My second apartment, which I lived in for a few months between graduating college and going into the Peace Corps, was a converted motel room.  There was only a kitchenette, with a two burner electric hot plate and a microwave to cook in.  I could have used a crock pot to cook with, but I didn’t own one.

I didn’t cook much in that apartment.  I mostly heated up convenience foods in the microwave.  Cheap microwave pizza, blech.

Had I but known, I could have used a crock pot to bake fresh bread.  Holly mentioned it in the comments here a few weeks ago.  Bread in the crock pot is one of those ideas that at first seemed crazy to me, but the more I thought about it, the curiouser I got.  Then I saw a pin on Pinterest about it, and then another.  It was everywhere.

One of the pins on Pinterest led to the Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes website.  Since I already have the first Artisan Bread in 5 book, I thought I’d just mix up a batch of the basic dough, use half for pizza dough, and bake the other half in my crock pot.

It was possibly the easiest bread I’ve ever made, with no kneading, then just shape and toss into the crock pot to rise/bake.  It took about an hour and fifteen minutes, longer than the hour that the website said, but reading the comments, it seems that time varies by brand and model of the crock pot used.

It was not the prettiest loaf I’ve ever made; in fact I’d go so far as to say it was in the top two for ugliness.  But it tasted okay, the same as that recipe usually does, and made good french toast.

I did use the broiler to give it a darker crust.  I did not like the pale doughy crust that the crock pot gave it.  But if you have an oven, I’m not sure exactly what the advantage of baking bread in the crock pot would be.

Looking through my crock pot recipe book, I noticed that there is one recipe in it for bread in the crock pot, which is no knead, but not the Artisan Bread in 5 no knead method.  Perhaps another recipe, for a bread that is supposed to be sandwich-style instead of “artisan”, would work better with the soft crust.DSCF3597