Can you really bake bread in a crock pot?

Really?  Bake bread in a crock pot?  I didn't believe it so I had to try it.  I saw the idea on a Pinterest post by Red Star Yeast.  Their post linked back to the website for Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.  I have three books from the owners of this website, Zoe Francios and Jeff Hertzberg and I use them all the time.  There is dough for either bread or pizza in my refrigerator almost all the time!

Here's a LINK to the Artisan Bread in 5's post on bread in the crock pot.  Any of their recipes should work just fine.

So why would you want to bake bread in a crock pot?  Honestly, I can't really thing of a good reason.  Ok, maybe it's 100 degrees outside and you don't want to heat your oven to 450 degrees.  But then I'd throw the dough in my cast iron pot and throw it on the grill.  Maybe you don't have a grill?

I guess it didn't really matter to me why you would want to bake bread in a crock pot, I just wanted to prove you could do it!  Sort of like that climbing a mountain thing for some folks.

I mixed up some dough yesterday so that this morning I could throw it in the crock pot and see if this really did work.

Start by placing your boule on parchment paper then drop it in the crock pot.  Turn the crock pot on high and let it go.  According to Zoe, it should take about 45 minutes, longer for whole wheat breads.  I had made a whole wheat loaf and it took about double that amount of time!

After about 45 minutes you can see it had begun to rise in the crock pot.

To test for doneness Zoe says to touch the top of the loaf and if it's "squishy" it still isn't done.  I kept poking the dough then decided I'd just use a thermometer.  When a loaf is at about 205 degrees Fahrenheit it's done.

Now the loaf didn't get as brown I would like so I did throw it under the broiler for literally a minute to brown it up.

Then the long wait for the bread to cool so I could cut into it and see if this really worked.

Guess what!  It worked!  And I found a reason why you would want to bake your bread this way.  The crust comes out very soft.  Zoe likens it to a steamed roll.  If you prefer soft crust to your bread, this is the way to go!

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