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Dough bowl?

My mom used to have this vintage looking large mixing bowl that she made dough in. It was I guess ceramic, glazed on the outside but the inside was a bit rough (that may just have been from wear). It was off white and had blue stripes around it- I think there was one or two thin stripes. I'm currently looking for it :)

Anyway, I was wondering if what you rise dough in had any correlation with the result? Mom made the most fantastic rolls/bread and I'm wondering if its just HER technique/experience, or that bowl was magic XD

What do YOU use to rise dough in? Any recommendations? I'm just curious!

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
I use large ceramic, glass, or plastic bowls - I don't think the material matters so much as the hands that make the dough :)
Dec. 21st, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
I use a metal bowl to rise my dough. Sometimes glass, but mostly metal. Ive used plastic also, in a pinch (we were making 26 loaves of bread) and they all came out the same. I wrapped them in saran wrap instead of warm moist towels, but alas, no change.
Dec. 21st, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
It shouldn't matter, so long as:

- The food contact surface of the container is non-reactive with any ingredients in the dough. (This is the difference between pricey metal kitchen tools professionally engineered for food, and the cheap stuff you can buy anywhere. In some states, restaurants must use this equipment, or risk penalty on inspection. In some cases, the wrong metal can introduce serious health risks.)

- The container, and especially the contact surface, are not dramatically warmer or cooler than the working temperature of the dough. The 'working temperature' is the range within which the yeast won't be chilled too much to work, or warm enough to be killed. The best way to do this is to condition the container to the same temperature as wherever you'll raise the dough. For me, this is the (unmarked) warm setting on my oven, well below the lowest marked temperature. (I tested this with a thermometer and found it's ideal, around 80 F.) A gas oven with a pilot light is probably also the right temperature: Just leave it in there overnight, or for a few hours or more, until you're ready to use it. I use a stand mixer with a metal bowl, and rinse the bowl in very hot water first, then let it sit a few minutes, until it's 'blood warm' -- at a temperature where it no longer feels warm or cool to me. (The purpose of using very hot water is to make sure that the interior of the metal is also warmed, so that it won't cool down too much after.)

I've always preferred raising in a large ceramic bowl, but that's just nostalgia and romance for me: there's no science I know of to specifically recommend that. I also use a large metal dutch oven sometimes, and get the same results as long as I follow the above tips.
Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
Very informative! I'm definitely a bread making newbie but room temperature affecting results, I will have to keep in mind since it's getting cold around here. I love when people explain in detail- thank you very much :)
Dec. 21st, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
Listen to Sapphorlando! With some minor caveats, it is the hands and the skill more than the bowl. What you describe was probably either ceramic, or an enameled metal bowl. My Mom had a very large round-bellied enamel pan, but I use the mixing bowl of my stand mixer. I just cut a plastic bag open to cover the dough and wrap around the dough hook.

Really all that matters is that the bowl be large enough to hold the risen dough, and finished so that it won't transfer any flavours. I dislike plastic only because I find it hard to get the oil/butter cleaned out well enough.
Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
Good point about the oil/butter and plastic bowls! I'm currently shopping for a large mixing bowl, I think the ones I have are too small for my task I have in mind. I'm probably going to go ceramic just for nostalgia :)
Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:45 am (UTC)
If you go ceramic - buy it new. Used ones, like from a thrift shop, can be more economical and more interesting but they could also have some nasty things in the glazes depending on where and when it was manufactured.
Dec. 21st, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
I think it's definitely the skill of the baker and the temperature of the room it's in. (I live by saltwater and sometimes in the winter, the wind makes my apartment too cold for the bread to rise properly unless I turn the oven on low and set the bowl on top of the stove).

My mum uses plastic (her bread bowl was originally a big popcorn bowl from a video rental place) but like someone else noted, getting butter/oil off plastic is annoying. One of my cousins uses an old ceramic bowl, and I use a big stainless steel one.
Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:18 am (UTC)
Interesting. How do you know it doesn't rise properly? Does it just stay small, or come out wrong?
Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:08 am (UTC)
Depending on how cold it is, either a: the rise is much smaller than usual or b: it doesn't rise at all.
Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
It's more technique than bowl. I have had the best results by putting a bowl or pan in your oven on a rack on the lowest position, and another rack above it. Fill the lower bowl with boiling water, then place your dough bowl on the rack above and close the oven. You don't turn on the oven, you are using the steam, the oven just keeps it in. It maintains an even moist heat and the bread rises beautifully.

This may not work as well in a gas oven because it's vented. If the vent is on the door, sometimes you can stuff a dish towel in to keep the steam in.
Dec. 22nd, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
ETA: My sister has a gas oven and says she has had good results from putting her dough bowl and a pot of boiling water in an empty dishwasher. Again, it's just moisture proof place to hold in the steam and keep out drafts.

Edited at 2012-12-22 01:48 am (UTC)
Dec. 23rd, 2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
I do a version of this with my microwave. I boil a dish of water in the microwave and then pop the bread in to rise under no power. It keeps it warm and moist and gives me a great rise every time.
Dec. 22nd, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
These days I use a large, clear glass flower pot. But my bread is the same no matter what I make it in.
Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:14 am (UTC)
when you proof bread it should rise in an area that is in the high to mid 80s. If you have an oven with a pilot light put it in there with the door cracked open if you dont have one you can still use the oven but put a pan of hot water on the floor of the oven.

If you need the oven you can do what she did some times she would put down her biggest cutting board, and put the bowl at one end and a rolled up heating pad on the other side turned on low (perhaps 2-3 inches between never touching)and then draped the bread cloth over both, she would reach under and give the bowl a quarter turn every ten or so mins with out lifting the cloth.

Edited at 2012-12-22 02:15 am (UTC)
Dec. 22nd, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
I use an inexpensive metal mixing bowl, rubbed with a bit of veg. oil, a large bed sheet that was converted to a bread/pastry cover by my mom years ago and the microwave.

I fill a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup with water, bring it to the boil in the microwave and then put my wrapped bowl with the dough inside the microwave and close the door. An hour later and I have risen dough. The residual heat from the water is trapped in the microwave and creates a perfect proofing box.

Edited at 2012-12-22 03:47 am (UTC)
Dec. 22nd, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
Glass is the best because you could see bubbles in the dough and know its state better.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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