I’ve been asked about baking bread in the slow cooker from start to finish and after seeing how wonderfully it rises in it, I knew a bit of research would give me the information I needed. Now here’s the AWESOME part: it works with my favorite bread recipe! *Does the kitchen happy dance!*
So here’s the recipe now made entirely in the slow cooker with vegan options of course:
- 2.5 tsp granulated yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp vital wheat gluten (rising agent)
- 1/4 honey (or sweetener of your choice)
- 2.5 Tbsp peanut oil
- 3/4 cup lukewarm almond milk
- 3/4 cup lukewarm warn
- 3 & 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
- Parchment paper
- Bowl with water to dip your hands in
- loaf pan smaller than your slow cooker; OR something to shape your loaf with; OR nothing of the sort if you don’t mid a dome of bread
- Set the slow cooker on high with enough water to barely cover the bottom. Cover and set aside.
- Fold your parchment paper into a rectangle that will fit snugly in your cooker. Set aside.
- Fill a bowl with some water (for dipping your hands) and set aside.
- If your milk and water are cold, combine them (equals 1.5 cups total) and microwave for 30 seconds.
- Mix all ingredients EXCEPT flour in a large bowl.
- Whisk briskly to incorporate the ingredients as much as possible. This takes a bit as the vital wheat gluten likes to clump. Doing this makes for a more evenly rising loaf so don’t skim on the whisking.
- With a large wooden spoon, slowly mix in the flour.
- Once you have a mixture too difficult to stir (roughly the second cup of flour), dip your hands in the bowl of water and begin kneading. Continue to knead until all the flour is added and thoroughly mixed. Keep dipping your hands as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the bowl too much.
- Then transfer the dough to the parchment paper and shape into a loaf.
- Remove the lid from the slow cooker, place the dough in the parchment within (you can use ceramic plates, shallow bowls or anything similar to help shape the dough if you don’t want it round and your loaf pan doesn’t fit in the cooker; just make sure it’s not metal or plastic. See image below).
- Cover the cooker and set it for high for three hours.
- Go watch two movies, take a stroll around the neighborhood, pick the kids up from school, knit a sock, play online, whatever.
- Come back in three hours and confirm bread is done (should be fully risen and pulling away from the sides of the parchment). If you want a loaf with a crisper exterior, you can pop it into the broiler or on the top shelf in the oven at 350 degrees till sufficiently browned/crisped.