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Retarder Proving benefits

About 25 years ago, retarder provers appear in our country. An equipment that was received with rather mistrust has become an almost indispensable tool for many bakers.


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Since then, materials and technology have greatly improved, making better these chambers while retaining its original purpose. The proving chamber function is to slow down or dampen down the proving process to suit the baker needs.

The retarder prover is considered a cold store, and indeed it is, but in my opinion we have to give it a special consideration. It is not strictly a cold chamber but it is more than this. A retarder proving chamber, minimum will have a blocking stage (0 a –8ºC), a maintenance stage (from 0 to +4ºC), a purely proving stage (heat and humidity) and a “dormilon” sleepy stage (cold with humidity). So it will have 3 different cold stages and 1 proving stage. It is as if there were four cameras in one and in an interlaced process.

Although it is a rather simple operation, we must take into account a number of parameters that directly affect the process, such as: precise temperature and humidity control, air distribution, air speeds, humidity throughout the process, moisture production, etc. This number of features have made this camera a very specific product only available to manufacturers in-depth knowledgeable on bread making process.

We can now say that retarder proving has brought major benefits, that have had a direct impact on the baker life quality and on the product quality: working comfort (eliminating or reducing the hours of night work), regular product (not dependent on the weather), yeast savings, improved product quality (slow fermentation), availability of product at any time.

On the contrary, there are only some small considerations to take into account as using good quality flour and fresh mother dough (if possible), not to exceed 3% of yeast percentage, add a percentage of improver (if possible), and kneading at a temperature below 23°C.

Evidently, this type of chamber allows infinite types of schedules, depending on the temperatures, times and moisture of each phase. It is practically impossible to provide a standard program because every baker has his own dough production and must adapt their program to his type of bread. However, a number of factors must be considered in each process:

Blocking: it is the initial stage, when dough is introduced. At temperatures about 2°C or below, dough does not react. So, for this reason it is interesting that the whole piece reaches 2°C as soon as possible and to have the chamber as cold as possible when the dough is introduced so that it cool down rapidly. But blocking temperatures too low and blocking times excessively long should be avoid since that would result to end up working in a frozen dough process.

Maintenance: it is the phase between blocking and proving, as its name suggests is the intermediate stage of conservation. The temperature should be about 2°C, which hardly reacts the dough.

Fermentation: it is the heat and humidity stage, with temperatures between 22 and 28°C and humidity between 75 and 90%. It is advised, as far as possible, to avoid proving temperatures over 30°C, since it would nullify the effect of some of the advantages of the retarder proving.

Sleepy: keeps the dough once proved. Bread proving considerably slows down below 14°C, so at this stage we to try to lower at this temperature giving the necessary moisture to maintain the product. It is not recommended to hold the product for more than two hours in “sleepy / dormilón”, although it depends on the composition of the dough and on the overall process.

Indeed, depending on the production and working capacity of each bakery, there are possibilities to work with other types of chambers or following different processes.
But contrary to what some people suggest, controlled proving is one of the best solutions for the bakery and will remain so for many years.

Mr. Jordi Álvarez Industrial Engineer



GPG Técnicas de Panificación, SL ha sido beneficiaria del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional cuyo objetivo es mejorar la competitividad de las Pymes y gracias al cual ha puesto en marcha un Plan de Marketing Digital Internacional con el objetivo de mejorar su posicionamiento online en mercados exteriores durante el año 2021. Para ello ha contado con el apoyo del Programa XPANDE DIGITAL de la Cámara de Comercio de Sabadell.
Una forma de hacer Europa

GPG Técnicas de Panificación, SL ha sido beneficiaria del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional cuyo objetivo es mejorar el uso y la calidad de las tecnologías de la información y de las comunicaciones y el acceso a las mismas y gracias al que ha desarrollado una aplicación móvil para la mejora de competitividad y productividad de la empresa en diciembre 2022. Para ello ha contado con el apoyo del Programa TIC Cámaras de la Cámara de Comercio, Industria y Navegación de Sabadell.
Una manera de hacer Europa

GPG Técnicas de Panificación, SL ha sido beneficiaria del Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional cuyo objetivo es mejorar la competitividad de las Pymes y gracias al cual ha puesto en marcha un Plan de Marketing Digital Internacional con el objetivo de mejorar su posicionamiento online en mercados exteriores durante el año 2022. Para ello ha contado con el apoyo del Programa XPANDE DIGITAL de la Cámara de Comercio de Sabadell.
Una forma de hacer Europa

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