Making Crock Pot Bread was a spur-of-the-moment decision yesterday. After preparing some bread dough, I was all set to work with it, even if I wasn’t sure what to make. Perhaps a simple bread loaf? But my crock pot was calling to me. Bread in a crock pot? That sounds like the idea of an actual crackpot. All bets were off until I read this. It was possible, but would it taste good? I was ready to wimp out trying this method.
However, I realized that staying at home under community quarantine was a good time for more baking experiments (subject to the availability of ingredients). After all, there was a year (2014) when all I did was bake after dinner practically every other day! I probably needed intervention for baking so much. Cranberry Nut Bread was my first baking experiment, followed by other breads like Crusty White Sandwich Loaf, Boule, Couronne, Ciabatta, Batard, Buttermilk Bread, Vermont Cheddar Bread, Soft American-Style White Bread, Pandesal, Light Whole Wheat Bread, Focaccia, Brioche Loaf, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, Soft Dinner Rolls, even Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls. I also baked some cakes, cookies, quiches, pies, etcetera but I was focused on bread. Like all experiments, there were successes and fails. So what’s another bread baking experiment? Go for it, even if making bread in a crock pot seemed like a recipe for disaster.
So I did, even if yesterday was a particularly humid day that my bread dough ended up so sticky and wet. I couldn’t shape the darn thing into a ball. I already knew that adding more flour to it, while adding structure into the doughy mess, won’t result in good bread. It was also too late to reduce the liquid, so I tried my best to use what I had. As you can see, it’s nowhere near as smooth as other bread doughs pre-bake.
After placing my bread dough inside the pot, I turned it up on HIGH. My crock pot tended to run on the hot side, so I started checking in on the bread after 45 minutes. Overall, the bread was there for 1.5 hours. It came out looking like this.
It was like a humongous steamed siopao! My concern that it wasn’t a smooth ball didn’t matter. It became a soft bread similar to mantau, but with a crisp bottom. We could’ve eaten the bread already, but I wanted a matching crispy top crust.
I transferred the bread to my oven set at 400°F (220°C) for 10 minutes. When it was done, it looked like a serious bread to reckon with – a golden-crusted crock pot white bread. YUM!
After I took it out of the oven, it made low-key crackling sounds, especially when I placed it on the rack to cool down. It took much self-discipline for us not to slice the bread. Fresh bread is just irresistible, right?
Finally we were able to slice it. What looked like a serious bread crust really was crispy!
Now, am I going to make this bread again?
Most definitely! This surprising way of making bread resulted in a warm soft-on-the-inside homemade bread that is far too easy to devour in one sitting. For those who love a good crust on their breads, popping it in the oven for a few minutes will work wonders.
If you’ve got a crock pot and some flour, yeast, salt and water, then you should definitely try making bread this way.