Most baking days I enjoy retarding my bread dough, feeling the slower rise results in a more complex flavor. But there are days when I don’t have enough time to take the leisurely approach. On those days, I use the rapid method for proofing my dough by using the microwave as a proofing box. This method takes about half the conventional time for proofing. Follow these steps:
- Prepare the yeast dough according to your recipe.
- Place 3 ½ cups water in a 4 cup glass container and microwave on High until boiling (about 7 minutes)
- Grease a glass bowl using 2-3 tsp. vegetable oil. Add your dough to bowl and turn the dough over to oil the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set bowl in a microwave beside the container of boiling water.
- Microwave on Low (10% Power) for 5 minutes or on Medium Low (30% Power) for 2 minutes. Do not open door. Let dough rise 20 to 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough, shape and place in non-metal baking pan. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for second rising of dough.
REF: Prepared by Patricia Redlinger, Ph.D. ISU Extension Food Science Specialist, November 1988.