Author Topic: Poor Man's Proofing Boxes  (Read 2402 times)

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Offline gschwim

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Poor Man's Proofing Boxes
« on: February 07, 2013, 11:53:43 PM »
If you are reasonably near a Container Store and you're tired of proofing dough in little plastic Ziplock (or whatever) containers, where the dough hugs the sides of the container - or even if you're not - allow me to highly recommend the Container Store's private label Clear Storage Boxes (http://goo.gl/B8Ehb).  As you can see in the accompanying photo, the ladies' shoe box (item #10008759) comfortably holds two 10 oz. dough balls, allowing the dough balls to "flatten and spread," as in a commercial proofing box.  But note the price:  $1.89 with lid.  And the price drops even farther, to $1.69 apiece if you buy a box of 20.  If you have other storage needs, you might buy the case of 20, use whatever you need for dough proofing, and use the rest for... well... storage.  But even at a $1.89, given that one will hold two dough balls, with plenty of room for the dough balls to "breathe," I consider that a real bargain.

Also, because the dough doesn't touch the sides, you only need to oil (if you use oil) the bottom of the box.

The shoe box is the size that works for me, for the small number of pizzas I make at one time.  But if you scroll down the Web page, you'll find that they have larger sizes.  For example, how about the Boot Box (item #10023020), measuring 22-1/2" x 14-3/4" x 5-3/8".  Cost $9.99, again, with lid.  Unfortunately, there is no quantity discount; nevertheless, the boot box is pretty close in size to a commercial tray and even at ten bucks for box and lid, that's pretty cheap compared to the commercial box-and-lid price.

Gene

« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 11:59:53 PM by gschwim »


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Poor Man's Proofing Boxes
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 08:51:06 AM »
Gene;
These are OK to use for home use, but be aware that in a commercial setting, such as in a pizzeria, most, if not all health departments will require that they be made of a plastic that is approved for food contact. Also, it cannot be made of a hard plastic. A common health department violation is one where we go to Walmart and buy a roll of plastic trash bags for use in covering sheet pans of dough balls. Since the bags are not stated as being approved for food contact, it becomes an issue. It's this way with a lot of the cleaning supplies too where you can't use it if you don't have a MSDS on it. Life is truly interesting at the store level, but a lot more fun and less stressful at home.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline gschwim

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Re: Poor Man's Proofing Boxes
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 11:24:06 AM »
Gene;
These are OK to use for home use, but be aware that in a commercial setting, such as in a pizzeria, most, if not all health departments will require that they be made of a plastic that is approved for food contact. Also, it cannot be made of a hard plastic. A common health department violation is one where we go to Walmart and buy a roll of plastic trash bags for use in covering sheet pans of dough balls. Since the bags are not stated as being approved for food contact, it becomes an issue. It's this way with a lot of the cleaning supplies too where you can't use it if you don't have a MSDS on it. Life is truly interesting at the store level, but a lot more fun and less stressful at home.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom,

Thanks, I did not know that.  The plastic is soft, but I doubt that containers meant for shoes are approved for food use, so it looks like the standard, commercial - and more expensive - dough boxes for a cafe.

On the other hand... as long as I've got your attention:  I read somewhere that in Italy, they proof the dough balls in (unfinished) wooden boxes and that the wood draws off moisture and/or in some other way makes the dough better.  Do you know if there are any restrictions on wood?  Again, this would be unfinished wood, probably plywood.  And then the question would be, what kind of wood as I understand that some wood (plywood?) is treated with chemicals that might not be acceptable.

I'll probably go with the commercial plastic for the cafe my partners and I are planning, but I am curious because if it's legal and really does improve the dough...

Gene



Online TXCraig1

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Re: Poor Man's Proofing Boxes
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 12:00:31 PM »
Tom,

Thanks, I did not know that.  The plastic is soft, but I doubt that containers meant for shoes are approved for food use, so it looks like the standard, commercial - and more expensive - dough boxes for a cafe.

