I know what you’re thinking: Bread in the slow cooker? No way. Believe it or not, making homemade bread in the slow cooker is possible. All you need is a little ingenuity, a few basic tips and tricks, and of course flour, yeast, and water.
2 large loaves
- Blend water, yeast, sugar, salt, and water in a standing mixer. Let stand in a warm spot until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, using the paddle attachment with your mixer (set it on low to prevent flour from spilling). Add in the olive oil, rosemary, black pepper, and garlic cloves and mix in. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 7-10 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary. Your dough is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Oil a large bowl and scrape the dough inside the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise for one hour. Punch dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into two rounds. Score the top of one piece of dough with a very sharp knife. Place dough onto a large piece of parchment paper dusted with a bit of cornmeal and lift the parchment carrying the dough and place it inside the slow cooker, making sure the parchment goes up the sides of the slow cooker. Make sure the dough is in the center of the slow cooker so it has room for additional rising. You may freeze the extra dough ball or use it for a second batch.
- Place several paper towels over the top of the slow cooker and then cover them with the lid. Turn the slow cooker to high. Check dough after one hour. Your bread will cook in 1 to 3 hours depending on your slow cooker and the size of your bread loaf. Check for doneness by gently pressing the top of the bread. If it’s firm and not soft or spongy, your bread should be done. You can use a thermometer to check for an internal temperature that should be 190-200°F as well.
- Remove bread by lifting it out of the slow cooker using the parchment paper. Brush the top of the bread with olive oil and sprinkle the top with additional coarse sea salt and rosemary. Broil bread in the oven for 5-7 minutes to create a browned crust. Let bread rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Slice the top off of a whole head of garlic. Place it on a piece of tinfoil or in a garlic roaster and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Wrap the garlic tightly in tinfoil (or cover roaster) and place in a preheated 350° oven. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the garlic begins to soften.
- Remove garlic from the oven and let it sit covered for another 20 minutes. Pop out garlic cloves and enjoy.
Recipe by Kendra Bailey Morris