Infrared Pizza Proofer?

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Cooking4Fun

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Does there exist an infrared pizza proofer? I think normal proofers might breakdown from time to time due to the humidity. But can IR do the trick if humidity is covered just from the room or maybe steamy pot below?
 

GotGarlic

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You can proof any kind of dough at room temperature or in the fridge. Not sure what you mean by a "normal proofer," or why one would break down due to humidity. Please explain.
 

Cooking4Fun

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Well this time of year it's like 40F or less for months. It takes a while before we can do anything with the dough. All we can do is take it out of the cooler.
 

dragnlaw

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and so you have a 'proofer' - specifically for proofing dough? When it does give up the ghost, why don't you just put it in the oven with the light on. That is usually sufficient. If you still think it is too cold, turn it to warm, or preheat to 100, turn it off, leave light on. and you have a new proofer.
 

GotGarlic

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I must be missing something because I really don't understand what you're trying to say. What is a "normal proofer" and why do you think humidity will break it?

As dragnlaw said, you can use your oven as a proofing box.
 

taxlady

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I don't remember for sure, but I think it was @Katie H who recommended using the microwave. I think it was microwave some water for a minute or so and then put the dough in the microwave with all that warmth and humidity left from the microwaving. No, there is no microwaving of the dough involved.
 

GotGarlic

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I don't remember for sure, but I think it was @Katie H who recommended using the microwave. I think it was microwave some water for a minute or so and then put the dough in the microwave with all that warmth and humidity left from the microwaving. No, there is no microwaving of the dough involved.
Yes, it was Katie. I've been doing that since she first mentioned it many years ago.
 

dragnlaw

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I once set my bread, in it's CI pan, on top of my toaster oven, for it's final rise. I was baking other things and after about 30 min. notice I had an amazingly huge round loaf.
I proceeded to bake in the toaster oven, without lowering the rack, duhhh
20221111_072803.jpg 20221111_072716.jpg 20221111_072751.jpg
I had to tilt the whole oven and rack to get it out. But it was still edible! LOL
 

Cooking4Fun

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and so you have a 'proofer' - specifically for proofing dough? When it does give up the ghost, why don't you just put it in the oven with the light on. That is usually sufficient. If you still think it is too cold, turn it to warm, or preheat to 100, turn it off, leave light on. and you have a new proofer.
No the pizzeria doesn't have a proofer and the boss doesn't intend to get one because they often break down in his experience (and mine from previously working at pizza hut). And the ovens are always above 500.
 

Cooking4Fun

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I am just wondering if a IR proofer unit exists? I assume the humidity of traditional proofers gets into the electrical components and shorts it or something.
 

dragnlaw

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Ahhhh, my bad, should have remembered where you worked, although our answers might have been a tad different had you reminded, LOL.
Think our answers were geared towards home cooks.
 

dcSaute

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infra-red is radiant heating. the heat energy radiates onto the surface of objects.
high probability IR heating would cook the skin of the dough to an (unacceptable) depth before the dough is warmed through, much less risen.

a local metal fabrication shop could make a "custom" proofing box:
- using 'stock' heating elements i.e. easily sourced and replaced
- all control circuitry outside of the box proper i.e. not subjected to humidity

you have three problems:
#1 - a cheap owner, that is never conducive to good business.
#2 - commercial proofing boxes (often) have lots of whiz-bangies & features, with totally integrated controls, and often 'custom' parts only available from the manufacturer.
usually total overkill for a simple box, heating element, thermostat (and maybe a fan)
#3 - making a home use proofing box is duck soup - but a homemade version of wood/insulation/etc are not going to fly in a commercial food service setting from any inspector/health regulation standpoint.

one solution: buy a used/broken/=cheep! commercial unit, have a shop modify it using simple non-solid state controls mounted outside the unit, replace heating element with a plug in standard unit... this would produce a NSF 'certified' box for cleanliness, etc - with simple purpose controls not subject to shorting out from condensation.
 

Katie H

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I don't remember for sure, but I think it was @Katie H who recommended using the microwave. I think it was microwave some water for a minute or so and then put the dough in the microwave with all that warmth and humidity left from the microwaving. No, there is no microwaving of the dough involved.
Yes, you are correct. I simply put a glass/ceramic cereal bowl full of water into the microwave and heat on HIGH for 4 minutes and leave the bowl in the closed oven to create warmth and humidity. I place my dough into the oven, along with the bowl of water. The oven will stay nice moist and cozy for at least an hour. Been doing this for years and always have stellar results regardless of the dough I use.
 

Cooking4Fun

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Jun 23, 2020
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Buffalo
infra-red is radiant heating. the heat energy radiates onto the surface of objects.
high probability IR heating would cook the skin of the dough to an (unacceptable) depth before the dough is warmed through, much less risen.

a local metal fabrication shop could make a "custom" proofing box:
- using 'stock' heating elements i.e. easily sourced and replaced
- all control circuitry outside of the box proper i.e. not subjected to humidity

you have three problems:
#1 - a cheap owner, that is never conducive to good business.
#2 - commercial proofing boxes (often) have lots of whiz-bangies & features, with totally integrated controls, and often 'custom' parts only available from the manufacturer.
usually total overkill for a simple box, heating element, thermostat (and maybe a fan)
#3 - making a home use proofing box is duck soup - but a homemade version of wood/insulation/etc are not going to fly in a commercial food service setting from any inspector/health regulation standpoint.

one solution: buy a used/broken/=cheep! commercial unit, have a shop modify it using simple non-solid state controls mounted outside the unit, replace heating element with a plug in standard unit... this would produce a NSF 'certified' box for cleanliness, etc - with simple purpose controls not subject to shorting out from condensation.
Interesting idea. Thanks.
 
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