On the other hand... as long as I've got your attention:  I read somewhere that in Italy, they proof the dough balls in (unfinished) wooden boxes and that the wood draws off moisture and/or in some other way makes the dough better.  Do you know if there are any restrictions on wood?  Again, this would be unfinished wood, probably plywood.  And then the question would be, what kind of wood as I understand that some wood (plywood?) is treated with chemicals that might not be acceptable.

I'll probably go with the commercial plastic for the cafe my partners and I are planning, but I am curious because if it's legal and really does improve the dough...

Gene




Tony's in SF uses the Neapolitan wood boxes for his Margherita dough.

I don't know what sort of wood they are; my guess would be poplar. In any case, they definitely are not plywood. Plywood is full of glue to hold it together. It's probably not toxic, but I still don't want it near my dough. Plywood for external/wet use is treated with chemicals to prevent rot and insect damage.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Poor Man's Proofing Boxes
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 12:15:11 PM »
Gene,

You might find these posts of interest: Reply 516 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg31992.html#msg31992 and Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9482.msg82065/topicseen.html#msg82065. FYI, I was told that the wooden boxes can be held in a cooler.

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Poor Man's Proofing Boxes
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 03:25:14 PM »
Gene;
Most health departments take less than a positive view on wood and food coming into contact with each other. We have seen this in the bagel industry where wood bagel boards were used since the first bagel was made, but now they are relegated to relics that are hung on the wall. Bakers used to use wood troughs (the bacteria in the wood would inoculate the dough to retain specific flavors similar to using a starter) but alas, these are gone too. Now they are looking at wood table/bench tops and it looks like they are on their way out too. I realize that the wood dough boxes are great, and for the most part they are as safe as anything, but as you know, you can't argue, or reason with your local health department. Been there, done that, never won one yet!
Here is a classic: We're making creme filled bismarks, you see them all the time. Health inspector says we need to refrigerate them, I ask why? He says "Because they contain CREAM. I say "no, that's wrong, they are only called CREME filled, as in the fact that they use a CREME filling". He says "Doesn't matter, they are CREAM filled" I pull out the bucket of prepared CREME filling that plainly states "Does not require refrigeration after opening" and then I show him the label, it reads basically, water, emulsifier, stabilizers, food gums,citric acid, artificial color, artificial flavor. He points to the label and says "Right here it says Bavarian CREME Filling". Sometimes you just can't argue with intelligence at that level and expect to win. So be it with wood.
In the home, it is an entirely different matter, as at this time we can still pretty well do what we want to.

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline gschwim

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Re: Poor Man's Proofing Boxes
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 04:00:45 PM »
Gene;
Most health departments take less than a positive view on wood and food coming into contact with each other. We have seen this in the bagel industry where wood bagel boards were used since the first bagel was made, but now they are relegated to relics that are hung on the wall. Bakers used to use wood troughs (the bacteria in the wood would inoculate the dough to retain specific flavors similar to using a starter) but alas, these are gone too. Now they are looking at wood table/bench tops and it looks like they are on their way out too. I realize that the wood dough boxes are great, and for the most part they are as safe as anything, but as you know, you can't argue, or reason with your local health department. Been there, done that, never won one yet!
Here is a classic: We're making creme filled bismarks, you see them all the time. Health inspector says we need to refrigerate them, I ask why? He says "Because they contain CREAM. I say "no, that's wrong, they are only called CREME filled, as in the fact that they use a CREME filling". He says "Doesn't matter, they are CREAM filled" I pull out the bucket of prepared CREME filling that plainly states "Does not require refrigeration after opening" and then I show him the label, it reads basically, water, emulsifier, stabilizers, food gums,citric acid, artificial color, artificial flavor. He points to the label and says "Right here it says Bavarian CREME Filling". Sometimes you just can't argue with intelligence at that level and expect to win. So be it with wood.
In the home, it is an entirely different matter, as at this time we can still pretty well do what we want to.

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Welcome to the Nanny State - and NYC, the Nanny City, where they've outlawed 16 oz. size soft drinks.  Seriously.

Gene


 

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