When I first heard about the slow cooker method of cooking bread I was astounded. There was no way that would work, right? No way at all… I had to try it!
I am rather happy to report that it does, indeed, work! If you want a quick (slow), hands off way to get a loaf of sandwich bread on the table then this is a brilliant method! And it is quite a versatile one too. You can try it with breadbuns, flatbread, boules, anything really. Just remember to line the crock pot as otherwise it will stick to the bottom (trust me, I’ve made these mistakes so you don’t have to!) and also remember to get the bread out of the slow cooker once it has finished cooking or you will get soggy bread due to condensation. The only other issue is the anaemic look that this bread has… it’s not quite the glorious golden crust of home made bread. A grill or a blowtorch takes care of that one though! Just lightly toast the top of your loaf until you get the desired hue.
This bread is the answer to my issues with crisp, crunchy homemade bread. I am all for a cracking crust. Really, I am… except when I’m not. You know, when you really just want some worthless white bread for a soft sandwich, or your wisdom teeth are playing up and crunch is BAD! I know that supermarket loaves are filled with horrible things, but prior to this loaf I had never managed to create a delicious, soft crust in my home cooked bread. Now, I can finally get that delightfully squishy texture in the comfort of my own home!
Makes 1 2lb loaf
500g strong bread flour
7g fast action yeast
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
300ml tepid water
– In a large mixing bowl place the flour, then on one side the yeast and the other the salt.
– Mix to combine then all and make a well in the centre.
– Add the oil and the water.
– Mix until it all comes together into a dough.
– Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
– (Alternatively, combine and knead using the dough hooks on a handheld mixer, or a stand mixer, whichever you prefer. For a truly hands off approach!)
– Shape your loaf and place in a tin (if using) or line the slow cooker. (Check before starting that your loaf tin will actually fit in the slow cooker!)
– Place the loaf in the slow cooker, pop on the lid and turn it up to high.
– Bake for 2 hours. This may well vary from slow cooker to slow cooker so check and if it’s not then just give it a bit longer. When the base sounds hollow, it’s done!