Thursday, January 19, 2012
Crock Pot Bread
Slow Cooker White Bread
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water
envelope active dry yeast (1 scant tbsp)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
Start by stirring the warm water and 2 tsp of sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes. After the 10 min, stir to dissolve the yeast.
Then add the 2 c. flour, 2 tbsp sugar, oil and salt. The directions said to "beat", so I used my hand mixer, and that seemed to work okay. Basically, beat on low to moisten, and then beat for 2 minutes on high. After that, work in the remaining 1 cup of flour.
You'll need to grease the bottom of your crock pot, preferably a 3 1/2 quart size one. I'm not sure what would happen if you tried to use a bigger one. Dump the dough into the crock pot. Layer 5 paper towels between the top of the crock pot and the lid. Note that this does not say between the dough and the lid. You don't want the paper towel on top of the dough, but resting on top of the pot. Now put a wooden match or other thin object between the paper towel and the lid to allow steam to vent. I used two round toothpicks stacked on each other, and it worked just fine.
Cook on high for 2 hours, but apparently you're not supposed to open the lid for the first 1 3/4 hours. I'd recommend checking it at the 1 3/4 hour mark as I think the full two hours was almost slightly too long. One side of my loaf ended up just a touch crispier than I like my bread. When it's done, loosen the sides with a knife and turn it out to cool on a rack. I also brushed the top of it with butter because I like the taste of it, and it helps to keep the crust soft.
The only drawback, and it's more an aesthetic thing than anything else, is that the top of the bread doesn't get browned. I'm actually discovering that I like this because I always find that homemade bread crust is really crunchy, but this way, it's not. Also, you'll end up with a round loaf, but that doesn't bother me.
Here's the final product:
The taste is good, like bread. The consistency has a slight cake-like quality to it, but not so much that you feel like you're eating cake instead of bread. I found it almost a bit sweet tasting, so I think next time I would use slightly less sugar and maybe a bit more salt. I'm pretty sure you can get store-bought bread that's just as sweet, if not sweeter, than this, so it's definitely not too sweet.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the outcome, and I'm looking forward to trying the whole wheat version, as well as maybe some of the other breads/cakes that are in this book. If any of you try it, I'd love to hear what you think!