Crock Pot Diaries: Rosemary + Red Pepper Olive Oil Bread.

bread10

One of the things I love the most about the start of fall is that I finally get to break out my trusty crock pot and cook all my favorite soups! But when I chatted with my godsister earlier today and found out that she was baking bread in her crock pot, my mind was blown. Baking? Bread? In a crock pot? Oh man. I had to make this happen.

After perusing the internet for a straightforward recipe (this page from the kitchn is a good primer to crock pot bread baking), I decided to try out this rosemary olive oil crock pot bread recipe from the Kitchen Kapers blog, Host the Toast. The recipe is also noted after the jump, along with a few additional comments and tweaks.

Rosemary+Red Pepper Olive Oil Crock Pot Bread Recipe (adapted from Host the Toast)

Ingredients:

  • 3½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 packet dry active yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 1¼ cups warm water
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped, divided into 2 batches
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, divided into 2 batches

Optional. I added 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to this recipe, hence the Rosemary+Red Pepper in the title.

bread1 bread2

Other Supplies and Tools:

  • Parchment paper
  • Kitchen towel
  • Paper towels
  • Instant read thermometer
  • A Crock Pot, of course! (the slow cooker I used for this recipe had a capacity of 5 quarts)

crockpot

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes. The mixture should become bubbly:
bread3Stir in half of the salt (1/2 teaspoon), half of the rosemary (2 tablespoons), the 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and all of the flour. [Note: If you’re going to add in the red pepper flakes, do it here.] Mix until fully combined. Work it together with your hands, if necessary:

bread4Lightly grease a large bowl (I used more olive oil and a paper towel) and place the dough in. Cover it with a kitchen towel and leave the dough in a warm, draft-free area. Let it sit and rise for 1 hour. Here is what my dough looked like after an hour… POOF!:

bread5Remove the dough from the bowl and gently roll it into a ball on a floured surface. Let it sit for another 20 minutes.

Set the crock pot to high. Line the crock pot with two pieces of parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches hanging out of each side of the crock pot. Place the dough in the crock pot and sprinkle it with the remaining salt and rosemary. Drape paper towels over the top of the crock pot and then place the lid on. This should capture any moisture that would sit on the lid and prevent it from dripping back onto your bread:

bread6 bread7

Cook the bread for 2 hours and remove from the crock pot. It will most likely still be a bit pale on the outside. It tastes great this way, but you could put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set it under the broiler for a quick 3 – 5 minutes to get a crunchier, darker crust.

Side note: According to the kitchn, a baked loaf has an internal temperature of 190-200°F, so I double checked with a thermometer before removing it from the crock pot:

bread9Let cool before slicing. Serve with extra olive oil drizzled on top. I ended up toasting a few slices of bread in the broiler and topping it with Moroccan sardines and spicy olive bruschetta (“peasant fare,” a.k.a. I didn’t feel like cooking anything else after making the bread):

bread8 bread10

The Verdict:

As a novice baker, this recipe was pretty easy to follow. I probably should have added in a bit more flour (you might notice from the above photos that my dough was still a bit sticky when I put it into the crock pot), but I didn’t have any additional flour on hand! Fail. So note to self– make sure you have the correct amount of flour for the recipe plus a little more.

Taste-wise: This is the first loaf of bread I’ve ever made from scratch. Not bad! I was very happy with the results (as was the S.O.) and look forward to toasting some more slices in the morning.

I’m curious if anyone has other crock pot bread recipes that they recommend trying out. I’m quite fond of savory breads– maybe I could make something with black olives, thyme, or sage. Or perhaps I should try something sweet next time? I am open to suggestions!

– j.

5 thoughts on “Crock Pot Diaries: Rosemary + Red Pepper Olive Oil Bread.

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