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You’re about to become the baker you always dreamed of with this Slow Cooker Bread. With a perfectly fluffy inside and a beautifully crispy outside, making homemade bread has never been easier!
This slow cooker bread recipe is SO easy to make, with no rise time, and gives you the most delicious soft and fluffy bread – all done in your slow cooker. Get all the flavour, texture and smell of homemade bread, without having to turn your oven on. There is so much more to slow cookers than just stews.
We love anything that means we don’t have to turn on the oven. Slow cooker bread is a cheaper alternative to homemade bread, as the slow cooker is cheaper to run than the oven. And homemade bread is just cheaper than store bought in general.
You still get that soft and fluffy inside, and a crunchy crust on the outside, all by making bread in the slow cooker. It’s not an exaggeration to say we are obsessed with this homemade bread recipe because of how simple it is and how good it tastes.
If you are looking for other different ways to use your slow cooker, then why not try our Slow Cooker Mulled Wine, Slow Cooker Jacket Potato or Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate.
- Mix flour and salt together in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Add yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly combined and no traces of flour remain. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water and stir again; dough should be tacky but not wet.
- Cover container with the lid. Let dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Set slow cooker to High. Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour. Fold dough briefly with floured hands to get rid of any air pockets. Shape into a round or oval loaf depending on the shape of your slow cooker.
- Sprinkle some of the sesame seeds on the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle remaining seeds generously all around the loaf. Place dough in the slow cooker and cover with the lid.
- Cook on High for 2 hours. Lift the lid a couple of times during cooking to release the steam. An instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the loaf should read between 200 and 210 degrees F (93 to 99 degrees C). The surface of the bread should be dry and no longer spongy. Remove the loaf and tap the bottom; it should sound hollow.
- Remove loaf from the slow cooker. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting, at least 1 hour.
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Slow cooker herb bread gives you fresh bread without turning on your oven.
Don’t Heat The Kitchen–Slow Cooker Herb Bread
You don’t have to give up having freshly baked bread in the summer months! Stay cool and use your slow cooker to bake a nice loaf of bread.
Yes, you can bake in your crock pot. My sister has baked in hers for years. When she told me she did, I have to admit I was in disbelief. That is until I tried it myself using her go-to banana bread recipe. After I tried it, I was a total believer.
This slow cooker bread lends itself to many herb flavors.
I used chives because I like them and they were growing in my garden profusely. The bread didn’t have a strong chive flavor because I always go easy with herb flavorings. However, I will add more the next time since the flavor was too subtle.
If you want to use herbs such as basil, rosemary or thyme, I’d advise going lightly with those the first time you make this. They are rather strongly flavored herbs and too much can really spoil the flavor–turning something nice to something that tastes medicinal.
If you find you want a more prominent flavor, then by all means add a bit more herb the next time you make it.
Where the bottom of the bread will brown, the top will not. If the pale shade doesn’t bother you, then you’re set to go.
For my taste, I like a little browning for eye appeal. What I did was brush the top with a bit of olive oil and pop it. under the broiler for a couple of minutes. That did the trick–at least for my taste.
This bread has a nice moist texture that would be great made as dinner rolls. You could divide the dough into individual rolls and “bake” them like that. Personally, I’d stick to using a smaller slow cooker if you’re going to make this into rolls. A 5 quart round cooker would be the perfect size.
Great recipe for summer bread–no oven required
baking bread in a slow cooker, baking in a slow cooker, easy herb bread recipe
- strong flour or all-purpose (plain) flour
- chopped fresh chives thyme or rosemary
- Mix the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Let it stand 5 minutes and if bubbles form, the yeast is active.
- Line a slow cooker (I used a round 4 qt) with parchment paper. Form the dough into a ball and place in the lined slow cooker.
- Set the cooker to high and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours. The bread is done if it makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
- As the top won’t be brown, you can pop it under a hot broiler for a few minutes to brown the top.
Slow Cooker Bread is deliciously moist on the inside with a chewy and crispy crust and you only need five common ingredients. Just flour, sugar, salt, and yeast are needed for this easy bread recipe, and you can add parmesan cheese if you want to.
Historians and foodies believe that the first bread recipe was made in the Middle East in 8000 BC. This was Egypt where the first loaf was formed by combining flour and water and cooking it over a fire.
This soon evolved into the first sourdough bread made by adding wild yeast to the recipe. And the beer was not far after it as the Egyptians were the very first beer brewers in the world.
To make delicious bread, all you need is a slow cooker or crock pot as well as the few ingredients mentioned below. If you have a stand mixer, let it knead the dough so all you really have to do is watch and wait.
Here are the ingredients you need for slow-cooking bread. After you gather these, scroll down to our recipe card for measurements and instructions.
- All-purpose flour
- Active dry yeast
- Lukewarm water
- Grated parmesan cheese: Optional.
It is the crock pot that does the rest of the work for you so this is a hands-off recipe for slow cooker bread that anyone can make. Although many people balk at making bread because they think it is too difficult, this slow cooker version of baking bread is simple.
How to make slow cooker bread from scratch?
- Turn slow cooker to high: First, line your slow cooker with parchment paper and set it on high before placing the lid back on.
- Proof the yeast: In the meantime, add sugar, yeast, and water to your stand mixer bowl, stir with a wooden spoon, and let it rest for 10 minutes to activate.
- Mix the dough: Then, add flour, salt, and parmesan cheese and mix it with a dough hook until it is well incorporated. It is ready when the sides of the bowl are free of any flour or dough.
- Knead bread dough: Next, transfer it to a lightly floured surface, kneading just a little bit until it is smooth before you make the dough into a ball.
- Bake bread: Now, put the bread dough into the parchment-lined slow cooker, close the lid, and cook on high for two hours, checking occasionally. In the last 20 minutes, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Brown the crust: After, put the bread and parchment paper on a baking sheet and into the oven to let it brown for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cool and serve: Finally, let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before you slice it with a serrated knife to serve.
- Extra browning: For an extra brown crust, brush the top of the finished loaf with olive oil or butter before putting it in the oven.
- Seeds: Sprinkle sesame seeds or sunflower kernels on top before cooking for a crunchier crust.
- Other spices: You can also add your favorite spices like onion, garlic, cumin, turmeric, and cloves.
- Different flavors: Other flavors for this bread include powdered ranch, Italian seasoning, or chili powder.
- Cinnamon bread: If you want sweet cinnamon bread, add 1/4 cup of cinnamon mixed with 1/3 cup of sugar to your bread dough.
- Buttermilk bread: Use buttermilk instead of water for creamy buttermilk bread.
- Make rolls: Instead of one loaf, try shaping the dough into 12 smaller balls to make dinner rolls.
How to serve
- This yummy bread is perfect for any kind of sandwich. Try our recipe for roast beef sandwiches or homemade corned beef.
- You can also use this bread for toast. It crisps up nicely.
- Any kind of fruit topping would be great for this slow cooker bread like this tangy strawberry jam or our sweet homemade blueberry sauce.
- In fact, you could just spread some butter or margarine on a slice for a quick snack.
- Ready for breakfast? Our slow cooker bread is perfect for this homemade french toast recipe.
- If your bread has gotten hard or stale, use it for stuffing or to make croutons.
- You can also use old bread for making a scrumptious bread pudding.
- Or slather on some butter and garlic and put it in the oven to make garlic bread.
Making bread at home is such a satisfying thing to do and this recipe for slow cooker bread results in a delicious cob loaf which is soft on the inside with a beautiful golden crust. Just as it should be.
How to make bread in the slow cooker
Personally, I think bread-making is an incredibly fulfilling process and when the resulting bread tastes fantastic – the reward definitely outweighs the effort. This is even better when I can achieve this in my slow cooker! Using the slow cooker for baking also means that I get fresh bread aroma lingering through the house just that bit longer.
Making bread needn’t be the daunting task that it may seem. Yes, there are the steps to knead, proof and bake the bread but each phase is very straightforward. What’s more, in this recipe I also include plenty of tips and specialist instructions for the slow cooker.
Note that I say, special instructions for the slow cooker. Because whilst I maintain that baking in the slow cooker is simple, you do need to heed the fact that it is different to using an oven and can bear different results, even from the same recipe.
This is because an oven creates a dry, high heat whilst slow cookers cook at a lower temperature and trap moisture. There is no getting around it, these environmental differences will affect the bake. So the best thing to do is be prepared!
Why make this recipe?
- Bread is one of those shopping list staple items, so it’s really useful to have a simple and reliable recipe at home.
- Treat yourself to a freshly made cob loaf, crusty on the outside and soft in the middle.
- It’s fantastic served with soups, sliced for sandwiches or toasted for breakfast.
- Plenty of tips to make the process simple with ways to check technique at each step.
- It is simple to add additional flavourings or toppings to the bread.
What You’ll Need
Here is what you will need to make bread in the slow cooker.
