I've been making (and experimenting a bit) with the Bittman/Sullivan St bakery no knead bread recipe. I made a batch of dough two days ago, which I intended to let rise at room temperature for 18 hours. It went to 24 and then I still wasn't ready to move on so I put the dough in the fridge to stop/slow the rise. I know that a lot of people put dough in the fridge to stop the rise, but what really is the purpose? Would any harm have come if I left the dough to rise at room temp for another 12 hours? BTW, room temperature in my house currently ranges from about 60 to 70 degrees.
Also, can I now work with the refrigerated dough right away, or do I need to let it come back to room temp?