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.
Wow how interesting!! I may try that just to try it like you did…. I have just started trying no knead breads… I love them! Thanks for the great idea to try
Just came across your site and your recipe for no-knead bread made in a crockpot and wanted to report about my very successful attempt to make awesome multigrain no-knead bread in my crockpot! Like you i searched and searched for examples of no-knead bread made in a crockpot and only found a couple examples. I googled like crazy and could only find a couple of people who had made it in a crockpot and they had gotten just passable results but not fantastic. One woman who made the artisan bread in 5 min/day in her crockpot said the bottom crust was too hard but the inside was good and the top not so crunchy. The other guy who had a video on youtube was in a camping trailer and he made a batter bread in his crockpot (not the Artisan Bread) so it wasn’t exactly the same. He said it was “really good” but didn’t say if it had crunchy crust or good crumb and didn’t cut into it so you could see what it looked like inside – frankly, he didn’t look or sound like he would know what good European bread was. Nonetheless he proved you can bake some kind of bread in a crockpot.
Well i was undeterred and determined to try it since my oven is not working. Nite before last I made multigrain artisan bread in 5 minutes a day in a big plastic tub; let it sit out on my counter for 18 hrs then put it in my frig where it can be used for up to 14 days (This is sort of a hybrid between Artisan Bread and the No-knead recipes. I was hoping the longer fermentation time on the counter would give it more flavor and better crumb which is hard to develop in multigrain). After it had sat in my frig for a day I pulled out a 1lb hunk of dough, (it had incredible gluten strand development like stringy melted mozzarella!!) made a boule, dusted it with flour and oats and let it sit covered for 90min while my crockpot preheated to as hot as possible on HIGH. I also oiled the sides of the crockpot with EVOO and threw in a handful of oats to cover the bottom to prevent sticking or burning of the bottom crust then, after slashing it, put in the boule. I had read on the crockpot site that they don’t have heating elements on the bottom, just the sides, but I wanted to be doubly cautious since the lady on AB5m/d said the bottom crust got too thick and hard. Importantly, I covered the lid w/ alumninum foil so it would reflect the radiant heat back down into the TOP of the bread to crisp it up (this was my idea because she didn’t have good luck w/ getting a good crunchy crust on top – this worked like a charm!). I also covered the whole thing with a thick pillow for insulation to try to raise the temperature inside -this was because the Rival crockpot site said that they only get up to a maximum – even on “High”-of 209 degrees so that foods don’t boil away. I left it on high for 2.5 hrs – which is what the others did. I have no idea what temperature it reached . The house started smelling good! I couldn’t believe it. I had left a little “window” in the aluminum foil so I could peak in with a flashlight to check on my bread. It was so exciting to see it was actually rising and getting brown!
When the 2.5 hrs was up I stuck a thermometer in it and it was above 200 (the internal temp bread is to reach when done -next time I’m going to chk the temp at the 1.5 hr or 2hr mark. ). It was actually too hot – over 220 – But it was not burned looking – even on the bottom! It looked …well… PERFECT!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! When I thumped on the bottom it had that beautiful hollow “done” sound and the crust was THICK AND VERY CRUNCHY and CRISPY!!! I was afraid because the internal temp was too high it might be dried out inside…. but….it had a moist chewy interior with good crumb (ie; big HOLES for whole grain bread)! :))))) I couldn’t believe it! Made my day! It was yummy! Maybe it would’ve been better in the oven – I don’t know, never had it made that way yet – but so far it’s the best quality bread I’ve made in my life – like artisan bakery bread! This technique is a piece of cake. You really feel like you are cheating someone (mother nature?) by making artisan bread so easy it’s ridiculous! This would be a great way to make bread in the summer when you didn’t want to heat up your kitchen – or anytime for that matter to save energy.
Update: It’s day 3 now and… OMG…. my crockpot artisan bread is so good! The crust is still crunchy/crusty!!! Makes the most awesome crunchy toast too! I really just can’t believe it!
Here’s my recipe which contains salt. If you’e on a sodium restriction you can leave out the salt entirely or make low sodium bread as follows: 1 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp Morton’s “Lite Salt” (it’s important to have it in this ratio or else you’ll have more KCl than NaCl and more K+ will make the bread bitter)
Multigrain No-knead Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Recipe
Mix this all up in a big 6qt plastic tub/container with a spoon:
3 C White unbleached, bread flour
(I like King Arthur or Gold Medal Unbleached Unbromated Bread Flour. Bromine is an unnecessary carcinogen added to most flours in the US to “age” them – something that happens naturally to milled flour that’s allowed to rest for 2 or 3 wks before packaging – a process most big flour manufacturers in the US are too greedy to wait for. It’s important to know that Bromated flour is ILLEGAL in the EU, UK, Canada and Japan and a cancer warning must be added to it in California).
2 C whole wheat flour
1 C rye flour
1 t + 1/2 tsp activated or instant yeast
(Do not use “Rapid” yeast – it only has one rise instead of 2 and will not make good artisan bread)
3 T + 1/2 tsp Gluten
2 tsp Salt
1 T Flaxseeds (optional)
1/2 C Sunflower seeds (optional or a mixture of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame etc..)
Mix the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients below and mix with a spoon – don’t knead – just mix till everything is moistened.
3 1/2 C warm water (90- 110 F) You can substitute 1 cup of water with beer.
1 T + 1 tsp vinegar
(FYI: Vinegar – acetic acid – makes yeast happy and gluten stronger to hold gas bubbles better allowing whole grain breads rise better. It’s one of the major ingredients along with gluten in dough enhancers. It also helps with the flavor if making low/no salt bread. Don’t worry… It won’t make your bread taste sour.)
Let sit on countertop for 12-18 hrs then put in frig for up to 2 wks. Pull off chunks as needed. Be sure to let the boules rest and “wake up” for a couple of hours before you bake them.
ERRATA: Important typos in the above recipe! It should read 1TABLESPOON + 1/2 tsp yeast. And 2 c unbleached white flour and 3 cups whole wheat. I got it backwards. Sorry !
Linda Zambanini, I wonder why so much yeast? Whole wheat pizza dough only takes 1/2 teaspoon of yeast for 7 cups of flour. Have you tried it with the 1.5 tsps you originally wrote?
This is a great way to save the cool air in the house in the summertime, by sticking the crock pot outside.
You didn’t say what size crock pot you are using for your 1 lb boule. Would parchment paper work as well as olive oil/oats to prevent scorching? My crock pots reach 310F 5qt. and 330F 3qt. I measured with an infrared thermometer (harbor freight tools $10) considerably above the 209F the website says. I love the aluminum foil cover and pillow insulator ideas. Since breads normal bake at 350F to 400F, you probably achieve close to that in the smaller crock pot. I wonder why it takes 2.5 hrs? Normally, just 30-45 mins will do at 375F to 400F will do. There is a bread/cake aluminum insert available for the smaller crock pots but apparently you didn’t need that. Hmmm.