Easy slow-cooker wholemeal bread
New to baking bread? this couldn’t be easier and makes a tasty wholemeal loaf!
Makes 1 loaf
EASY SLOW-COOKER WHOLEMEAL BREAD
Bread baking isn’t something that I have ever perfected, but in our current situation it’s definitely going to be a useful skill to have. I have seen a few posts going around Facebook about slow-cooker bread baking and it’s definitely one of those things that seems to make the whole process a little easier, which always appeals to me!
Really I think you can use most bread dough recipes and bake them in the slow-cooker, but here I have just provided the recipe for a simple wholemeal loaf, and I will experiment with different recipes and different types of flour as time goes on!
This is the first time I have tried this, and the loaf came out perfectly, so I think it’s a nice safe recipe!
Now I am not a patient cook, and I decided not to rise the dough and knock it back before baking. The beauty of this is that the slow and increasing heat of the slow-cooker allowed the dough to rise, and then cook through, so there was no need for allowing it to rise before cooking it. The only downside of this is that rather than being ‘loaf shaped’ the loaf is slow-cooker shaped, as obviously it expands to fill the slow cooker. If you allowed it to rise in the mixing bowl (you usually allow it to get to double the size), then knocked it back to form the loaf shape before putting into the slow-cooker, you would get a more ‘loaf-shaped’ loaf! For me, the time-saving of just plopping the dough straight in there totally made up for the slightly oddly shaped loaf (actually it was great to slice!).
These are the steps I took to make this slow-cooker wholemeal bread:
1.Weigh out 500g flour, add 7g quick yeast, 1 tsp caster sugar and 1 tsp sal
2. Stir the dry ingredients together, and then slowly pour in 300ml warm water (a temperature that you could comfortably hold your hand under if you were running the tap) and combine it all into a dough. I use a knife to bring all of the ingredients together initially
3. Once you have made a dough that isn’t too sticky (and if it’s too dry, add a little extra warm water), bring it all together and take it out of the bowl to knead. Knead the dough for 10 minutes using the palms of your hands. (I listen to the radio whilst I do this and the time passes quickly!)
4. Line the pot of the slow-cooker with baking paper- I just scrumple it up into a ball and then pop it in and spread out
5. Insert the kneaded dough into the bottom of the slow-cooker, making sure it’s within the baking paper. Pop the lid on and bake on high for around 2 hours. This may vary depending on the size and shape of your slow-cooker. The bit the bakes the most slowly is the top of the loaf, so once this is cooked through and no longer raw you know that the bread is likely to be cooked through. Lift the bread out using the baking paper. The bottom should be crusty and the top should be springy, not squishy. (If you have a digital cooking thermometer, the middle of the loaf should be around 90C.) If the loaf isn’t ready, pop it back into the slow cooker for 15 mins and test again – it could take up to 2 hrs 30 mins.
If you fancy your loaf being a more golden brown colour, you can always pop into the oven for 10 minutes to deepen the colour and crisp the crust (at 220c).
6. Once cooked through, lift out the bread in the baking paper and flip it over- the nice browned crust will be on the underside!
There are so many different varieties of slow-cooker on the market that there might be some adjustments that need to be made to cooking time in order for your bread to cook through. Sometimes it may take a little trial and error using your own slow-cooker to work out your perfect cooking time!
Factors that can affect the way this bread bakes are:
- Size of slow-cooker (I have this 3.5 litre Tower slow-cooker)
- Heat variations by model (low in one slow-cooker may not be the same temperature as in another)
- Age of slow-cooker: an older model of slow-cooker may be less efficient than a newer model
- Check the dates on your yeast and flour! Out-of-date dry ingredients will mean that the bread will not rise as expected.
Storing slow-cooker bread
Homemade bread doesn’t last as long as shop bought bread! It’s going to be best eaten on the first day, and then stored at at room temperature in a cool dry place and in an airtight plastic bag, to last 2 -3 days.
Placing it in the fridge will not extend the life as the bread will become stale. Also keep in mind, that heat and humidity will cause the bread to become mouldy.
If you want to freeze your slow cooker bread, you can wrap it in an airtight plastic bag and it will last up to 3 weeks.