Exact ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Flour – Strong white bread flour so the loaf holds it’s shape well and is soft and airy inside.
- Sugar – Sugar feeds the yeast helping to activate it before making the dough. You also need a little sugar to balance the flavour.
- Salt – For flavour.
- Yeast – I use dried active yeast.
- Oil – To help the bread to retain maintain moisture and stay fresh longer.
- Water – To bind the dry ingredients and form the dough. It should be lukewarm to activate the yeast and make kneading the dough easier.
- Baking parchment.
- Kitchen roll.
- A grill (or broiler for those in the US) to brown the top of the loaf – this is optional.
- Again optional, but you may choose to use a stand mixer with dough hook to form the dough.
Here’s a step by step guide of how to make it. Full detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Start by activating the yeast. Fill a jug with lukewarm water and stir in half of the sugar then the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes until the yeast has foamed on the surface.
- Put the flour, remaining sugar and salt in a large bowl, stir to combine then gradually pour in the yeast water and mix.
- Add the oil gradually combining to form a dough.
- Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead 10 minutes. (see recipe card for instructions using a stand mixer). Form into a ball shape.
- Place the ball of dough in a large bowl.
- Cover with a damp warm cloth and leave for 45 minutes to 1 hour to rise as the dough ferments.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface.
- Knead the dough for 1 minute to knock out the air.
- Form the dough into a ball then score the top with a sharp knife. This encourages crispy sections to form on the crust. Set the dough aside for a final proof whilst preparing the slow cooker.
- Line the slow cooker with baking paper and fold over any overlapping areas (so the paper does not stick in the dough). Set the slow cooker to high and allow to heat up (around 20 minutes)
- When the slow cooker is hot, place the dough in the middle of the paper.
- Rest 2-3 sheets of kitchen roll over the top of the pot and put the lid on to secure in place, this catches any excess moisture in the slow cooker. Bake for 2 hours on high.
Remove the loaf by lifting the edges of the baking paper.
To create a golden crust on top (which you just won’t get in the slow cooker!) briefly place the dough under the grill. See picture below for before and after the grill. As you can see it’s worth it for that beautiful golden colour!
Slow cooker bread is the perfect partner for soups and casseroles like our slow cooker tomato soup and slow cooker sausage casserole but it also is lovely served simply with butter and jam.
This loaf also slices really well, so can also be used for sandwiches and toast. It’s an all round winner!
Bread flour – Bread flour has a higher concentration of protein creating a stronger flavoured loaf with a springy texture. Plain flour can be used as an alternative, it will have a more ‘crumby’ texture but it will still taste delicious!
Water Temperature – The water needs to be lukewarm for the yeast to activate, which is about body temperature so if you dip your finger in you shouldn’t feel a temperature difference.
Kneading – Knead for the required time to properly combine the ingredients and develop the gluten structures. Not taking time to do this can result in loaf the being dense and sinking in the middle. If using a mixer I still knead dough firmly by hand for a few minutes at the end. This also means I can make sure it feels the right consistency. This short video from King Arthur Flour is a good guide for kneading technique.
Kitchen towel – Slow cookers retain moisture as they are an enclosed cooking environment. A few pieces of kitchen towel under the lid will absorb moisture to avoid soggy, dense bread.
Baking parchment – Line the slow cooker with baking parchment to prevent the bread sticking to the pot. It’s also much easier to safely lift out at the end.
Fermenting ‘proofing’ the dough – The temperature of the environment whilst proofing dough will affect the speed in which it rises. In a warm, sunny kitchen dough can rise in 45 minutes to an hour. In a cooler environment more time will be needed so factor this in before you start. Also be aware that over-proofing (if it’s too hot or the dough is left for too long) can cause the yeast to expire itself before baking resulting in a dense crumb structure, particularly at the bottom.
Browning – Bread baked in the slow cooker won’t have a golden crust on top, it’s simply not a dry enough environment to create this. So I always put it under the grill to brown after baking. I use the grill not the oven because I just want to continue cooking the crust (the oven would continue to bake the whole loaf).
Oil – After the loaf is cooked and browned under the grill (whilst it’s still hot) I like to paint it with butter or oil immediately. This adds a gleam to the loaf and removes any dryness from the crust.
Flour – You can substitute the bread flour with plain (all purpose) flour. Wholemeal flour can also be used instead of white bread flour if preferred.
Flavourings – Add dried herbs to the bread dough to create a slightly different flavour profile. Rosemary and dried garlic granules work nicely – just use a moderate amount of each as to not overpower the bread (1/2 tsp). I also like the pre-made sachets of bread seasoning that you can buy such as the Allinson’s Additions bread flavour sachets.
