A location with a temperature of 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit provides an optimum environment for bread dough to rise. Unless you live in a tropical paradise, it's unlikely you heat your house to those temperatures during the winter months, so dough may rise more slowly than you'd like if you leave it at room temperature. Your oven provides a draft-free environment where you can control the temperature to make your dough rise more quickly.
Things You'll Need
Large oven-safe bowl
Oil or nonstick spray
Plastic wrap or kitchen towel
Move an oven rack to the center of your oven and preheat the oven to its lowest temperature. The best time to do this is after you have mixed the dough, but before you begin kneading it.
Oil a large oven-safe bowl or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. After kneading the dough, place it in the bowl and turn the dough to cover it with oil on all sides.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Turn the oven off and place the bowl of dough on the center oven rack. Close the oven door.
Check the dough periodically beginning about halfway through the recommended rising time, as it may rise more quickly in the oven. Remove the dough from the oven once it has doubled in size.
Perform the same procedure for the second rise, but first shape the dough and place it in the pan it will be baked in. Remove the dough from the oven about 15 minutes before the rise is complete and set it on the counter to finish rising while you preheat the oven to the baking temperature.
If your dough only requires one rise, shape it and place it in the baking pan before the single rise. Remove the dough from the oven about 15 minutes before it finishes rising so you can preheat the oven.
If you have a gas oven, try turning on the pilot light instead of preheating the oven to achieve the right rising temperature.