Most people believe the slow cooker should only be used in the winter. So when May rolls around, they give it a good wipe down and relocate it to some dark closet where it will sit for five months, unused.
Me? I believe the best time to use a slow cooker (aka CROCK POT) is during the summer. Why?
- A Slow Cooker won’t heat up your house. You are already paying a pretty penny to fight the 95 degree weather, no need to make it harder with an oven on.
- Afternoons are busy. Between shuttling back and forth to camps and the oasis of the neighborhood swimming pool, our family is NOT around the house in the afternoon.
- After the pool (or shuttling kids around), the last thing I want to do is figure out dinner. I want a cold beverage. Utilizing the slow cooker means an easier re-entry in the evening, which means a happier mama.
For the record, this Slow Cooker No Knead Peasant Bread Recipe isn’t rocket science, but it is nice way to have fresh bread to go with your summer salads, pasta dishes, grilled meats, or your wine/cheese tray. Also, peasant bread is meant to be made and eaten with a 24-hour period…so if you don’t eat it all, either toast it for breakfast or throw it away…it won’t be good the next night.
As you are making the peasant bread recipe, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- I used a 6-quart slow cooker. If you use a smaller slow cooker, your cook times may be longer.
- If you aren’t going to be around all afternoon, I’d advise using a programmable slow cooker, that way you can set it for the 1.5 to 2.5 hours and then go to warm. Or let the dough rise and then have the slow cooker kick on an hour or so after you leave.
- You are using a crock-pot, not a stone brick oven. Your bread will be done, it will taste amazing, but it will not look like you bought it from Panera.
- In my research, some people talked about taking the loaf out and browning the top in the oven with the broiler. In my opinion, that defeats the whole purpose of not heating up your house. The top of my bread was browned, so I’m not sure it’s needed, but to each their own.
Fresh bread in the summer? Yes, please.
Slow Cooker No Knead Peasant Bread Recipe
This Slow Cooker No Knead Peasant Bread Recipe lets you to have fresh bread in the summer without heating up the house. Perfect compliment to salads, pasta, grilled meat or a wine/cheese tray.
Recipe Yields: (1) One Pound Loaf
1/2 package of active dry yeast (or if you have the jar, 1.25 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer), combine flour, salt and sugar. Add yeast/water mixture. Stir until combined.
3. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled – about one hour.
4. In the mean time, line slow cooker with parchment paper.
I make a double “U”. I take one piece and line it left to right. And then take another piece and line in top to bottom. Essentially making a “cradle” for the dough. It will be easier to transfer out of the slow cooker when you are done.
5. Transfer dough to slow cooker and shape accordingly. Brush the top with melted butter. Let rise for another 45 minutes.
6. Turn slow cooker on HIGH and cook bread for approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on your slow cooker. Bread is done when the internal temperature is between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Slice and enjoy.
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