Redneck, Vegan, Vegeterian

The Glory of Loaf – Slow-Cooker Bread

At first glance, this whole thing seems kind of pointless. Bread takes a long time, so you’re going to make it in the slow cooker which….takes a long time. After sifting through some recipes, apparently the difference is the amount of prep work you have to put into it. With a regular loaf of bread, you have to mix it, knead it, let it rise, punch it, let it rest, shape it, let it rise again, and then bake it. And make sure there’s not too much moisture in the air. And that it’s not too hot. Or too cold. In fact, you’d better just do all of this in a vacuum chamber at NASA or your bread will turn out totally fucked.

In the slow cooker, some of these variables are removed. The slow cooker allows you to just sort of dump it in there and go play three hours of Mario Kart (or some other shit. Halo? Is that still a thing? We don’t know video games).

Anyway, this site provides a basic overview of how and why this works and includes some general instructions. It tells you to pick whatever bread recipe you want. We went with a rosemary/olive oil bread:

Rosemary & Olive Oil Recipe

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 packet dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, chopped, divided
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, divided

You will also need:

  • Parchment paper
  • Paper towels
  • Crock Pot

Start Time: 3:15 PM

This recipe actually does tell you to allow the dough to rise prior to plopping it into the slow cooker. We discovered that we had instant rise yeast, so we didn’t bother, especially since the prior instructional site said you didn’t need to anyway. Could be an interesting experiment to try this recipe with regular yeast and not allow it to rise and see if it works.

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It tells you to dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Our instant rise yeast said we didn’t need to do that but…we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, so we figured it couldn’t hurt?

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Meanwhile, we set about chopping up the rosemary. I don’t know what sort of mutated-ass plant this thing came from, but the stalk of rosemary we had was like half a fucking pine tree – or that shit they wave around during Sukkot.

sukkot-canada

Thanks, Rabbi.

Seriously, look at this fucking thing.

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We also decided to chop up some green olives and throw them in – we used 6 total.

Because the olives were salty as shit, we decided to leave the salt out of the dough recipe and just put it on top. Don’t do that. The finished product needed salt.

Ok, next step, mix this shit together:

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Needed about 1/4c more flour:

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This recipe also doesn’t call for any kneading, which makes for a focaccia-like bread. We think it would be interesting to try something chewier next time, to see if it works as well in the slow cooker. But then you’d have to actually knead it, and we’re lazy so….yeah.

Both the recipe and the instructional site tell you to line your slow cooker with parchment paper. Skillethead clearly has some latent animosity regarding parchment paper.

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Plop.

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The recipe says, “Drape paper towels over the top of the crock pot and then place the lid on. This should capture any moisture that would sit on the lid and prevent it from dripping back onto your bread.”

We assume this is what they meant:

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Cooking start time: 3:45 PM

The recipe says not to disturb the dough too much. By about 5PM it started to smell amaaaazing, but we left it alone.

Done – 6:45 PM

The instructional site says you should check the internal temp to make sure it’s done. It felt weird to shove a meat thermometer into a loaf of bread, but it doesn’t brown on top, so you can’t tell from the color. The thermometer read 200 after 2 hours in the crock pot, so we pulled it.

Holyshit It looks like real bread! The sides even browned a bit:

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We stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the top, and then it was done:

 

Mmm…carbs.

Verdict:

Yum! Instructions were clear and helpful, finished product came out almost exactly as expected. There seem to be two main benefits to this technique:

  1. It requires a very small amount of effort, so if you’re lazy as fuck, it’s perfect.
  2. If it’s hot and gross out, you don’t have to turn on the oven.

They left theirs under the broiler a bit longer than we did, but here’s the comparison –

Theirs:

Theirs

Ours:

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Skillethead’s final words of wisdom: Make sure the water isn’t too hot, or you’ll kill the yeast. Also, lube up before anal. What what? In the butt.

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