Pinterest sparked the curiosity. An Aunt fanned the flame. I accepted the challenge. Bread in a slow-cooker?? No way.
I'm almost tempted not to post this. It completely undermines my attempts to convince you all to go buy a Dutch Oven. Okay, not completely, but it doesn't help!! Because the truth is, you can make fabulous bread in your slow-cooker. It's easy, quick(ish), delicious, and a great way to bake bread without turning on the oven!! I tried a few different batches to iron out some kinks, and give you lots of tips to make it work best. This is one of those times where I simply must say: Thank goodness for Pinterest!! I never would have dreamed this was possible without it.
Oh, and you also no longer have any excuse to be afraid of homemade bread, ever again. :)
Slow-Cooker Bread (from Artisan Bread in 5)
This is a half batch, enough for 2 small loaves
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 Tb yeast
1/2-3/4 Tb kosher salt
3 1/4 cups flour
*They also have recipes for other breads that you can bake the same way*
Stir water, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl, or container with a lid. Dump in the flour and mix together into a wet, shaggy dough.
Sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough, and pull out about a 1 lb chunk (if you made a half batch, like me, it will just be half of the dough) Return the rest to the fridge.
Form a ball by tucking the sides in and under a few times, stretching the top surface of the dough ball. (They have a video of this technique here, it's important!)
Dutch Oven Artisan Bread. I like the Dutch Oven bread's crust better, so crisp and crackly, BUT I have to admit that this bread is definitely softer.