Find out how to bake great gluten free bread in a crock post (slow cooker). Bake fresh bread in the summer without heating up the kitchen!
I tried and failed and tried and failed again and again to make all different sorts of gluten free bread in my crock pot. But all's well that ends (well), right? I am pleased and proud to announce … that I have successfully baked a loaf of gluten free bread in my crock-pot-slow-cooker-whatever-you-like-to-call-it! You know what this means, right? We will be baking bread all summer long without heating up the house.
My biggest success so far has been the Gluten Free English Muffin Bread from page 74 of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, so that's the one we'll talk about today. But I'm creeping up on success with other breads, too, so fire up that slow cooker and let's get started! Hey did I mention that you skip the rise—the loaf rises right there in the slow cooker!
That's what the English Muffin Bread looks like from the oven, in case you need a reminder.
When you're baking this bread in the slow cooker, there are a few tricks to the trade. But good news! I'm gonna tell you alllll of them. After all, what's the point of my ruining batch after batch of bread from GFOAS Bakes Bread if I don't tell you all my secrets so you can skip right to the success? Secret #1: a steamer basket. Secret #2 (from reader Emma Hohl on Facebook): remove the slow cooker insert. Secret #3: vent the top.
The sides and bottom will brown, but the top simply will not. Like a nice brown top? Just place the loaf under your oven's broiler for a few minutes. The kitchen will stay cool, but your loaf will be brown on top. Score! Now the loaf will not rise as evenly as it does in the oven. Especially with the cover propped up a bit, the heat of your slow cooker is just not as even or consistent as the heat of your oven.
I was seriously considering throwing in the towel on this entire endeavor … until I asked YOU for tips on Facebook. And so many of you had suggestions that would have taken me many more failures to arrive at, if I arrived at them at all. With that in mind, if you have more tips for how to cook yeast bread in your slow cooker, feel free to share them in the comments. And let's bake bread, and then break bread, all summer long!!
Baking Gluten Free Bread in a Crock Pot
6-quart crock pot/slow cooker
1 recipe Gluten Free English Muffin Bread
1 collapsible steamer basket
1 chopstick (or wooden skewer)
Remove the liner from your slow cooker, plug it in, cover it and turn it on HIGH to preheat it. If your slow cooker requires you to set a timer, set it to 30 minutes. Grease well an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, line it with unbleached parchment paper, and set it aside.
While the slow cooker is preheating, make the English Muffin Bread dough, but rather than covering the dough and allowing it a first rise, scrape the dough right into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Open the collapsible steamer basket and place the loaf pan directly on top of it. Remove the lid from the slow cooker, lower the steamer basket and loaf pan into the slow cooker, placing it directly on the unlined bottom of the slow cooker, and replace the lid. Place the single chopstick or wooden skewer between one side of the slow cooker lid and the slow cooker to prop open the lid slightly. Set the slow cooker timer to cook for 1 hour on HIGH.
As the timer approaches the end of the first hour, remove the lid and rotate the loaf pan on the steamer basket 180°. Replace the lid and increase the timer to 1 hour, propping the lid again with the chopstick or skewer. When the timer has about 15 minutes left, begin checking the loaf for doneness. The edges should have begun to brown, but the center will likely still be soft. The loaf is done when the top of the loaf is firm and the center of the loaf reads about 185°F on an instant read thermometer. To check approaching doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the loaf. The wetter it comes out, the further away it is from being done. Check every 15 minutes until the loaf is fully cooked. Remove the loaf from the slow cooker and turn it off.
To brown the top of the loaf a bit, place it about 3 inches away from your oven’s broiler until desired brownness is reached (less than 5 minutes, typically). Remove from the oven and place the loaf on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the loaf pan and placing directly on the rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
I know you are generally anti-breadmaker, but do you think this would work in a breadmaker? My crockpot is too small for my loaf tin :(
My breadmaker has a gf setting with only one rise (around 3hrs in total).
Peggy Ford says
Love the idea of slow cooking my bread! Will need to make some this week. Thanks, Nicole, for making life easier for those of us who much eat gluten free.
Wow, I’m so glad it worked! Can’t wait to try it! 90-some degrees outside right now and do NOT want the oven on. I’m so glad that my little chopstick advice was useful!
