Proofing ... it's oh so cold!

SourYumMum's picture

Hi y'all,

I'd love to see photos of your proofing setups ... if any.

From Bill44's flash new box, to your plastic tubs ... whatever.

I am seeking inspiration from the cold as today's bake started it's life snuggled on a hot water bottle.


179 users have voted.


giles 2006 August 5

I'd love to see photos of your proofing setups ... if any.
Nothing fancy -- just a draft free spot not too far from the heater. (Melbourne, winter.)

Haven't decided what I'll do when the heater is off but the room temperature is a bit cool for dough. Perhaps I'll just decide that if the room is too cool for dough it's too cool for me too.


SourYumMum's picture
SourYumMum 2006 August 6

Thanks Giles,

I'm a lot further north, but exposed floorboards make for a cold house!!!

I'm struggling to keep the bubbles going a bit at the moment!

My uncle rang the other day and said, "There's a lump in the bed and it isn't my wife!"

After initially thinking, "Oh no ... he's going all weird on me ...!! Gross!" he confessed that he had his bread proofing in the bed under the doona!!!

I'm keen to see some of the plastic tub setups that folks might have!


Croc 2006 August 6

last few cold days really made me mad, starter got slower and smell is not as nice as it was before, is not off smell but is not as strong and nice as it was few days ago.
i have to leave my starter for almost 24h before it expands enough and it doesn't gain its typical volume but when i baked and cooked all day yesterday i had very warm kitchen and starter was ready to go after about 4-5hours and looked great plus had nice smell.

so i'm going to make a "BOX" and have things happen in more controled way.

even my yeasted bread yesterday looked great, very nice proofing jump during 1st and 2nd prooofing and than fantastic owen lift.

SourYumMum's picture
SourYumMum 2006 August 6

Hi croc,

I've just been putting things in a plastic box with lid, hot water bottle, and if need be a pot of hot water as well.

But I've got some sort of strange cold/sinus thing at the moment and EVERYTHING smells and tastes horrible .... my starter smells like the worst blue cheese!!! At least, that's what it smells like to me. My husband says it smells fine ....


Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 6

As well as Carol, for some of you this will be the first winter where you have
been experiencing the problems of trying to bake where everything is cold, so I'll describe what I do. How you do your warming is up to you.

In my proofing box which is set at 25C I pre warm my mixing bowl and proofing bowl. Even in an airconditioned house the benchtop will be cold so I have a marble slab which I warm up and do my kneading on.
Make sure the water in your recipe is warm, but not hot enough to kill your starter.

A few good spots to keep a starter warm are:-
If you have your water heater in your laundry then the top of it is usually warm, put your starter on it and put a cardboard box over the top, this is also a good place to proof your dough.
Warm air rises up the back of your fridge, so put an insulated mat on top of your fridge near the back and put your starter there, with a box over it that overhangs the back of the fridge so the warm air will rise into it.. You will also find that the cupboard built over the fridge is fairly warm too, so try there.

lightningbolt 2006 August 6

I recently made a proofing box. I got the thermostat from a reptile store for $45. You need to wire it up, but its pretty easy, and way cheaper than $100 for a prewired setup. All up it was around $120.

SourYumMum's picture
SourYumMum 2006 August 7

Thanks lightningbolt ...

Feel free to post glamour shots of your proofing box!

My hubby's uncle reckons he can knock one up for us with the thermostat from an old airconditioner!?



rbd 2006 September 1

This is what I use

An Eski or large polystyrene box (with lid) (ask your local vege shop)
A lead with a globe socket
2 or more 15W globes (You DON'T want a globe to go while you're proofing!)
A (tea)towel
A thermometer (0 - 50C preferably)

Do some testing first BEFORE you attempt to proof in this.

Hang the globe in your box. Make SURE it will not touch the wall, or you could have a serious problem later! (Tape down the cord on the edge!)
Place the thermometer slightly raised by whatever, so it does not sit on the floor of your box.
Close the lid, then place your towel between the lid and the box.
This creates an opening through which hot air can escape. (from the globe)

By adjusting the gap between the lid and the box with the aid of the towel, you can fairly accurately control the inside temperature of the box.

If the room you're using this in experiences wide temp. variations, you will need to adjust the gap accordingly during day or night usage.

Works for me!

Hope it works for you too!


Croc 2006 August 7

i'm looking at building one too
my local pet shop will get thermostat for me tomorrow, than i got some wood in a garadge so i was going to make one up in no time but now i'm thinking that maybe i should try to make it look good as well and not just usefull as it would be in a kitchen all the time

SourYumMum's picture
SourYumMum 2006 September 2

Thanks Roland,

That's sounds good to me ... although I'm so pleased the weather is getting warmer! It's 25C on my verandah today!!!

I have got a new starter sitting on the kitchen windowsill as I've been sick for weeks and right out of the breadmaking loop. I made a plain yeasted bread yesterday - first bake in a month ... oh it was so depressing and revolting!!! Can't wait for the starter to get active again.

But I reckon I could get hubby to knock me up one of those in no time - he loves a good project!


Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 September 2

How cold is it down under? I just warm up my water from the tap! and sha-bang the stuff is alright or I just keep it in my stove on the off mode and let it hang!
We get sub zero weather in winter here too!


SourYumMum's picture
SourYumMum 2006 September 3

Hi Jeremy,

Not very cold where I am ... 2 hours north of Sydney so I guess much like the belt from LA through the Gulf, etc, but without the severe storms! An official 'average' range of 9C in winter to 25C in summer - but summer is actually much hotter than that - high 20s into the 30s. New Years Day this year was 44C where I am - which is extreme!!!

Unless one was particularly fussy, you would only use a proofing box for a few weeks during winter. For example, I have a new starter going in just the last three days of nice warm days.

I will get that CD to you soon, too - I've have had a nasty bug and not been at all well!!!!!!!! There's been no bread baking, nor anything much at all going on here!

No sub-zero temps in winter here (on the coast) but there sure is in the valley just 40 mins away (where the olive oil and wine comes from!) - they're still around 2C - 5C overnight.

I was just making plans with my brother a few hours ago to take my sons to see the snow (8 hours south) next winter!!!


Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2006 September 3

Hi Carol,
Do have a look at my site and leave us a comment as well pass the word, we have a new interview and some pics from my vacation travels in Europa! the pics are under the side named color of food with the heading summer vacation!

Hope you feel better, you didn't drink your levaind did you?No baking, that sucks!
Snow....nyuck..nyuck, I could send some pictures!


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