Last night I did… Bread!! I’ve wanted a bread machine for years but couldn’t justify the extra counter space and another appliance in the kitchen. This works perfectly and tastes so good, one less thing to buy at my weekly store!
1/2 cup of hot water
2 cups of hot milk
2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1-3 tablespoons of sugar (add more if you like your bread sweeter)
3 tablespoons active dry yeast (conservative side)
6 cups whole wheat flour (or 3 cups whole wheat and 3 cups all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Take a large bowl and stir in half a cup of warm water, 1 (or more) tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of yeast. Wait 5 minutes (no more – mine went all over the place the first time!) – it should be frothy on top. While you wait, heat 2 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.
Then add the milk and butter to the yeast mixture. Using a stand mixer, slowly add the 6 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix and knead the dough. (I used the dough hook once I had incorporated most of the flour for about 5 minutes and then kneaded by hand for another 5-7 minutes.)
Line your slow cooker with paper towels (for baking) and place it on your round ball of dough. I’ll climb into the crock pot while it heats up. Cook on high for 2 to 2.5 hours. Start checking every 7-10 minutes until the top is fluffy, but pops back up and there is no moisture on top. The bottom should be a nice brown color, as well as the sides. I put mine (just the bread) in the oven on the grill for less than 5 minutes to get a good crust on top too!
You can use a dishcloth on top if you want to prevent condensation from dripping on the bread. I haven’t tried this myself, tell me how it works!
*Use unsalted butter or adjust the extra salt added!
*Add MORE sugar if you want a sweet bread like in the shops.
*If you can’t or aren’t skilled/practical at kneading try the 50:50 ratio with whole wheat and all-purpose flour, otherwise you’ll end up with a very dense loaf.
*Make sure it’s fully cooked. My bread took two and a half hours!
Slice and enjoy as a whole grain toast or sandwich bread.