WFMW: Tips for Baking with Yeast

Wednesday February 9, 2011
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It’s been so long since I’ve participated in a Works For Me Wednesday, I decide to double up my tips today.  I can’t take credit for either of these gems, but both have been so helpful as I’ve gotten more and more practice in the world of yeast baking.

Tip #1  – Use a shower cap when covering dough to rise.

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I learned this one from the Bakers Banter blog at King Arthur Flour and it works great!  Instead of using plastic wrap to cover dough as it rests/rises, use a (clean!) shower cap.  I bought a 6 pack from the dollar store over a year ago and I’m still using the first couple of  caps.  I spray the inside of the cap with cooking spray in case the dough rises that high and afterwards, just a quick washout with soapy water and let it hang dry on my knife block.  Then I stuff it back into the back of my sandwich baggie drawer to use the next time.

Tip #2 — Use the oven and turn on the light as a warm, draft-free place for dough to rise.

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I can’t remember where I read this, but it is another gem for baking in the winter.  When dough needs to rise, it should be done in a slightly warm, non-drafty place.  We have the heat turned down during the day so the kitchen is not terribly warm if I’m trying to get bread to rise.  I put my dough in a rising bucket/container in the oven and turn on the oven light (but not the heat)!   The light from the oven provides just enough warmth that the dough rises nicely and often faster than the typical times…  I’ve learned to check my dough 15-30 minutes earlier than recipes call for to make sure it doesn’t rise too high.

These tips have been helpful to me — I am not a very experienced baker but have been having fun learning more about the art of yeast baking.   Hopefully they will help someone else too!

Find more great tips at Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival, hosted by We Are That Family.

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7 Responses to WFMW: Tips for Baking with Yeast

  1. 1
    Marissa says:

    Here’s what I do since my kitchen isn’t that warm, either:

    I will turn my oven on the lowest setting for 5-10 minutes. Then I turn it off right as I start making the dough. By the time I am done, the oven has cooled, but stays warm enough for the dough to rise!

  2. 2
    Suzi says:

    Great tip about the shower cap! I do the same as Marissa with turning the oven on low and then off – works like a charm!

  3. 3

    Would love to see this reposted at Half Baked Beauties. 😉

  4. 4
    Sweet Pea Chef says:

    Okay, this is a sign. I’ve been toying with using a friend’s dough recipe to make homemade calzones…and with these two tips, I feel like I being lead…

  5. 5
    Mel says:

    Grrrrrr-eat tips! Will start using them since I finally decided to commit to bread baking again and bought yeast yesterday…

  6. 6
    XfitDad says:

    mmmm…I love “crack bread”. No really, I’m pretty sure there’s illegal substances in the bread of which she’s taken pictures. I’m pretty anti-gluten/wheat/pasta due to insulin spikes, but man, gimme some crack bread when it comes out the oven! Pancreas, you kick in to overdrive.

  7. 7

    Love the shower cap tip! My New Year’s Resolution is to bake bread once every week this year in hopes that I’ll actually be good at it by 2012. 😛 I can use all the tips I can get!

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