Baking homemade bread sounds like a great undertaking, one that is not for the faint of heart. But you’d be surprised how easy it is to make delicious, healthy bread with the help of a slow cooker, an inexpensive kitchen appliance commonly known as a Crock-Pot.
Although it’s usually more difficult to bake whole wheat bread in an oven and get it to turn out right, using the slow cooker method keeps the inside of the bread moist while the crust develops a nice, crisp consistency. Try these three recipes and experiment with some ideas of your own:
Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Bread Recipes
1. Basic wheat bread
While I call this the “basic” wheat bread, don’t confuse the word “basic” with bland or boring. In addition to the whole wheat flour, the flavor of this bread is kicked up a notch with oatmeal and honey.
- 1 tablespoon of yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup of hot skim milk
- 1/3 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup flaxseed
- 2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for kneading
- Turn your slow cooker on high heat.
- Look for an oven-safe medium bowl or coffee can that fits easily in your slow cooker. Grease the inside of this container or can with olive oil or cooking spray.
- In a separate bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, then add milk, oatmeal, salt, oil, honey, egg, and flaxseed. Mix well. Finally, add the flour and mix again. The consistency of the dough is likely to be very sticky, so you’ll want to use extra flour liberally to help reduce the mess.
- Place additional flour on your counter or other flat surface and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead the dough for about five minutes or until smooth, adding flour as needed.
- Transfer the dough to your greased bowl or coffee can. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of your slow cooker and pour 1/2 to 1 cup of water into the pot. Place your foil covered bowl on the trivet and place the slow cooker lid on top.
- Allow the bread to cook for three hours. The crust must be firm and dry. If you have an internal thermometer, you can insert it into the center of the bread to check if it is done. Most bread is made at about 190 degrees.
- Use oven mitts to remove the bowl from the slow cooker, then use a knife to loosen the bread from the bowl. Turn the container upside down so the bread pops out.
Meal Idea :
Try making this cheesy whole grain bread next to a steaming bowl of chili or a plate of spaghetti. If you feel like getting creative, cut the bread into wedges, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic before covering and placing overnight. The next day, bake them in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and layer them as fresh homemade croutons on top of a salad.
2. Pumpkin bread
This sweet and smooth treat is packed with good vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and E and iron, not to mention the extra fiber found in whole wheat flour.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, sifted (you can use 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat, if you like)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Turn the slow cooker on high heat. Grease a bread pan, bowl, or coffee can that fits inside the slow cooker.
- Mix the oil and honey in a separate bowl. Add the beaten eggs and pumpkin, mixing well.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing until smooth.
- Transfer the dough to the greased bowl or pan. Place a trivet in the bottom of your slow cooker and pour 1/2 to 1 cup of water on top. The water helps keep the bread moist.
- Place the greased bowl or pan on top of the trivet and cover the pan with foil, placing the slow cooker lid on top of the slow cooker.
- Bake for about three hours before removing the pan from the slow cooker and enjoying the pumpkin bread. Use a fork or utensil to loosen the bread from the pan and turn it upside down, or simply cut it out of the pan to serve.
Enjoy this pumpkin bread for lunch by brushing two slices with almond butter and sprinkling with dried cranberries.
3. Apple Cinnamon Bread
Enjoy this moist Apple Cinnamon Bread for breakfast or dessert—your whole family will appreciate its decadent flavor, while you’ll love the fact that it’s packed with antioxidants and fiber.
- 1/2 cup 100% apple juice
- 5 medium apples, peeled and cored
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Turn the slow cooker on high heat. Grease a skillet or coffee can that hides inside the slow cooker.
- Combine all ingredients except apples, stirring well.
- Cut the apples into small pieces and add to the mixture, keep stirring.
- Pour batter into greased pan and cover with foil.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour 1/2 to 1 cup of water on top.
- Place the pan with the mixture on top of the trivet and cover the slow cooker with its lid.
- Cook three to five hours, checking regularly. The crust of the bread should be firm, not sticky, especially towards the center of the bread. You want the center of the dough to fit snug, so until that’s done, continue to monitor the process of the bread. You can do this by inserting a fork into the center of the bread. When the bread is done, the fork should come out clean, rather than covered in crumbs like a muffin.
- When the center has set, remove the pan from the slow cooker and loosen the bread from the pan.
Meal Idea :
For an after-dinner dessert, top a slice of apple bread with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Serve alongside gourmet coffee for an added kick.
Until I found a slow cooker bread recipe that I liked, I had never considered taking the time to bake my own bread. That said, the basic whole wheat bread recipe was so popular with my family that baking has become a regular part of my weekly routine. While it does take a bit of time and planning, the result is delicious and well worth the effort.
Have you ever made bread in a slow cooker?