Between savory meals, decadent desserts, and even plenty of crafts, there’s a whole lot you can do with a slow cooker. And thanks to the enterprising folks who dared to dream, we can now add bread making to the list.
It’s really easy to make incredibly fresh, artisanal breads in the crock pot. It also doesn’t hurt that homemade bread is a fraction of the cost you would spend at the bakery. In many slow cooker bread recipes, you don’t need to wait for the dough to rise (it rises and cooks in one go in the cooker), cutting down prep time significantly. And while baking tends to be a winter activity, you can bake fresh loaves of bread in the dead of summer without turning on your oven, and subsequently heating up your entire house.
Tips for Perfectly “Baked” Slow Cooker Bread:
Pretty much any oven-baked bread recipe can be converted into a slow cooker recipe, provided you follow these tips:
- Your slow cooker is unique – Though most slow cookers will reach a temperature of 200°F on the high setting, your mileage may vary. Cooking times for crock pot breads can range from 1 to 2 ½ hours, so you’ll want to check in on your loaf periodically after the first hour. Once you know how quickly your slow cooker bakes bread, you can set it and forget it going forward.
- Use a loaf pan or line with parchment paper – If it can fit inside your slow cooker, you can use a bread pan to make classic rectangular loaves. If not, shape the dough into a round loaf and line the slow cooker with a sheet of parchment paper. This will help prevent the bread from sticking to the bottom of the slow cooker and make it much easier to lift out when it’s finished cooking.
- Check doneness with a thermometer – Use an instant read thermometer (like this one) to ascertain whether the bread has finished cooking. Insert the thermometer into the center of the loaf; it is done cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F.
- The finishing touch – The one drawback for slow cooker bread is that the crock pot doesn’t get hot enough to create brown and crispy crusts. An easy workaround is to turn on your oven broiler and bake the loaf for 5 minutes or less. Brush with butter or an egg wash beforehand to achieve a beautiful golden color.
1. Crock Pot Sandwich Bread
Soft and moist, this white sandwich bread recipe requires the basics for break making: all-purpose flour, salt, white sugar, milk, butter, and active-dry yeast. Substitute half of the flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier loaf.
Get the recipe from MOMables.
2. Slow Cooker Dinner Rolls
Once the dough is mixed and kneaded, shape into balls and place in the slow cooker. Though they will fuse together somewhat, simply divvy them back up by pulling them apart.
Get the recipe from Growing Up Gabel.
3. Slow Cooker Olive Parmesan Bread
A no knead recipe, this fancy-sounding loaf is actually really easy to make. To skip kneading, you’ll need some quick rise instant yeast and about 2 hours in total of resting time before plunking it in the slow cooker.
Get the recipe at Dizzy Busy and Hungry.
4. Crock Pot Pumpkin Bread
The trick to making this pumpkin bread super moist is to pour the batter into a loaf pan, place the pan into the slow cooker, and then add two cups of water to the pot. Cover with paper towels and the lid to help wick up moisture and prevent the pumpkin bread from becoming mushy.
Get the recipe at Wanna Bite.
5. Crock Pot Banana Bread
A delicious way to use up those too-brown bananas, this recipe requires only 30 minutes of prep time and 4 hours of cooking time on low (or alternatively, 2 hours on high) for a dense and moist treat.
Get the recipe at Crock Pot Ladies.
6. Crock Pot Apple Fritter Bread
Another sweet dessert bread, this apple fritter is made with flax seed, diced apples, chopped walnuts, and cinnamon.
Get the recipe from The Gourmet RD.
7. Slow Cooker Sweet Corn Bread
Super easy to prep, this sweet corn bread doesn’t require kneading or any time to rest. Just mix together dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine, and pour into the slow cooker.
Get the recipe from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen.
8. Crock Pot Sourdough Bread
Costing a mere $0.61 per loaf to make, sourdough bread in the slow cooker is not only yummy but also quite cost-effective. The entire recipe requires only three ingredients (flour, salt, and water), but first you’ll need to make sourdough starter a few days ahead of the slow cook.
Get the recipe from Practical Stewardship.
9. Slow Cooker Rye
High in fiber and low in fat, this pumpernickel rye bread is prepped and ready for the slow cooker in just 15 minutes.
Get the recipe at Just a Pinch.
10. Slow Cooker Focaccia
Flavored with rosemary and thyme (and whichever other herbs you wish to add), focaccia is a soft and chewy flatbread that doesn’t need kneading.
Get the recipe at She Knows.
11. Crock Pot Nutella Swirl Bread
Whip up a 1 ½ pound batch of brioche dough (or challah) and roll it out flat into a rectangular shape. Generously spread nutella all over the surface, roll it into a tube, and slice lengthwise to expose the inner hazelnut cocoa spread. Twist and coil the “log” into itself so it fits nicely in the slow cooker, and bake for around an hour.
Get the recipe from Artisan Bread in Five.
12. Crock Pot Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Fresh and zingy and perfect for summer, this lemon poppy seed bread tilts closer to a pound cake than bread proper. Make it extra sweet with this lemony glaze icing add on.
Get the recipe at Moms with Crockpots.
13. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Rolls
An ooey-gooey treat, these cinnamon rolls are made by rolling out the dough and generously spreading with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Roll it up and slice into individual swirls. Pop them in the slow cooker for about two hours and drizzle with your choice of maple, vanilla, or coffee icing.
Get the recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction.