I went ahead and repeated an experiment I posted about here. Replies #39-41.http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11141.20.html
It started out as an experiment to see if warm proofing made a difference in the texture of the finished crust and crumb. I did this experiment base on the curiosity that 2 of my best made pies were rush proofed at high temps of 100F+ for a short period of time. The result of that particular test proved to me that proofing at higher temps doesn't yield a dramatically better crust/crumb but does make it harder to handle.
At any rate, I have just started changing up my dough kneading and handling technique and one of the things I'm doing that is new to me is to proof dough covered with a moist towel. The strange thing I've notice about this method of proofing is that you can proof for an extended amount of time at room temps (75-77F) and the dough will maintain a temp of about 65F so long as you remoisten the towel every 4-5 hours or when it dries a bit.
So what's the big deal about this? Well for starters if you want to proof dough at 65F, you don't have to get a cooler and put an ice cube in it. it's as easy as proofing with a moistened towel.
2ndly, if you want to have pizza for dinner but don't know the exact time of dinner, the dough will stay fresh and maintain it's integrity for a prolonged amount of time with this method. Say, you know you have company coming over but there's been a delay of about 2-3 hours. No big deal. The dough will last at that temp for the extra 3+ hours. Unlike the traditional way of proofing on the counter and depending on yeast amount used, you have a smaller window of dough usability.
I made some dough this morning, balled it and proof on the counter expecting to bake around 4-5pm. Well my wife decided she would like to go to dinner. I said no problem. I check the dough temp when i got home from work and it was 65F. We went to dinner and came back at 7pm and the dough temp was 65F. Since I just ate dinner, I decided i won't bake until maybe 8 or 9pm since I still have to use the dough tonight. No big deal, the dough will last until 8-9pm. So the dough has been proofing at room temp for 11hours now and will likely go for another 6-7hours at 65F on the counter in my kitchen that is at 75F.
Another advantage of proofing with a moist towel is that it prevents the dough balls from skinning. But that's only if the towels stay moist. if they dry out, then the dough will skin. With my new dough prepping and proofing techniques, I have been getting the smoothest doughs I've yet made with my 2 hands.