We love a good loaf of homemade bread at our house, and are constantly looking for ways to make the process easier. This might be the holy grail of simplicity. Take a few minutes to combine your bread ingredients, let rise, then toss the dough into the crockpot to cook.
Want to make this even easier? Start with cold water and mix everything together without waiting and rise in your fridge overnight or during the day, somewhere between 8-12 hours, then bake.
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
1 cup Warm Water
2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Oil
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
Pour water, yeast, oil and salt into a mixer bowl and let rest for about 10 minutes. This will allow the yeast to proof and begin its activation, you should see bubbly foam start to form while you're waiting. Turn your mixer on low and slowly add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated. The amount of flour can be a bit subjective depending on the day, so you may need to adjust the amount slightly to get a dough that is not sticky. Knead in the mixer for 2-3 minutes.
If you prefer to make this without a mixer, slowly add the flour to the bowl using a sturdy spoon or your hand to mix. Once the flour has been incorporated, turn out onto a flour lined counter and knead for around 5 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball, coat the outside in a dusting of flour and place upside down in a medium bowl to rise. The addition of the flour will help form a gluten layer on the outside of the dough to help the loaf keep its shape during baking. Let rise in a warm place 30-45 minutes.
While you're letting your dough rise, turn on your crockpot to the high setting so it can preheat.
Once the dough has risen, flip your dough onto a piece of parchment large enough that you can use the edges as handles to pull your bread out of the crockpot later. Gently place the parchment and ball of dough into the crockpot, cover and let bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until your dough's internal temperature reaches 160-170 degrees.
The top of the loaf will still be lightly colored, though the loaf will be fully cooked at this point. If you'd like a darker color, place under your oven's broiler for a couple of minutes to brown the top of the loaf.
Serve with butter and jam!