Crock-Pot Bread, Try 3 Follow-up

by Ben N on October 26, 2012

Ok, so here’s my follow-up and thoughts on the results of my third attempt to make bread in a Crock-Pot. In a nut-shell, we’re getting closer, but aren’t quite there yet.

In my completely hands-off approach on this try, the bread rose a fair amount, and I never punched it down. Because of that, it had good loft, but really filled the crock, and ended up making a round cake shape. Nothing terribly wrong with that, but it isn’t the nice domed artisan shape that I get with the no-knead recipe in a dutch oven.

Also, had major trouble with the loaf sticking to the pot this time. On my original “melt the handles off the pot” loaf, it really wasn’t an issue at all. It wasn’t terribly bad with loaf number 2 either – except how that one over-filled the pot. Perhaps the pre-heating helps the loaf NOT stick to the pot? Anyone have any ideas on that?

We DO have parchment paper and I DO intend to use it next time I make bread. The few times I’ve used parchment paper before for baking, it’s worked great.

The other issue I’m dealing with is that the top doesn’t brown. In a crock-pot, the heating element is in the SIDES and it also heats the bottom because the whole crock eventually warms up. However, there is no heating element on the top. On loaf #1, since it was lower, I think the side heat helped toast the top a bit. That loaf was also easy enough to flip upside down and finish off the top of the loaf. You can see that while fully-baked, the top of loaf #3 isn’t very visually appealing. (The crock-pot I used has a plastic lid. The first crock-pot had a glass one. Maybe even that made a difference.)

What DID turn out really well is the overall loft and texture of the loaf. This particular recipe toasts very well and makes excellent grilled sandwiches. When the loaf was on the cutting board, since it was perfectly round, after I first went to cut it, I couldn’t resist turning it into Pac-Man for just one photo.

I DO think that pre-heating the Crock-Pot helps. I also should have punched the dough down once. I also believe that the crockery  on the Crock-Pot with the removeable liner is thicker and heavier, which means a better bake.

Perhaps for the next loaf, I’ll beg my wife to let me use her crock-pot again, punch the dough, preheat the pot, and use parchment paper. We’ll see how that one turns out!

What I could really use is other people trying out similar experiments. Why don’t you do a test loaf in a Crock-Pot and see how it turns out for you, then share your results!

-Ben

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Third Time’s the Charm – Crock Pot Bread Machine
October 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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