would think that if you put a cup of water in the box and covered the whole box with a plastic trash bag, the balls would still wick out the bottom, and still have enough humidity to be moist on the top.

Bob

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2010, 10:00:26 AM »
The board on the bottom will warp if I use that much water. I used water on a peel I got from BBB the other day and it warped in like an hour, it just bowed and a crack down middle. I'll figure it out, I am a real trial and error person, I never get it right the first time or the tenth...

I agree, a peel will be destroyed if it gets wet. But if you make a box out a decent wood that can handle dampness, this should work if you are having drying problems.
White cedar comes to mind, I think red cedar would be too aromatic and create some flavor problems or it may even add to the flavor in a good way.

Or a guy could use any decent wood for the box,  seal it with a food-grade oil and do the lid out of cedar. hard maple should hold up to being damp too.
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2010, 10:25:59 AM »
The lid is made from birch and the box is poplar.

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2010, 10:29:13 AM »
the boxes get better with time, cause the flour starts to fill the tiny spaces in the wood, blocking all the contact with external air... but the top has to be very well sealed...
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2010, 10:33:50 AM »
Yea I am figuring that out now with the lid, the lids that come with the plastic boxes are they "snap on" type lids? I'll go to Restaurant Depot and see if the plastic lid will fit on my box, maybe that will work.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2010, 10:36:40 AM »
David is aspiring to become a pizza operator, and as part of his "apprenticeship" on this forum he has been trying out all sorts of things, including the use of wooden dough boxes. I believe that he would like to come up with a solution to the dry dough balls problem that will be practical in a commercial setting should he see sufficient merit to using wooden dough boxes. I assume that would mean stacking dough boxes directly on top of each other. If my assumption on this is correct, I would imagine that crafting a lid for his dough box that simulates a second dough box on top of the one he is now using is perhaps what he should be shooting for.

Peter

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Wood Proofing Box
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2010, 10:57:05 AM »
Couldn't have said it any better. I wouldn't mind using the plastic storage boxes but if I can get an advantage out of a wooden one than I will use them instead. The thing is in that picture Andre put up of the wooden boxes all stacked on top of eachother, they don't look like they have that good of a seal on them. If anything my lid looks to have a better seal. I saw that video at Franco Manca's of Rafa opening the ball, you can see the box in the back round with the lid on it. It doesn't look any different than mine. Here is the video if no one has seen it.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Y-uSeYaQQ" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6Y-uSeYaQQ</a>
.