Retarder proofer trouble for overnight donuts

Joined Jan 15, 2022
Hi guys,

I own/ manage a small vegan donut shop and recently purchased a Everlast retarder proofer. The idea being, that it would help us meet demand more efficiently by letting the first batch of donuts proof over a 18hour period the day before so that as soon as we arrive at the kitchen we can start frying.

Now normally we have no issue when we make the dough/ cut it/ proof it etc. all on the moring of. We get nice fluffy donuts with a even pale ring. In a nutshell, once cut and placed in the proofer, they proof for 50mins at 36degs. celcius and 85% humitidy. DDT is between 29-32 degs prior to cutting, depending on size of the batch

So the problem we are having is converting this into a overnight process where once we finish the current days work, we then put together a batch for the following morning which equates to roughly 18hours in the proofer at the folowing settings;

Stage 1- Proofer goes into refrigeration mode at 3 degs celcius. There is no option to have humidity in referigeration mode. So what we do is once donuts are cut and placed on trays we lightly cover in cling wrap which has made a massive difference in stopping them drying out at that temperature.

Stage 2- heating up from 3degs to 36degs over a period of 30mins at 70% humidity

Stage 3- (Final) 36degs at 85% humidity for 50mins

The above has been a bit of a hit and miss and we are still trying to tweak it. Strangely some donuts in the same batch on the same tray come out fine, but others wont rise once in the fryer and are tough and slightly raw in the center. Others rise on one side of the donut then fall flat on the other......

Any suggestions? or does anyone know of a basic template to start with when using a retarder proofer for 18+hours for yeast raised donuts??

Thank you, any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated :)
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Is the overnight proofing really necessary? Otherwise I'll suggest in Stage 2 leaving them to heat up for an hour before final proofing, instead of 30 minutes.
Without being technical, you are essentially trying to bring them back to where they would have been if you had done them fresh. So I would think they need a bit more time to recover from the overnight refrigeration.
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