Commercial kitchens are full of equipment that allow restaurants to run efficiently. Unfortunately for some commercial kitchens, the space isn’t big enough to accommodate every piece of equipment, which means alternative equipment must be used. One alternative to a proving drawer is your oven. Keep reading to learn how you can use your oven as a proving drawer, so you can make the most of your commercial kitchen.
What is a Proving Drawer?
Depending on how long you’ve worked in the commercial food industry and what equipment you’ve worked with in the past, you may not know what a proving drawer is. A proving drawer, also called a proofing drawer or a warming drawer, is a drawer located just beneath an oven with a limited temperature range that can help proof bread before the baking process and keep dishes warm. It can also be a standalone appliance. If your commercial oven doesn’t already have a proving drawer and your kitchen doesn’t have the space to add one, you can use your oven as a proving drawer.
How Can You Use an Oven as a Proving Drawer?
The key is to use the oven without turning it on. This seems counterproductive since using an oven traditionally implies turning it on, but for proving this isn’t the case. You want the insulation of the oven, but not it’s heat.
How can you introduce heat without turning your oven on? Boiling water. Place a large container of boiling hot water in the bottom of your oven. Place whatever bread you’re trying to prove or dish you’re trying to warm on the rack above the water, ideally in the middle of the oven, and shut the door. Leave the bread in until it’s doubled in size, replenishing the water as necessary.
The oven will trap the heat coming off the boiling water to create the perfect atmosphere for your bread or dish. It’s a lower temperature than an oven could create if you turned it on, and it’s warmer than room temperature, which is ideal.
What About Proving in a Steam Oven?
While traditional ovens can’t produce the hot water and steam necessary for this low temperature proving, combination and steam ovens can. This means you can proof bread or keep dishes warm in a combination or steam oven that’s on and set to a low temperature, although only for a short amount of time. Set your steam oven to 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the bread to prove for half an hour.
Knowing how to use your oven as a proving drawer can help you proof bread and keep dishes warm without needing another appliance. If you want to add a combi commercial oven to make that proving process easier, DSL can help. We offer combination ovens in various sizes that will make a great addition to your kitchen.