Friday, July 16, 2010

Bread in the Crock Pot

This week I happened upon a comment about baking bread in the crock pot.  I was intrigued.  While I didn't really have a recipe, just a basic understanding of the mechanics, I did have some bread dough in the fridge so I decided to give it a try.

I ended up doing two different loaves with slightly different methods and results.

The dough I used was from my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book.  I love this book try to keep at least one type of dough in the fridge at all times.  Sometimes I have two.

With the first loaf I let the dough rise for 30 minutes - 1 hour before putting it in the crock pot.  I preheated the crock pot with about 2 cups of water in the bottom.  I crumpled a piece of foil and placed it in the bottom.  Then I put my dough in a greased loaf pan and placed it on top of the foil.  I placed a folded dish towel over the crock and then placed the lid on top of that.  I cooked on high for 3-4 hours.  When I took the bread out the top and bottom were almost soggy, it was very moist - not at all crusty.  I turned it out on a cooling rack for a couple of hours it had dried out enough to just be soft but not soggy. The end result reminded me more of the consistency and crust as a loaf of store bought bread.  I'm sure at this point I could have put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes to crisp it up a bit.  The bread was good, just not crusty.

The second loaf I did not let rise as I figured the first hour or so in the crock would basically allow that.  I also did not put the water in the crock.  Everything else I did the same.  The result was a crustier crust and the loaf was not as tall due to the lack of rising time. 

I will definitely be using the crock pot method again, especially in the summer.  Much better than having the oven on 450 for 40 minutes or more.  When I do bake in the crock pot again, I will let the dough rise for about one hour prior to putting in the crock and I will use the no water method as I liked the crust better.

Definitely an experiment that was worth the time and effort.  Now, to get the family to eat two loaves of wheat-oat bread. 


1 comment:

Shelly said...

Cool! Thanks for trying it with two loaves and telling me about it. I have a bowl of basic recipe (whole wheat) right now... we've been making garlic knots for pasta dinners and last night a quick pizza with the dough.

But bread in the crock pot. Never would have thought of that!