So I got a little past traditional on this experiment but I had to try it. I searching out sprouted grain bread and came across an article that a lady cooked it in a crock pot for 8 hours on low heat. I didn’t think bread in crock pots was possible, nor did it ever cross my mind. I did a little more searching and found others who had tried it, most had done it with an insert like a empty coffee can or a glass Pyrex container for 3 hours on high heat. Most said the results where just OK but I had to give it a try, since no-knead dough is a lot wetter than most doughs I thought it might work better.
One of my old doughmakers bread pans luckily fit in my large oval crock pot, it got caught on the sides of the crock pot about an 1/8 of an inch from the bottom. You wil want to keep the container from touching the bottom so it will heat more evenly, you may have to crumple up aluminum foil and place it on the bottom of your crock pot for your pan to sit on. You don’t have to use a bread pan, you could also use a pyrex glass container or other oven save container. You will want to lightly grease the container to keep the bread from sticking.
Recipe Instruction Changes:
I used my White Sandwich Loaf No-Knead Bread Recipe, except I had to change some of the recipe directions. After the overnight rise, flour and fold the dough as normal. Now, instead of letting the dough do a second rise before baking, place the dough in the greased pan inside of the crock pot. Imediately close lid and turn the crock pot to high heat, the dough will rise just fine while the crock pot heats up. Let the dough bake for 3 hours in the crock pot, remove from crock pot and let cool on a cooling rack or counter. The bread will look pail on the top but it is still done.
Makes Decent Bread
Like I said above, the top was pail and soft but the rest of the crust was nice and crisp. The loaf came out a nice shape, which surprised me. The bread tasted great but did lack in the great crust and texture that you get by baking with an oven.
I would not recommend baking your bread this way unless you:
- Want to try a fun experiment.
- Baking at the office without an oven.
- Baking at a cabin with electricity and no oven.
- Baking in a college dorm.
Can I Bake it Without a Pan?
I also tried baking the bread in the crock pot without an insert pan or container, the bread didn’t come out as well this way. It didn’t bake as consistent, the side crust was to hard, and the shape was not good. The crumb still tasted quite good but the bread over all came out below satisfactory in my opinion.