Making bread in my (hubby’s) slow cooker is my latest craze. I have made bread a few times before, but due to the time it takes to knead and leaving it to rise and remembering to do the next steps, it was only as a fun thing to do on a weekend. Since then I have watched numerous episodes of The Great British Bake Off and Paul Hollywood spin-offs to know how to knead and stretch dough correctly, but I still wasn’t inspired to actually do it.
Until now. So far in the slow cooker I have made two loaves of bread. The first was a wholemeal loaf. It turned out fine but went dry quite quickly. Hubby said that’s what happens with homemade bread because it doesn’t have all the preservatives in it. So if I want to make bread for my family, I’m going to need to make it about every 2-3 days.
And I want to make bread for my family. Aside from knowing what is actually in the bread, it brings me such joy to see them eating something I have made that I never really thought I would make. On Saturday our lunch was homemade toasted soldiers with boiled egg and I couldn’t help but smile as my boys tucked in!
We opted not to put a bread maker on our wedding gift list because we didn’t think we’d use it. Now I wonder if we would have. My father-in-law makes bread regularly in his bread maker, so after the success of my first loaf I called him to ask for his advice on different types of flour. After the initial shock of my being able to make bread in the slow cooker (he was excited about the prospect of trying to make rye bread in their slow cooker), he gave me advice on spelt flour, Canadian flour, and so on. So I dutifully went out and bought various types of flour.
The second loaf I made was my father-in-law’s spelt loaf (below). I made it on Sunday evening and it is yummy! When it had finished cooking and on the rack cooling, I actually skipped excitedly back to the living room to tell hubby it was done. There is a loaf of sliced bread in the freezer because no doubt a loaf will go wrong, this fad will end or I won’t have time to make bread and we’ll run out. I hope it’s not a fad and I get excited every time I successfully make a loaf of bread.
I think loaf number 3 will be a plain loaf to get us to the end of the week and loaf number 4 will be a ciabatta disaster. I bought two ciabatta/focaccia packets which were reduced to 29p each thinking I could give it a go in the slow cooker. I just have a feeling it won’t work. I’ll let you know!