I read that it is possible to use a microwave oven to let dough rise but forgot to save the article. Could you explain how to do this? —H.T., Southampton, New York
Dough requires a warm, moist, draft-free environment to rise. By placing a cup of boiling water in a microwave oven, you can create these ideal conditions. To do this, boil 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Move the cup to the back corner of the microwave. Place dough inside the microwave, close the door and allow the dough to rise until doubled. (Do not turn on the microwave. While some authorities suggest using a low power setting to speed up the dough's rising, we do not recommend this.) Because the length of time to rise dough may be shortened, check dough after 20-30 minutes. After the dough has been shaped into loaves, this microwave method can again be used for the second rising.