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Feb 13, 2013

Can baking bread really be This easy?

Pinterest is an awesome tool. The one problem is that I can always find a ton of things I really want to pin and remember for later, but never really end up doing. I am working on correctly that. Today I ventured into bread making. Not only bread making, but baking it in the crock-pot. Yes, you read right, the crock-pot. How did it turn out? Pretty tasty!
I will start by providing the pin I used as my inspiration...

Now, the recipe calls for making whole wheat bread. I do not have wheat flour, I have regular unbleached flour in my house. What did I do? Just used the white flour. It worked. Also, I used an equivalent amount of instant (rapid rise) yeast instead of regular yeast, because again, that is what I have. I made sure to reference a few different websites as to how to convert dry yeast to instant yeast before proceeding.
Otherwise, I followed the recipe using my Kitchen-aide mixer. After "kneading" my bread for a few minutes, I put it in my crock-pot, which I had lined with parchment paper to help with removing the bread. Line the lid with paper towels and let it go. When I thought it might be getting close to done, I would check it every 30 minutes or so until I liked the level of brown creeping up the edges of the loaf. 
Please note, that when baking bread in a crock, the top will not brown. When I thought the load was ready to be pulled out of the crock, I fired up the broiler. Then I a transferred the bread, parchment and all onto a pizza tray and put it under the broiler to brown up on top. This is a tip I found while cruising the many different crock-pot bread recipes. When browned, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. 
I was going to let it sit on the rack until Hubby got home. I just couldn't do it. I did let it cool completely, but I had to cut into to see what it was like inside (hoping it wasn't a dense mess). It looked good to me, though I thought it might rise a little more, which I may let it do next time. Then I trimmed off a little slice to taste test. Yup, it's good! I have a feeling it will be eaten up tonight and maybe last to tomorrow. Who knows. 
One thing is for sure. Bread making will be happening in this house. And some of that will be happening in my crock-pot! I am thinking of those hot summer days when heating an oven is right out.

Have you ever tried making your own bread? Have you ever used a crock-pot to do it? Will you try?
Let's hear your thoughts, recipes, and ideas in the comments!
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