The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Slow-Cooker Bread

SlowRain's picture
SlowRain

Slow-Cooker Bread

I don't have an oven, so I've been experimenting with using my slow cooker. I combined two recipes from Flour Water Salt Yeast to make this one, Overnight White Bread & Overnight 40% Whole Wheat Bread.

My recipe was (almost 2lb):

300g white flour

200g whole-wheat flour

360g water @33°C

9.85g salt

0.4g instant yeast

I started the autolyse at 6:30pm, added the salt & yeast at 7:00, folded 3 times over the next hour and a half, then left it covered overnight (~21-22°C) until 7:30am. At 7:30, I shaped it into a pathetic boule and let it proof for 1 hour. Then I used cooking paper to lower it into the slow cooker and baked it on high for 2 hours--rotating the ceramic crock pot a quarter turn every 15 min because I have a hot spot at the back--ending at an internal temperature of 96.5°C. The top of the boule is usually quite soft, so I used some long tongs to hold it upside down over the gas burner on our stove to brown it up a bit and try to make the top somewhat crispy (I burnt a pair of oven mitts the first time I attempted this before I bought the tongs).

This boule measured 18cm in diameter and 10cm tall. It also came closer to the sides of the ceramic pot of my slow cooker as it baked, which may have assisted some in helping it rise up, and I think made for a more efficient heat transfer than my previous little 1lb boules which just sat more in the middle.

This is my best attempt yet. The taste and texture are both quite nice. Those bubbles you see in that one picture seem to be only there in that place.  The rest of the crumb was better.  I'm liking a lower-hydration recipe than some recommend because I don't think as much moisture bakes out in a slow-cooker environment like it would in an oven.

 

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I am totally impressed that you cooked this in a slow cooker and or with a hot spot to boot! Well done!

AlisonKay's picture
AlisonKay

I love the oven mitts story! Sounds like my kitchen. Bread looks good. I've experimented a bit with sourdough slow-cooker bread, without great success. It's good to read someone else experimenting.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Congratulations!    And Happy New Year!  

Last night ended the year discovering I submerged a hot pan in soapy water with my oven gloves on... instead of rubber gloves.  I had just emptied the hot pan and wanted to get it washed asap.  Lol!  Don't know if the washing improved them any, ready for a new pair for a new year.  :)

cp3o's picture
cp3o

Lovely!  Did you preheat the cooker? 

                            Chris

SlowRain's picture
SlowRain

I have tried preheating in the past, but I had a cast-iron skillet inside so that I wasn't putting cool dough onto a hot ceramic surface.  Most (all?) slow-cooker manufacturers don't recommend preheating.  I'm guessing that's because of the thermal shock when you put something cooler onto or into something hotter.  My problem is that my skillet is only good enough for a 1lb. boule, but I don't want to bake more often if I don't have to.  Doing it this way means I bake half as often.

Interestingly, preheating seemed to give the top of the bread a tiny bit of a crust.

SlowRain's picture
SlowRain

Thanks.  You'll get better results in an oven, but this is at least doable in a pinch.

SlowRain's picture
SlowRain

Just to add one more comment. I made this recipe again, but used 70% hydration (350ml) and let it rise for 45 minutes after shaping it into a boule. I baked it for 2 hours, finishing at an internal temperature of 98°C. It was my least-gummy one yet, and the crust on the bottom was very dark and tasty. I imagine 68% would be even better  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when it's done. Bread won't fall like a cake when flipped out of the pan. What you might try is when the bottom is nice and brown, flip out the bread and stuff it back into the crock pot upside down to brown it.  Think it would work?

Mini

SlowRain's picture
SlowRain

That may be possible. Coincidentally, my wife has decided she wants to cook more fish and chicken and that an oven is the best way to do this, so it looks like this may be my last bread in the slow cooker. 

NeilM's picture
NeilM

Great looking bread ! :)