Yes, you can bake bread in crock pots! And it couldn’t be easier to do.
I have an old bread machine that does it all after you dump the ingredients into it and while a slow cooking crock pot is not that easy, it is pretty close. The time it takes to mix, knead and get the dough into the crock pot is about 15 to 20 minutes. That’s not bad!
On the downside, you may not get the crunchy hard brown crust of an oven baked bread but you will get a good quality bread that requires very little electricity compared to using an oven. Also, there is no automatic shut off when it’s done button so you have to pay close attention (at least until you get a few loaves baked and figure out your crock pot’s bread baking time. Then buy a plug in timer to automatically shut off the power.).
The crock pot method works with lots of varieties of breads and quick breads. For most bread recipes, here’s all you have to do:
Combine your ingredients, and beat them until thoroughly mixed, either with an electric mixer or a utensil such as a large wooden spoon. It should only take about 2 or 3 minutes to do this part of the job. Then, place the dough into the insert, lightly cover the top with foil or parchment paper (to keep moisture from dripping from the lid into your bread!) and place it in the crock pot. Three hours on high should yield delicious homemade bread. Yummy!
Essentials of Crock Pot Bread Baking
- You need an insert to bake the bread in that sits in the crock pot – pyrex bowl, stainless steel bowl (my choice) or, in a pinch, a metal can (I don’t like to heat up BPA can liners though). Some manufacturers make slow cooker inserts for bread making.
- Insert has to sit on top of an “something” to hold it off approximately a cup of water inside the crock pot. A stack of one or 2 screw-on canning lids works great. This also allows for good heat circulation.
- Grease the insert before adding the dough.
- Only fill the insert half full: Remember, the dough has to rise!
- Keep the crock pot lid on during the baking process.
- Bake on high heat.
- Lift the lid only to check for doneness close to the end of cooking time. You lose heat every time the lid is removed, and it can take time to recover the lost heat.
Here is a recipe I found on the Pantry Eats blog called Crockpot Honey Whole Grain Bread. The author assures us this recipe is a success every single time it is baked. I like the no kneading, no waiting on dough to rise, and I like that the recipe uses whole wheat flour. As close to a ‘mix it all up, and dump it in’ recipe for bread as you are going to find.
As the price of electricity “necessarily” rises this method of baking bread might become very popular with many homemade bread enthusiasts.