This basic recipe I am giving you here is not hard to do and it is one that you can improvise on and embellish with your family’s nutritional needs in mind. But first, look it over and learn the basics to simple bread making (if you are not already an accomplished homemade bread maker).
Baking bread in the crock pot is a simple matter. You have tons of latitude with the process. You don’t even have to knead it! If you like to knead the bread after letting it rise, however, there is no need to stop doing that – just put it in the crockpot once it reaches its final rise, and cook on high for 3 hours.
- Ingredients will vary, based on the type of bread you're making, but these are the essentials.
- 1 package OR 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt (Not too much salt, or it'll inhibit your yeast from rising well)
- 2 - 4 tablespoons sweetener - honey, sugar, molasses, corn syrup, etc
- 2 - 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup liquid: This could be water, milk, buttermilk, or even something fancy like broth if you want to add a special flavor to your bread.
- The basic ratio is 3 cups all-purpose flour to 1 - 1 1/4 cups of liquid.
- Whole wheat flour takes about double the amount of liquid than all-purpose flour, so keep that in mind when you're formulating your recipe.
- 4 cups flour
- For whole wheat bread: Use 3 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour
- For "white" bread: Use 4 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- For rye bread: Use 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour + 1 cup rye flour
- Substitute wheat germ, rolled oats, etc in small amounts for flour as you like.
- OK, so you've got your ingredients assembled.. here's what you do.
- Step 1: Prepare your crockpot! Grease up the insert (bowl or other heatproof dish you're baking the bread in, inside the crockpot.) Place a trivet (canning jar rings work well) on the bottom of the crock pot, and add a half cup of water. Turn crock pot on high to preheat.
- Step 2: Proofing the yeast is critical! Place the yeast, warm water and sugar in a bowl and allow yeast to dissolve and start bubbling.
- Step 3: Mixing is fun! Add all the other ingredients to the yeast, holding back half the flour. Mix it for 2 minutes (lumps should be gone).
- Step 4: Kneading is good exercise! (Are you getting tired of the exclamation points yet? Sorry, I just can't stop!) Add in the rest of the flour and work it in. Your hands are most effective here. Work the dough for about 5 minutes until the ingredients are uniformly combined.
- Step 5: Let's get cooking! Place the dough into the insert, and cover it lightly with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper to keep dripping water off the baking bread dough. Set the insert onto the trivet, and put the lid on your crock pot.
- Check the bread after 2 hours to see if it bounces back to your finger's touch. Expect and plan for about 3 hours baking time, but be ready to take it out earlier in case your crockpot provides a higher heat than normal. You will know what to expect, time-wise, after your first loaf or two.
Baking in the Crock Pot
As you get familiar with baking bread in a crock pot, you will find the process of baking in a slow cooker very convenient and can convert other bread recipes to be baked in the crock pot. Quick breads like banana bread, cinnamon rolls and even dinner rolls are all possibilities on the horizon.
What do you think of baking in crock pots?