Consultant Q&A with Tracy Taraski, manager of design services, The Bigelow Cos. Inc., Kansas City, Mo.

FE&S: What is the main purpose of a proofer cabinet?

TT: Proofers are used in baking operations for bread to rise in a carefully controlled environment. This is for operators making dough from scratch or for frozen dough that needs to be defrosted and proofed. It’s important that the atmosphere is not too hot or dry when proofing, and the cabinet can control this.

FE&S: Is there a particular type of proofer cabinet you’d recommend?

TT: A unit with moisture control is best. These resemble a reach-in refrigerator in terms of space and size.

FE&S: What are the space considerations with these units?

TT: The application and volume are key considerations. Typically, when operators are baking bread from scratch, the prep area includes a proofer cabinet located in the oven area or between the oven and prep area. It’s important to leave room for these units. Proofing cabinets can be as big as a walk-in, so space is a consideration. There also are undercounter proofers for smaller batches, but if mass production is needed, the larger size is best.

FE&S: What should operators keep in mind with accommodating pan sizes?

TT: I specify proofer cabinets with universal tray slides, so no matter what size pans are used, these will fit in
the unit.