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Last night, I mixed and worked some dough and put it in the fridge overnight. I didn't account for enough rise, and it rose out of the bowl and out from under the plastic wrap covering it. The edges of the dough which are exposed to the air are hard. Can I just trim this part off and still have a successful bread experience, or is this dough ruined?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would recommend cutting off the really dried out part. To try and rehydrate it would be dificult, and the rest of the dough is the proper proportions...

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I decided to do this, basically for speed. I only lost about 5% of the dough, I'd guess. We'll see how it goes -- this is my first time baking bread besides the "no-knead" recipe, which I have been underwhelmed by. – syrion Jan 4 '11 at 0:00
@syrion - if this bread doesn't come out right at first, keep trying. I was underwhelmed by some of my first real bread recipes, but that was because I needed to learn some things. – justkt Jan 4 '11 at 16:42

Try working in a little more liquid into your dough until it is a proper tackiness or slight stickiness (the exact texture will depend on your recipe). Just knead some more water in. Let the dough come to room temperature, shape, let rise, and bake.

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I think if you knead the dried out part back into your dough, and spritz in a little more water, then let it come back to room temperature, it will be rehydrate and be fine. I'm assuming it is say 5% of the dough that is dried out. If it is 25%, go ahead and cut it off.

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