With all the runs on stores for things like bread, knowing how to make things yourself is a very beneficial skill. I love bread. In pretty much any form, it is one of my favorites. I do not eat a lot of it because gluten and lupus are not friends, but even the smell of fresh bread makes me happy. But last week it was 80°F here in Coastal North Carolina and I did not want to heat up the house with the oven even to make bread. I started looking around the internet and found a few recipes for bread in the slow cooker. I have baked things like pizza in the slow cooker, so I figured why not give it a try. It was wonderful. The house smelled like fresh bread. The bread tasted great. We didn’t heat the house up.
Here is the recipe I came up with for slow cooker bread. It is based on other baking I’ve done and several recipes I viewed online.
- 1 TBS dry active yeast
- 1 Cup warm water 105°F (any hotter will kill the yeast)
- 1 TBS Honey
- 2 TBS Sugar, separated
- 2 ¾ Cups bread flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
- 1 TSP Salt
- 2 TBS Olive Oil
- Parchment paper
- Paper towels
- Mix 1 TBS sugar and 1 TBS honey in the warm water until dissolved in a glass bowl (I use a large measuring cup). Add 1 TBS yeast and stir with a non-metal spoon. Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes (at least) for foam to develop. If foam doesn’t form, the bread won’t rise.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and the other 1 TBS sugar. Whisk until well mixed. This can be done on your stand mixer
- Add yeast mixture and olive oil and stir together on the mixer or with a wooden spoon.
- Knead dough for at least 5 minutes. This can be done with the dough hook on your stand mixer or by hand. You need to get the full 5 minutes in, if not a bit more.
- Dough should be stretchy, not too sticky, and form a tight ball. If dough is too sticky, knead for an additional 1-2 minutes. You can add more flour, 1 TBS at a time, but that should be a last resort.
- Line slow cooker with parchment paper. Place dough ball in the center.
- Place paper towels on top, between the crock and the lid. These will catch the condensation that naturally happens in a slow cooker. That water would ruin the bread, making it mushy and not giving you a good crust.
- Cook on high for 1 ½ hours, or until the bottom and sides are browned. You can peak under the bread by just lifting it up. You can also temp the bread. It should be around 200°F to be done.
- If you prefer a darker, crustier bread, you can put it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. We did not do this. The picture above is straight out of the slow cooker.
PRO TIP: We put the slow cooker on an outlet we can control from our home security and automation app. I was able to turn on the slow cooker to bake our bread while we were social distancing at the beach!