In the off-season, use a seed-starting mat to add heat to your rising bread dough.
Photo By Fotolia/Monropic
In the interest of energy conservation, we keep our house temperature fairly cool throughout the winter (about 62 degrees Fahrenheit). This has made some of my bread-making endeavors troublesome, as the ambient temperature is too low to achieve a good rise in a reasonable amount of time. I no longer have a gas oven, so raising the bread with the pilot light warmth is not an option.
It occurred to me that I could use a seed-starting mat to set my rising bread on. Now that my bread is rising much more quickly, I can get the baking done without waiting around all day, and I’ve found a good use for the seed mat, which sits unused until seed-starting season.