I'm always up for experimenting, and yesterday I pondered the abilities of my slow cooker to bake a loaf of bread.
I did a little reading online and read several different methods. In the end I decided to just wing it!
I have a tried and trusted bread recipe which I use at least twice a week to make the household loaf. I've adapted it over the months and I am now confident that it produces consistently great results. I decided to stick to this recipe for the slow cooker method.
While I was preparing the dough I turned the slow cooker on to heat up (on High).
I mixed the dough and kneaded as normal. However that's where the normality ended. No proofing or knocking back. I just threw it in the slow cooker, quite literally!
I sprinkled a little plain flour on the base of the pot and dropped the dough in; placed the lid on and waited.
Dough dropped into the slow cooker
I had read online that it could take anywhere from ninety minutes to five hours! In the end I opted for three hours. I actually checked the bread after about two and a half hours, but felt it was not quite ready. I used a temperature probe to make sure the inside of the bread was at 90°C (apparently the temperature at which bread is cooked).
The loaf did take a little persuasion to come out of the pot -- next time I will line it with some baking paper I think.
It comes out of the slow cooker very pale on the top. You could grill it for a few minutes; I put it in the oven for five minutes as it was already on for a cake.
The finished slow-cooked bread
Ok, it is shaped more like a rock than a loaf, but it tasted mighty fine.
Homemade bread baked in the slow cooker -- A nice crisp crust
I would happily serve this at my dinner table, especially with a cheese selection.
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