Question re: Proofing Following Overnight Refrigeration
I am a big fan of Peter Reinhart's Crust and Crumb except that many of his foundation breads require overnight retardation in the refrigerator followed by next-day warming and proofing before baking. I am finding that when I pull the dough out of the refer it takes hours and hours to warm up and proof to the point I can bake it. Part of the problem may be that in winter our house is barely 68 degrees F on a good day (thanks to my environmentally conscious wife) so everything takes forever to warm up.
The six or seven hour warm up period following refrigeration is too long for me to be able to bake regularly and still make it to my day job. Two questions: #1 - Our new(ish) electric wall oven has a "bread proofing cycle" @ 100 degrees F with a fan- can I use that cycle to speed up the process of bringing the dough from refrigerator temp to where it is ready to bake? #2 - I generally proof on half-sheet pans covered by big plastic bags and my wife the scientist is concerned that if I leave the bread dough in the plastic bags and put the entire half-sheet pan (and bag) into the oven and use the oven bread proof cycle, the plastic bags may "off gas" something bad into the bread and/or oven. But I am concerned that if I put uncovered bread dough into a 100 degree proof cycle for an hour or longer it may dry out too much.
I am experimenting right now with using the proof cycle to replace hours of waiting around, but am interested in the experience of others (and also answers to the "off gassing" question if anybody has any ideas).
Thanks for ideas or comments.