how to save your dough when you forget to proof yeast

This post could affectionately be called “what happens when you get too cocky in the kitchen” or “one of my biggest kitchen blunders.”

When I was making my goat cheese and pear pizza the other day, I actually had the foresight to make dough ahead of time, which never happens. And I felt like a champ. No store-bought dough for me. Leisurely, I went about making my pizza dough, confident that I had allowed plenty of time for the dough to rise.

Apparently, somewhere between stroking my epicurean ego and applying for jobs, I just threw the yeast right into the mix without proofing them. A few hours later, I came back and saw the ball of dough in the same shape it was in when I left it.

When there really is no chance of hope, you have to get creative. I really didn’t think this would work.

I  pulled out my clothing steamer (a.k.a. one-click impulse buy) and gave my pizza dough a steam bath. Cover the bowl with a cloth and feed in some steam. This would probably work well with a tea kettle too.

Steamer

(How cute is the elephant logo?)

I used about a liter of water and let it steam for about 5 minutes. Half-way through, I took the dough out and gave it a few kneads to mix the yeast around.

You can hear the yeast begin to gurgle. I used that as a gauge for how long to leave the steam on. If you’re trying to rescue a bread loaf, it probably could use more steam, but I was impatient. Then I gave it some final kneading and let it sit.

dough

I only let it rest for 40 minutes. What can I say? I was hungry. But it did get bigger in size. Hopefully, you will catch your mistake faster than I did and give it a few hours to rest.

The pizza crust turned out fine and the crisis was avoided.

What about you? Do you know any tricks to fix dough when you forget to proof your yeast?

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