Recipes: Crockpot Bread, Master Bread Recipe

  • Updated: October 24, 2013 - 1:00 AM

Crock-Pot Bread needs a shot in the broiler to get a crusty brown finish on top, but it saves time because it rises as it cooks.

Crock-pot Bread (Fast Bread in a Slow Cooker) √

Makes 1 loaf (8 servings).

Note: Zoë François admits she had her doubts about this recipe. She worried that the slow cooker wouldn’t get hot enough, or that it would take too long or that the dough would not bake all the way through. She worried about the crust becoming brown. “Oh, how wrong we were,” she admits. The slow cooker actually takes less time than the oven because the rising time is included in the baking. This loaf does not develop a brown crust so François suggests running the bread under the broiler to finish it off. If the manufacturer of your slow cooker says the pot has to be at least partially filled with liquid, do not use this recipe. From “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.”

1 lb. (grapefruit-size portion) Master Recipe dough (recipe at right)

• All-purpose flour, for dusting

• Parchment paper, for baking

Directions

On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated Master Recipe dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Place the shaped ball on a strip of parchment paper wide enough so there is 1 inch on each side. (No need to let dough rise.)

Use the parchment as a sling and lower into a 4-quart Crock-Pot or other slow cooker (keep the parchment in the slow cooker). Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and do not leave the slow cooker unattended.

Turn the temperature to high and put on the cover.

Bake for 1 hour (this will depend on your slow cooker; you may need to increase or decrease the time). To check for doneness, it should feel firm when you gently poke the top of the loaf.

The bottom crust should be nice and crisp, the top of the loaf will be quite soft. For a darker, crisper crust, remove the parchment paper and place the bread under the broiler for 5 minutes or until it is the color you like, with the rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 94 Fat 0 g Sodium 167 mg

Carbohydrates 20 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 5 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch.

Baguette √

Makes 1 baguette (6 servings).

Note: Traditional recipes for baguettes are high maintenance, so if you’ve done this the old fashioned way before, this new approach should be a relief. A 20-minute rest after shaping is all that is needed to create a light and airy loaf. You will need a baking stone. From “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.”

• 1/2 lb. (orange-sized portion) Master Recipe dough

• All-purpose flour, for dusting

• Whole-wheat flour or parchment paper, for the pizza peel

Directions

Preheat a baking stone near the middle of the oven to 450 degrees (for 20 to 30 minutes), with an empty broiler tray on any shelf that won’t interfere with rising bread.

Dust surface of the refrigerated Master Recipe dough with flour and cut off a 1/2-pound (orange-size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Once it’s cohesive, begin to stretch and elongate the dough, dusting with additional flour as necessary. You may find it helpful to roll it back and forth with your hands on a flour-dusted surface. Form a cylinder about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and about 14 inches long. Place loaf on a pizza peel covered with whole wheat flour or parchment paper and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

After dough has rested, paint loaf with water, using a pastry brush. Slash loaf with longitudinal cuts that move diagonally across the loaf, using a serrated bread knife (see photo above).

Slide loaf directly onto hot stone. Pour 1 cup hot water into broiler tray and quickly close oven door. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm to the touch. Cool on a rack before cutting or eating.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 67 Fat 0 g Sodium 110 mg

Carbohydrates 14 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 3 mg

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ bread/starch.

Master Recipe √

Makes 4 loaves, slightly less than 1 lb. each.

Note: The recipe is easily doubled or halved. Use the dough in 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) portions over the next 14 days.

• 3 c. lukewarm water

• 1 tbsp. granulated yeast

• 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt

• 6 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Directions

  • related content

  • Boules, like other recipes from “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day,” start with this “master recipe.” Boules were also featured on the book’s cover.

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