This isn’t really so much a recipe as much as it is something that I’d heard of a couple of months back and had been wanting to try for a while. I ran into a couple of obstacles, I was looking to take the easy way out and find some pre-made refrigerated/frozen dough to just pop in the slow cooker and work out, but I couldn’t find any in any of the local stores, so that was out of the question. Then on one of my semi-weekly visits to Target I finally found the next best thing in a box of bread dough. It’s essentially everything you need to make a loaf, yeast included. This was what I found:
I decided to try and make my bread the ‘artisan style’, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I feel like it’s just one of those marketing catchphrases, kind of like how everything is ‘high definition’ now, but what do I know. Anyway, the directions were pretty easy to follow, put the yeast in water and stir. Add in the flour package and mix it all up.
Cover it up in plastic wrap and let it sit for two hours. At that point it should have doubled in size. The only part that wasn’t clear was how much to mix. It says something about mixing to make the dough moist, so that’s where I left it, I didn’t want to over mix the thing.
After a couple of hours the dough expanded and you can see the plastic wrap actually being pushed out by the chemical reactions going on within. I floured up the sides to make it easier to pull the dough out of the bowl (again, according to directions) and put it into a piece of parchment paper to rest for about 45 minutes.
The rest of the directions I took from Artisan Bread in Five, I set the crock pot to high and let the machine do its thing. I came back to check on it after 45 minutes just to make sure it was doing all right. The top still looked doughy, but the sides where contact was being made looked a-okay. I left it in for about another 20-25 minutes and then lifted the bread to find a nice brown crust on the bottom, the top was still a little bit on the light side, but the bread was pretty much done. Not satisfied, however, I flipped it over and left it in the crock pot to cook a little longer using just the residual heat.
After all that was said and done and the bread had cooled off it was ready for a slicing.
How’s it looking? Not too shabby, right?
I took a couple of slices and made a sandwich for lunch the next day. It was pretty good, you’d never know it was made in a crock pot unless you were told. You could also pop it in the oven/broiler for a few to brown the top. You may find it more enjoyable this way.
As far as bread is concerned, I thought it was pretty good. I like knowing that it’s homemade (mostly) and that it was fairly easy at that. If you’re at all interested in making your own bread, but it’s too hot to turn on the oven consider this as an option, especially if you have access to the pre-made stuff. No muss, no fuss, just fresh bread in about an hour. Otherwise, find a bread recipe you like, or find a box like I did, and go from there. It’s not all that hard. Seriously, if a guy like me can do it just about anyone can.
What I learned from making this:
- Whether it’s bread from a box or bread from scratch, they’re not that hard to make. There are plenty of no-knead recipes out there that anyone who knows there way around a kitchen can make on their own.
- The slow cooker has so much more functionality than I ever knew. For whatever reason, I just thought it was good for stews and soups, but everything from cakes to breads to puddings to white hot chocolate and everything in between can be made in that versatile machine sitting inside the cabinet. Give it a whirl.
I hope you learned a little something and as I see a little spike in traffic I hope you try this and let me know how it went. I’m more than willing to hear what you did with it. Share your own recipes with me, I’m always looking for something else to feed the family, we can’t have spaghetti every week. Yeesh. Until I update again.