Homemade bread is all the rage right now, but skillets and Dutch ovens aren't the only creative bread baking tools ̵
Slow cookers are amazingly simple appliances that make moist roasts, soups, stews and much more. Since the ceramic pot can maintain an even temperature, they are also a great container for baking. You can make shoe patches, cake and even bread in your slow cooker.
If you're a fan of brown, crusty bread, this bread baking method may not be for you. Bread baked in a slow cooker will not get a crispy top layer, but the bottom and sides will turn a nice golden brown. If you like soft-crust bread, pull out your slow cooker and bake.
Note: Any recipe works for this method. You can use a no-knead, sourdough, artisanal, white, or wheat bread recipe – no matter which.
What you need to make slow cooker bread
How to make slow cooker bread
1. Follow the directions of your bread recipe, but stop after the first phase of proofing and punching the dough. Shape the bread into a round or long shape, or whatever shape fits best in your slow cooker. Place the bread dough on a sheet of baking paper.
2. Place the dough and baking paper in the slow cooker.
3. Put the lid on and set the slow cooker on high. Bake initially for 1 to 2.5 hours. Yes, it is a long time span, but the baking time depends on the slow cooker. It is good to check the progress after 1 hour and then every 30 minutes. Do not try to lift the lid as this will cause the internal temperature to drop.
4. The bread is cooked when the internal temperature is between 190 ° F and 200 ° F. It's fine to use a meat thermometer as long as it can handle temperatures over 190 degrees. You will notice that the bread will collapse slightly. Do not be alarmed, this is normal.
5. Carefully remove the bread from the slow cooker. You will notice that bread does not have a round, convex appearance. When baking in the oven, there is a high heat burst that helps the loaves puff in domes. Since the slow cooker slowly increases the heat, you don't get that initial poof. The bread may not look as nice as it was baked in the oven, but it is just as tasty. If you really want a nice, crispy brown top, place the bread under a grill for 3 to 5 minutes when it's done.
Tips for making slow cooker bread
- The first time you bake bread in a slow cooker, there will be some trial and error. After the first loaf, you will have a better understanding of how to bake slow cooker.
- Normally bread has to rise a second time after forming. Since the slow cooker heats up gradually, a second increase is not necessary.
- Do not skip the parchment paper. It will make it much easier to lift the bread out of the jar and prevent it from sticking.
- A direct reading thermometer is the best way to determine if the bread is ready. After a few batches you will calculate the exact cooking time. But for the first loaf, you cannot judge doneness by appearance.
This story was written by Debbie Wolfe for Chowhound.