Toppings – Sprinkle over some grated cheddar cheese and freshly cut chives in the last 20 minutes of baking for a delicious topped loaf.
What are the main ingredients in bread?
Flour, water, yeast, sugar and salt are the core ingredients for bread. You can create an enriched dough by adding milk, butter, oil or eggs which will alter the taste and texture.
What is the best type of flour for bread?
Bread flour is best for bread. It has a higher protein (gluten) content than regular flour which creates a more elastic dough with springy fibres which allow air to pass through gently. Plain (all purpose) flour can be used but the resulting loaf will have a denser, crumbier texture.
Why do we add oil to bread dough?
Oil is added to loaves to improve the texture by adding moisture. It also makes the bread stay softer for longer.
Why do we knead dough?
Kneading dough is a way to thoroughly mix the ingredients so that the yeast is distributed evenly throughout. It also allows the gluten in the flour to mix with the other ingredients and form strands which give the bread shape whilst baking and allow air to pass through.
Why proof dough?
Technically, proofing is the term used to define when the dough is shaped into a loaf and allowed to rise just before baking. Saying that, the term is often also used for the first time dough is rested whilst the ingredients ferment. Proofing allows gluten structures to develop and air to distribute through the dough as the yeast feeds on the sugars, essential for the structure and rise of the loaf.
Why do we use yeast in bread dough?
Yeast is a simple, live microorganism. It is used in bread because when it feeds on the sugar in the dough it slowly releases carbon dioxide gas which creates air pockets in the dough, thus rising (leavening) the loaf. Bread made without yeast is called unleavened bread.
Why is yeast activated in water before being added to bread dough mixtures?
Dried active yeast needs to be re-hydrated in a luke-warm, sugar water solution before baking. Adding it to water awakens the yeast and it begins to feed on the sugar releasing gases which creates a thick, milky foam. This process also indicates whether the yeast you have is still alive and good to bake with!
Slow Cooker Bread is a delicious cob loaf, soft and fluffy on the inside with a golden chewy crust.
Other, Side Dish
- strong white bread flour
- dried, active yeast
- Activate the yeast. Fill a jug with lukewarm water and stir in half of the sugar, then the yeast. Leave for 10 minutes to foam on the surface (see recipe note 1).
- Add the flour, remaining sugar and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. If mixing by hand, make a well in the middle and gradually pour in the yeast water and then the oil stirring to combine the flour and liquid.
- Once a dough begins to form, remove to a floured surface and knead by hand for 10-15 minutes. (see recipe note 2 regarding the use of a stand mixer).
- Check the consistency of the dough to ensure it has been kneaded enough to rise and maintain its shape. For this loaf the dough should be stiff and slightly tacky to the touch (see recipe note 3 for methods to check the dough consistency).
- Shape the dough in a large ball, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to ferment (first proof) for between 45 minutes – 1 hour 15 minutes depending on the temperature of the room or proofing area. The yeast will activate faster in warmer environments.
- The dough will be doubled in size and have a pillowy, smooth texture (see recipe note 4).
- Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead for 1 minute to knock the air out of the dough. Shape the dough into a smooth ball then score the surface with a sharp knife in a cross pattern and set aside.
- Take a piece of baking parchment and line the base and sides of the slow cooker. Fold any areas where the paper overlaps to create a neat lining then switch the slow cooker to high and leave to heat up with the lid on for around 20 minutes.
- Carefully place the ball of dough in the slow cooker resting on the paper.
- Take 2-3 sheets of kitchen paper (with the joining sections of the paper intact) and rest these across the top of the slow cooker pot. Trap it in place with the lid of the slow cooker (see recipe note 5). Bake on high for 2 hours.
- After the dough is baked (see recipe note 6), remove it from the pot by lifting via the edges of the baking parchment. The loaf will be brown on the top as it has not been in direct contact with a heat source. In fact, the base of the loaf will be firmer and more browned where it has been directly over the heating elements.Optional step: To create a golden brown crust, remove the bread from the baking parchment and place under a medium heat grill for 3-5 minutes.
- Once the crust is golden, remove from the heat and set aside on a baking rack to cool. At this point I like to paint the loaf with butter or oil (around 1 tsp) to create a gleam to the surface and moisten any dry areas of the crust.
- Yeast. If you have dried instant yeast this step can be skipped – simply add the yeast with the other ingredients.
- Food mixers. If you are using a stand or food mixer, apply the dough hook then add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl and mix to combine. Gradually add the yeast, water and oil and mix on a medium setting for 8 minutes, then remove to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 1-2 minutes.
- Dough needs to be thoroughly kneaded for the gluten the flour form strong structures. This gives the bread it’s texture and shape. Generally 10-15 minutes of kneading by hand and 8-10 minutes in a mixture will be enough to achieve this. Ways to check the dough has been kneaded enough are 1) form a ball shape with the dough and hold it up in an open hand, the dough should be firm enough to hold its shape and not droop or 2) press a finger lightly in the dough to form an indent. The dough should spring back to fill the indent after around 30 seconds.
- It’s important to proof the dough for the right amount of time to create a good crumb structure and rise. An under-proofed dough will not be doubled in size and still firm to the touch, whilst an over-proved dough will show signs of bubbling and tearing on the surface of the dough.
- Kitchen paper under the lid of a slow cooker will catch any excess moisture generated whilst the bread is baking and prevent the dough ‘sweating’ or becoming saturated. I do not recommend using a tea towel for this as the aroma from any washing detergent used on the tea towel may taint the bread.
- Test the bread is baked by knocking on the base of the loaf, this should produce a hollow sound due to the dispersion of air throughout.
Let us know how it was!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know when the bread is cooked?
We have always had perfectly cooked bread after two and a half hours, but timings will differ depending on your slow cooker. Tap the bottom of the bread and it should be hard and not still soft, spongy and dough like. If you have a digital thermometer, then you can check the internal temperature and it should be 95°C/200°F.
What size slow cooker to use?
We used a 4.5L oval slow cooker. You can use a smaller, round, slow cooker, but just be aware that the bread might take on the shape of the slow cooker a little more.
Do I have to knead the bread?
Yes! I know it seems like a lot of effort, but it is needed. It helps with developing the gluten structures and without it you will have a dense loaf that sinks in the middle. If you want to make it easier, you can use a dough hook in a stand mixer to knead the bread, but we like the arm workout.
- Prepare for some trial and error: You may not nail this recipe the first time you attempt it and that’s okay! Making bread can be a labor of love so maybe consider your first loaf or two as experiments! For example the first time I tried this, I placed the bread under the broiler to brown it, and it just didn’t come looking great. I found that 15 minutes at 450 F degrees is the perfect way to brown it.
- Line the slow cooker with parchment: This is going to make life so much easier when it comes time to remove the bread from the slow cooker onto a baking sheet. You want to handle the loaf as little as possible. Plus no cleanup!
- Minimally handle the bread: Handling the bread before it’s fully cooked can cause dimples and crush the crust – so keep it to a minimum if you can!
- Brown it in the oven: Ultimately, slow cooker breads don’t brown well or develop a crust the same way as oven-baked loaves, so you’re going to want to use the oven to get that aesthetically pleasing bread! . You can also brush a bit of butter on it to help it brown up!
We have give the recipe for a basic slow cooker bread, however there are so many options when it comes to flavour add-ins. Here are some of our favourites:
- Cheese and marmite – add a couple of teaspoons of marmite to the water and add grated cheddar in with the flour.
- Olives – Knead black or Kalamata olives in with the dough.
- Seeds – We love a seeded bread and like to add a mixture of sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds in at the same time as the dried ingredients.
- Herbs – Herby breads just have so much flavour. Add in some chopped fresh rosemary and thyme.
- Cinnamon and raisin – If you wanted a sweet loaf, then some cinnamon, raisins and chopped walnuts are amazing.
You can also vary the flour that is used. If you wanted a wholemeal loaf, then swap half the flour for wholemeal flour. You could swap all of it, but we find that the loaf ends up too dense.
Storing Leftover Bread
Homemade bread is not going to last as long as store bought bread! It’s going to be best to store it at room temperature in a cool dry place and in an airtight plastic bag, to last 2 -3 days. Unfortunately placing it in the fridge will not extend the life as the bread will become stale. Also keep in mind, that heat and humidity will cause the bread to mold.
If you want to freeze your slow cooker bread, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and it will last up to 3 weeks.
Why you will love it
- So simple – This is as simple as mixing, kneading and putting in the slow cooker and letting it work its magic.
- No proving – The slow cooker takes care of all of that, because it proves as the slow cooker warms up.
- Adaptable – This recipe is for the basic slow cooker bread, but we have given lots of options for other flavours that you can adapt it with.