Forgot to ask, have you tried this method using Pea Protein Isolate and Ultratex 3? Due to severe allergies I can’t use whey and I have been unable to get any expandex. Any idea how much longer it would take to bake in the crockpot? 25% longer? Thanks
Love this recipe, now I can make bread while camping when we have electric. Thank you! Just to let you know above in this post (in the first paragraph) you put the wrong page for the English Muffin Bread in your Bread Book…it’s page 74 not page 87 (it is correct in the recipe part). PS I already am on the list for the publishing date of your next book. Can’t wait for it.
Does it matter what the loaf pan is made of? I have glass pans.
This will be the perfect way to have bread when we go camping. Thanks!!!!
Gina Núñez says
I just bought your GFOAS bakes bread for my Nook, im so excited!! can’t wait to try all the recipes for bread!
this looks so great! and yeah, i don’t have a steamer basket either, but i do have a small wire rack. I bet that would work, don’t you think?
Nicole Hunn says
I do think it would work great, Karen. Slow cookers vary so much in performance, though, so just keep an eye out and I bet it’ll be fine!
Thanks Nicole, I am going to give it a go tomorrow–I’ll let you know how it works out
Lynn had a good question regarding wire racks. Can you use a wire rack instead of a steamer basket?
Nicole Hunn says
I bet it would work great, Rosa. Just remove the ceramic liner and place just the rack in there, and place the dough in the loaf pan on top of it.
I am so excited to try this!
Jennifer S. says
this is truly amazing!!!! I can’t wait to try it. I’m mixing up some lean crusty, pizza dough, and the soft subway rolls to make this weekend for the festivities!! Must have bread for long holiday weekends!
The only tip I’ve heard of or read is to bake bread in cleaned out tin cans in your slow cooker. though I have NOT tried it yet.
Nicole Hunn says
You definitely don’t want to be caught out on a holiday weekend without enough bread, Jennifer! I’m with you totally. :)
Teresa R says
Jennifer – now that’s a good idea – cleaned out tin cans. I’m having trouble with all my bread recipes not cooking through. I just bought some disposable cupcake pans to try that – not sure if it’s my oven or what. tin cans might be even better. Be some funny sammiches though! LOL
I just bought a new rice cooker, partially because I still haven’t told my mother I melted the one she bought me 3+ years ago (after a week of use), mostly because I wanted to make bread and cake in it. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s last week, so I’ll have to rethink all my bookmarks.Since it works in a slow cooker, this looks like a good recipe to begin playing with once I replace my flour stockpile with gluten free.
Nicole Hunn says
I’m afraid that I really don’t think a rice cooker would be a good option for this, nytefalle. Rice cookers cook with steam, and slow cookers use radiant heat. I don’t think the loaf would ever cook through in a rice cooker.
Electric rice cookers use radiant heat, not steam to cook. They are essentially small, smarter slow cookers. I’ve been using fuzzy logic style cookers my entire life. This new model even has a more rounded inner bowl shape to expose more of it to the heating element. I’ve been eating rice & kimchi the week since my diagnosis until I get things figured out & all the packaged foods phased out.
I was working in a bakery and couldn’t figure why I stayed sick all winter. I’ll definitely take on the challenge of making all the things I’ve been meaning make, but gluten free.
Cj Ingel says
Did the rice cooker work? What kind did you buy (I really want one, but no idea what’s good.) :)
My crockpot came with a wire rack, would that work. I’m assuming the steamer basket is just raising the loaf pan off the bottom heating element. Can’t wait to try!!
Nicole Hunn says
Yup. The wire rack should work just fine, Lynn! Just remove the liner and use only the rack. And report back!
Okay now that’s just amazing! I have never heard of crock pot bread. I like that the kitchen stays cool, we had unseasonal warm (hot) weather lately! Love this idea! Thanks for all you do!
Nicole Hunn says
Hi, Lucy! I always love hearing from you in the morning. :) We had a hot day yesterday, too. *ugh* I hate summer… If you have a smaller crockpot, the only limitation is size, nothing else. So if you can still fit a full-size loaf pan in there after you remove the liner, you can still use it. Since the steamer is collapsible, it might still fit! If not, size down if you can. Hope that helps!!
You are so right, removing the liner makes a big difference in size :)