The secret to consistent results and irresistible flavour of your bakery goods, aside from a great team, lies in the necessity of working with the right equipment. Thus, when it comes to the essential machinery, a successful bakery can’t operate without dough mixers, divers and sheeters, ovens and display cases. One piece of equipment which is also essential for ensuring the perfect texture of the dough is the dough proofing cabinet. It is the place where the temperature and humidity levels are perfectly achieved so that you can get repeatable results all the time. There are several things you need to take into consideration before buying such a piece of equipment and here are our tips regarding what you need to pay attention to.
To begin with, the dough proofing cabinet can be found in different sizes and the best way to know which size will cater to your needs is to calculate how much bakery goods you produce during a day. If you own a small kitchen, you can go for an undercounter proofer (less than 34″) which can easily fit in the setting or 36-41″ high one which is ideal to use in smaller or low-volume operations. For medium to high-volume operations, a suitable solution is a 54-57″ high one and full height for high-volume business. In addition, the capacity goes hand in hand with the size of the proofer. Hence, the capacity is rated by how many pans they can hold. A simple rule of thumb when choosing capacity is to check whether it refers to sheet pans or food pans of varying depths.
Furthermore, the interior configuration defines what size and shape you can use and how you can load them. Therefore, there are universal slides which are fully adjustable and you can place full-size steam table pans of any depth and full-size sheet pans; fixed wire slides which can hold shallow full-size steam table pans; lip load sides which are designed for maximum holding capacity of full size sheet pans and finally, shelves, which allow you to use any shape and size pans, dishes and bowls.
Next thing to consider is the door type and door configuration. The doors of the dough proofing cabinet can be either solid or clear. The solid doors create minimal ambient heat and have the great advantage of being incredibly energy efficient, while the clear doors enable you to see what’s inside the proofer without opening the door. When it comes to the door configuration, full height doors provide instant access to the cabinet’s entire interior, while half doors (or dutch doors), open one at a time so that it can retain the heat within the cabinet.
Finally, the insulation properties and the controls are an important factor when choosing your model of a proofer. Some models come with insulated and others with uninsulated design. The uninsulated ones tend to be the cheaper alternative and are best to use in low volume operations while the insulated models have excellent heat retention and thus are cost-efficient in the long run. And regarding control, they can be manual and thermostatic. The manual control type requires a more regular monitoring, but, on the other hand, they are more economical, while the thermostatic provide more precise temperature control.