The Fish tank heater is over kill, A few cups of hot or boiling water works just as well for a standard 1-2 hour rise of bread. Of if you find its too moist with that, use a spray bottle to wet the sides works just as well. I do that for the quick rise breads of about 1 hour.
Hi all, Living in the desert of Palm Springs where our humidity is usually around 15-20% I find it hard to keep my sourdough from drying out. I have tried the Oven, Microwave, box and so on and really haven't had the success I wanted. So poking around http://www.thefreshloaf.com and the internet I found for under $50 I was able to roll my own. I am pretty sure you can do it for less if you buy some of the supplies online.
Aqueon 100 Watt Fish Tank submersible heater (UPC 015905 061018 ) [$31.49]
Sterilite 56Q plastic box (UPC 073149 165916) [$5.48]
Plastic Cable Ties [$1.90]
2 - 3/8" wooden dowels [$1.78]
Sub TOTAL [$40.65]
tax 9.75% [$3.96]
I drilled two 3/8" holes on each side 4" up from the bottom and 4" from the site (that is 4 holes). Then drilled 4 more holes 4" up (towards the top) from the last holes. I cut the 3/8" wooden dowel so they stuck out about 1" from each side and used the tie wraps to hold them in place. The bottom dowels are not removable. Then cut the other dowel for the top rack making the dowels stick out a little longer, they are removable incase I'm making rolls I can use two 1/2 sheet pans or when making bread just the bottom rung will be used.
You fill the bottom up with water to about 3" or make sure you are covering the submersible heater all the way. That is all I needed, I do throw a towel on the top to keep the heat from escaping from the top.
Its simple and works. I will try to post some photos to make what I just wrote that much clearer