Old 08-18-2009, 04:26 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default ***Wooden Dough Box***

Hi all,
I remember my father telling me that on his trip to italy they made the dough for the pizza oven in a wooden box.. Splatgirl confirmed that it used to be a standard practice. I am hoping to build one over the weekend.

1. Has any one used one ?
2. I have some hard maple on hand to make it from, think thats ok ?
3. does it need a finish on the inside ? (walnut oil is food safe)
4. I will look up dimensions but if any one has suggestions ?

I am a woodworker with a full shop so the building isnt a problem, just looking for some input from my favorite website people.

Thanks all

the pic is one I found on ebay,,, asking price $ 1199.00

Last edited by ThisOldGarageNJ; 08-16-2010 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:28 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

The question to size would be related to how much dough you want to make. Something like 14x20x8 should handle ten pounds of dough.

I have an old doughbowl from Europe and I don't think it has any finish. I think you can leave it raw. Maple would be great. I think oiling is probably a good idea to reduce water draw from the dough.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:50 PM
KiwiPete's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 108
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

In Naples in the old days they all used wooden boxes called "madia". The boxes for bulk fermentation were different from the ones they used after it had been balled up. I used a wooden 6 bottle wine gift box for my dough balls, similar to the attached pic.
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***Wooden Dough Box***-wine_cases.jpg  
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: WA /BC /ZH
Posts: 49
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

They're not used much any more in Naples. But it is traditional & helps wick a moderate amount of water from the dough ball with the main advantage that less bench flour is needed. You can expect your health inspector to hate the idea.

I think you can leave the wood unfinished & you don't need to use flour. You shouldn't use plywood unless you know that the glue doesn't have toxic stuff in it.

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Old 08-19-2009, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: minnesota, usa
Posts: 472
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

Applying what I know about cutting boards, hard maple is the primary component of many, many butcherblock and slab boards, so I think that would be fantastic.

I would reconsider the use of walnut oil on the wood, just because nut oils have a tendency to go rancid very quickly. Mineral oil is very commonly used on butcherblock food prep surfaces, with the perk that it's cheap. I use Boos Mystery oil, which costs more but one bottle has lasted me several years. Get it online.
Can't wait to see what you come up with! Pictures please!
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:37 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

hi all,
I found this info online,
Is Your Finish Food Safe

Wood finishes contain all kinds of chemicals that you would not want to put in your mouth, so you can't help but wonder: Is it safe to coat a salad bowl or a serving platter with the stuff? The answer: Any commercial finish is safe, once it has dried and cured. Here's a look at the most common concerns.

Q. Which finishes are safe for children's toys or projects that come in contact with food? A. You can use any finish that's appropriate to your project, including varnish, lacquer, shellac, and boiled linseed oil. Before putting it to use, be sure to allow for complete curing, a chemical process that takes significantly longer than drying. Some kinds of finish cure by evaporation of their solvent, and some cure by reacting with oxygen. Either way, the process continues after a film has formed on top.

Q. How long does it take various finishes to cure? A. The container label should give you general guidelines about how long to wait. For example, one salad bowl finish recommends three days of curing after the final finishing step; one brushing lacquer calls for seven days of curing before normal use. But remember that temperature, humidity, and application thickness can stretch those rules. Just to be safe, add a couple of days to any recommendation before putting the finished item to use

. How about so-called salad bowl finishes? Are they any safer for use with food? A. We looked at the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for one type of salad bowl finish and found toluene--a probable cancer hazard--along with naphtha, ethyl benzene, and cobalt, all of which can damage your health with sufficient exposure. So, these products are as safe as, but no safer than, any other cured finish.

Q. Are there other substances that will protect cutting boards and butcher blocks? A. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Products Laboratory suggests melted paraffin wax. After it soaks into the wood and dries, scrape off any surface excess with a putty knife

I think I am gonna go with the last option, The parrafin wax, I often use it in my shop for sealing end grain of logs, or sealing blocks of wood i have cut from a tree so it dries slowly. The wax slows down the moisture from escaping too rapidly and keeps it from cracking. I also use it on bowls i make on the lathe and it polishes nicely

thanks all for the info and hopeully will get to it this weekend, This forum makes it easier to decide having so many opinions and options. Pictures for sure


Last edited by ThisOldGarageNJ; 08-16-2010 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Penn Valley, Ca.
Posts: 213
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

Hey Mark, did you get around to making a proofing box? Would love to see pictures if you have.

Member WFOAMBA Wood Fired Oven Amatueur Masons Builders America
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Old 02-28-2010, 04:10 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,436
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

Hey tom,,,
Unfortunately,, that was one project that didnt get started, I do have some hard maple that would be great for it,,, maybe I will bring it back to life,,

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Old 02-28-2010, 08:14 AM
fornax hominus's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: ottawa valley canada
Posts: 127
Default Re: ***Wooden Dough Box***

I grew up in an antique store and saw a few doughboxes , but they were all huge pioneer sized for big families. I ended up with a large turned wooden doughbowl about 24in across made of poplar . I have been wiping it down with olive oil letting it sit for 15 mins then wiping off any excess, and have not had a rancidity problem .
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