A baking proofer oven is a type of equipment that combines an oven and a proofer cabinet in a single unit. Proofing is an essential step of making baked goods, and this stage of the process necessitates very specific temperature and humidity settings, which proofers excel at.
The proofer cabinet provides the dough with the proper environment to rise, and the oven bakes it. This saves space in the kitchen and allows the operator to quickly move the dough from the proofer to the oven. Failing to properly proof your dough can have an adverse effect on the crumb, crust, and overall appearance of the finished product. That is why professional bakers place such a high value on this process and require a baking proofer oven.
How Does A Baking Proofer Oven Work?
Proofing is the rising process of the dough, which is required for the baked goods to be airy, puffy, and light. And in a baking proofer oven, the proofer cabinet part is designed to provide a warm, humid environment that promotes yeast growth in the dough, causing the dough to rise, and a convection oven part bakes the goods that can come in various sizes.
The proofer cabinet can be programmed to a specific temperature and humidity level, which aids in controlling the proofing process and ensuring consistent results. And the convection oven uses hot air circulation to bake the products. The circulating air ensures the products are baked evenly in multiple pans without a need to remove or rotate the pans. Combining these two pieces of equipment into a single unit will save valuable kitchen space, which is always beneficial.
Main Considerations Before Purchasing A Baking Proofer Oven
Proofer baking ovens are essential for bakeries or restaurants with baked goods on their menu or making their own bread. These convenient units come in different sizes and features and with varying types of ovens.
1. Gas or Electric
Baking proofer ovens are available in gas and electric versions to serve any commercial kitchen’s power supply. Electric units will be simpler to install because they only require a proper electrical connection. Gas units will require proper gas lines and gas connections to function properly. The best one for your business depends on which power supply you can access better.
2. Standard Or Convection Heating
The oven may come as a standard or convection oven. Standard ovens use direct heat for baking the food, so the product needs to be rotated while baking for even results. A convection oven uses a fan that circulates hot air through the oven, eliminating the need to rotate the pans and providing even baking. Also, some ovens feature a holding mode that keeps the product warm until serving after baking.
3. Rack Or Deck Oven
Baking proofer ovens may come with racks or as a deck oven. The oven’s shape affects the heat distribution, and your choice will be determined by how you intend to use your oven. A deck oven’s stone or metal cooking surface provides a crispy crust by absorbing the heat and directing it into the baking product. Many baking proofer ovens with decks allow you to control the temperature of each deck individually, allowing you to bake multiple types of bread in a single batch.
If you plan to do the majority of your baking in pans, a baking proofer oven with racks is a better option. You can adjust the racks to various sizes for different products, and their perforated design allows the air to circulate for even heating.
4. Temperature And Humidity
Whether the baking proofer oven is powered by gas or electricity, the temperature will be kept at the ideal range for proofing, between 75°F and 85°F.
Humidity is another essential point in the dough-proofing process. A proofer cabinet must maintain an average humidity of 85 percent, mostly using either a water pan or steam injection system to achieve the humidity level. Water pans require manual filling, while steam injection systems need to be connected to a water line.
5. Size And Capacity
As baking proofer ovens mostly come as a vertical unit with the oven and proofer cabinet stacked on each other, they may come side by side. They are available in single or double decks and have different depth options. The deep-depth components provide even airflow around the pans and produce even results.
The average capacity for small-sized ovens is between 3-6 full-size pans, and double-deck large-sized ovens have a 12 to 14 full-sized pan capacity.
6. Door Type
The proofer cabinets have various door options. Solid doors have better insulation, but since they are not see-through, the staff will need to open the door to check the dough, which will make the dough deflate, neutralizing the insulating effect of solid doors.
Polycarbonate doors are less insulating, allowing operators to see and control the product inside the unit. When we come to efficiency, glass doors are great. Glass doors provide good insulation and enable staff to see inside the unit. Additional features such as an interior light that will provide better sight or reversible doors will make the unit more convenient and effective.
Some baking proofer oven models feature special features to make the equipment more convenient and the process easier.
Programmable Menu and Timers: programmable menus in both the proofer and oven make operating a baking proofer oven much easier. A variety of recipes with presets set the ideal cooking and proofing times and temperatures, ensuring consistent results. The oven can be adjusted to automatically inject humidity by controlling the humidity level.
Bake & Hold Feature: in some ovens, when the baking is done, the oven will switch to holding mode, which keeps the baked good at a lower serving temperature until serving.
Split Doors: They do not have to swing open as far as a one-piece door would, making them ideal for small kitchens and narrow walkways.
Benefits Of Using Baking Proofer Oven
Consistency: The insulated cabinet of baking proofer ovens ensures the dough proofs evenly and well enough every time by providing consistent temperature and humidity levels.
Speed & Capacity: The proofing process is one essential step in making bread or baked goods and needs to be given time and importance. A baking proofer oven will make the process much easier and faster, which is beneficial for bakeries that produce large amounts of bread daily. It also removes the need to move the dough from place to place by having the oven next to it. The various sizes allow for choosing the right one depending on the required capacity.
Controllability: baking proofer ovens provide the controllability of the product by changing the humidity and temperature levels for the desired crispiness and texture for different food items.
Baking proofer ovens are a great efficiency for bakeries and operations with baked products on their menu. They provide ideally and consistently proofed doughs in a little amount of time by setting a specific temperature and humidity to activate the yeast inside the dough and saving great kitchen space with the compact footprint of an oven and a proofer stacked. This combined unit will take over most of the bread-making process by itself.