Proofing equipment for the home


I am a newbie who is taking on the challenge of pizza making to satisfy a lack where I live. Already, my misshapen pies taste better than anything in town, so I am encouraged. I can see doing this weekly.

We have a very well-equipped home kitchen, but I am working out the dough process so I am making 2-3 x 1 1/2 pound doughs at a time. I have four round Cambro covered containers for the first 24 hour proofing--they are about 7 1/2" in diameter and about 1/2" high. They easily handle the height of the first day's proofing. The second day, the dough for each batch is divided and each ball is placed on a 1/2 sheet pan, where they seem to spread out from a four inch ball to touch by the end of the 24 hours, so that means they are about 8-9" in diameter. Rather than using lots of plastic wrap, today I am inverting the Cambro containers to see if that works (it may result in the dough being too high if it expands to the diameter of the container--I will post a photo). I had considered a plastic cover for the 1/2 sheet pans, but the tallest is 2", which means there is only a 2 1/2" space for the dough ball when first placed on the sheet, which is a little tight and would probably result in squishing the ball, running the risk of it sticking onto the inside of the cover.

So how do others handle this at home with only a refrigerator and not a cooler at one's disposal? Here is my makeshift setup for the second 24 hours:

Medium 2015 02 03 17.12.09

Ken K.
posted almost 3 years ago

Save 0

Ken, I'm loving your methodical process. You're asking all the right questions.

So, just to clarify: "2-3 x 1 1/2 " refers to making two or three batches of bulk-fermented dough?

My go-to method doesn't involve a bulk fermentation process. That said, there's no right or wrong answer. But, when it comes to divide dough into balls, I don't use sheets.

Instead, I put mine in BPA-free plastic bowls. Sometime ago, I got about 8 amazing Rubbermaid "Stainshield" round bowls. I can't find them any more. Recently, I've purchased "Glad Big Bowls" They come in 3-packs and are 1.41L in capacity.

To me, this is better than sheet pans, because as the dough spreads out, it's forced to be in a round shape.

Thumb raji
Raj Irukulla admin
posted almost 3 years ago


Hi, Raj. Yes, I am cursed with a rational, scientific approach to things... ;-)

Yes, I expect to be making 2-3 batches at a time of the master dough, each batch weighing about about 1 1/2 pounds. I will do that until I am comfortable with having explored some of the variables which seem to be important.

Just checked the dimensions of the Glad Big Bowls-- about 6"diameter x 3 1/4" high. They would handle a 380 gram dough without problem, I can see. My experience in removing the dough from the sheet pans that I use is that the dough sticks, and I have needed to use a dough scraper. With a 3 1/4" high rim, do you defeat the round shape created by the container because of difficulty in removing the dough, or do you, perhaps, use olive oil as a lubricant so that you can just flip the container over?

Ken K.
posted almost 3 years ago


I too have the same curse. As a result, I've tested the crap out of even the most minuscule variables. Again, you're asking the right questions.

Yes, I use a thin coating of either canola or plain/light olive oil (not extra-virgin). Start out using more than you think is necessary, then ratchet it down til you the right amount.

Extra-virgin imparts too much flavor imo. There's no right answer, but I prefer a more neutral oil.

Thumb raji
Raj Irukulla admin
posted almost 3 years ago


Here is a small dough box that should be able to fit into a home refer. Several home pizza makers or competitors when they are on the road or travel to international competitions use this kit. I haven't looked into them being BPA free. No oil should ever be needed with a dough box or sheet pan and the diagonal dough scrapers with long handles are the scrapers I recomend. Here is a link to the dough box
http://www.doughmate.com/artisankits.html

Tony Gemignani admin
posted almost 3 years ago

Thanks, Tony. I like the size of these trays. A question, though. When I look at your video on youtube and the photos in the book, your dough balls are about 4" or so (it will depend on the amount of dough, obviously). When I divide the master recipe into 2 balls and ball each, they are about 3 1/2" in diameter or so when I plunk them into a container (higher and smaller diameter if using King Arthur flour, but I am using Tony's Artisan and High Mountain Hi gluten flours, which seem to have a much softer texture when using the same master recipe). By the time I look at them again 24 hours later, they are at least 7" in diameter, so I am unclear how so many balls can be placed into one of these doughmate containers! What am I doing wrong??

- Ken   almost 3 years ago


Sign In to reply to this post