A handy, time-saving trick: Use the microwave to make yeast bread dough rise. (You still have to bake the bread in the oven, though.)
Cooking Light MARCH 2001
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel; sauté 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Cover bread dough loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave at MEDIUM-LOW (30% power) 6 minutes or until dough is completely thawed, turning dough over every 2 minutes. Let stand, covered, 3 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface; pat to a 1/2-inch thickness. Combine fennel, thyme, and pepper; sprinkle over dough. Knead 1 minute or just until fennel mixture is incorporated into dough.
Place dough in a large microwave-safe bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place bowl in microwave; place a small bowl of warm water beside large bowl. Microwave again at MEDIUM-LOW 2 minutes; let rest 3 minutes. Microwave at MEDIUM-LOW 3 minutes. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Let dough rest 9 minutes.
Pat dough into an 8-inch round; place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush with 1 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into 8 wedges.
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