Tip: Proof Bread Dough in the Microwave

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A trick for proofing your bread dough quickly. Technically, proofing is just rising - letting the yeast do its work. But usually when proofing is referred to it is the last rise after the bread is shaped.

Yesterday we talked about cutting down the initial rise time for No-Knead Bread. Now here is a tip for cutting down that last two-hour proofing step before putting the bread in the oven. You can use your microwave...We are still playing around with this and we are curious if you've ever tried something similar.

1. After the dough has risen for the required initial rise time (in our case, 6 hours or so), cover the bowl with a very wet towel. Cover the whole thing with a dry towel and put in the microwave for 25 seconds.

2. Let rest for about five minutes.

3. Put back in the microwave for about 25 seconds again, then remove.

4. Let rest and rise for about 45 minutes. By now the two heat zaps from the microwave and moisture from the towel should have accelerated the proofing process.

We put our bread into the oven after just an hour of proofing and this microwave zappery - instead of two full hours of proofing - and the bread tasted perfect.

For those of you who use a microwave, this little trick may come in handy; we want to do more scientific testing on it too.

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