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Raising Bread Dough and Yeast
Nothing beats the taste of homemade bread, but waiting for the dough to rise can take time. Especially if your recipe calls for the dough to rise not once, but twice. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours if the bread is allowed to rise in a normal kitchen atmosphere. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can be utilized to make the dough rise faster.
Fill a shallow bowl with very hot to boiling water. Set the bowl on the lower rack of the oven. Cover the bread dough with a clean dishtowel and place on the top rack of the oven. Close the door of the oven, but do not turn the oven on.
Place the covered dough bowl next to a heat source, such as a radiator or wood stove.
Place the covered dough bowl on a heating pad set to "low."
Pre-heat an electric oven to the lowest temperature setting available. Turn off the oven and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Place the covered bowl of dough into the oven to rise.
Pour boiling water into the bowl you will be using for the bread dough. Allow the bowl to heat for 2 to 3 minutes, then dump the water and dry before adding the dough. Cover with a clean dishcloth.
Words to the Wise:
If a clean dishtowel isn't available, you can use plastic wrap. Cover the bowl loosely with the wrap to allow the bread to rise fully.
If you allow the dough to rise a second time before shaping it into loaves, the bread will have a finer texture.
You can also allow dough to rise in the refrigerator overnight. This is the slowest process, but will result in risen dough by morning.