- Cheaper – Slow cookers are much cheaper to use than ovens, so if you are looking to save money on energy, slow cooking bread is a good way to do that.
- Strong white bread flour
- Fast action yeast
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 500 g Strong white bread flour, 1 teaspoon Sea salt and 7 g Fast action yeast.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and add 350 ml warm water.
- Using a wooden spoon, pull a little of the flour mixture into the water and stir. Continue pulling more flour in and combine until a workable dough is formed.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Form the dough into a ball and put onto a piece of lightly oiled baking paper. Lift the paper and dough into the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 2 hours 30 minutes. After the time is up, check that the bottom of the bread is crusty. If not, continue cooking for 15 minutes. If crusty, tap the bottom of the bread with your finger tip – it should sound hollow.
- To add extra colour to the top of the bread, put in an air fryer for 5 minutes at 180°C, or into a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
- If your slow cooker doesn’t have a very good seal on the lid, then you might want to put a tea towel under the lid to stop condensation forming and dripping on to your bread.
- Slow cooker bread will be flatter than oven cooked bread and it won’t have that domed top, but it will still be delicious.
- Don’t forget to add the baking paper, as this helps to lift the loaf out of the slow cooker and stops the dough sticking to the slow cooker pot.
- To make the bread look extra fancy, put a deep cross on the top of it when it goes in the slow cooker, as this encourages a crust to form.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
I have a small (3.5-quart) slow cooker. If your slow cooker is larger, the loaf will not be as high. You can also place the dough in a greased loaf pan if you have a large oval slow cooker.
If you like a brown and crispier crust, preheat your broiler and place the loaf on the top rack immediately after baking. Broil until it starts to brown. Make sure to stand by and remove the bread right away when it has the desired color; it will burn quickly.
Instead of sesame seeds, you can use seeds sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, or rolled oats as well, or a combination.
Easy Slow Cooker Bread Recipe
I think we can all agree that homemade bread is always better than store bought bread. Are you with me? This homemade slow cooker bread only has 6 ingredients (one being optional) and it’s very likely you’ll already have them in your pantry! I mean who would have thought that this gorgeous loaf could be prepared in the same appliance designed to slowly cook meats, vegetables, and soups! It’s quite exciting if you ask me!
Out of all the breads I’ve made, this slow cooker version may very well be my favorite. And I’m telling you, when you realize how easy it is, you’re going to want to make it again and again! The best part is that this white bread recipe now becomes the base for any other variation of bread you may want to make in the future! Because trust me – you will.
Cooking temperatures will vary from slow cooker to slow cooker, but typically they reach a high of 200 degrees. Coincidentally, this is also the ideal internal temperature for baking most breads! Essentially, you just want to let your bread hang out in the slow cooker until it cooks all the way through – undercooked means gummy, not so tasty interiors.
There is also no need to let the dough rise before it’s put into the slow cooker because it’s going to both, bake and rise – you got it, at the SAME time! Think about it, the slow cooker really does have the ideal environment for dough to rise and bake at the same time. It’s genius.
More Great Bread Recipes To Try
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You’re about to become the baker you always dreamed of with this Slow Cooker Bread. With a perfectly fluffy inside and a beautifully crispy outside, making homemade bread has never been easier!
- Preheat: Turn the slow cooker on high and allow it to preheat. Line the slow cooker with parchment paper; close the lid.
- Knead the dough: Transfer the ball of dough to a lightly floured surface and knead only a few times until it is smooth. Finally, form the dough into a ball and place it into the preheated slow cooker; close the lid.
- Bake: Bake on high for 2 hours, checking occasionally.
- Homemade bread is not going to last as long as store bought bread! It’s going to be best to store it at room temperature in a cool dry place and in an airtight plastic bag, to last 2 -3 days.
- Unfortunately placing it in the fridge will not extend the life as the bread will become stale. Also keep in mind, that heat and humidity will cause the bread to mold.
- If you want to freeze your slow cooker bread, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and it will last up to 3 weeks.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Flour – You need to use a strong white bread flour for this easy bread recipe, because it will help the loaf hold its shape, but still be light and fluffy.
- Yeast – This helps the bread to rise. We used fast action yeast (also known as instant yeast or timesaver yeast).
- Salt – Not only does this add flavour, but it helps to strengthen the dough too.
- Water – This helps bind the ingredients to form the dough and it helps give the texture of the bread. The water needs to be lukewarm to activate the yeast.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make bread in the slow cooker – Step by step
One: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the water.
Two: Using a wooden spoon, pull a little of the flour mixture into the water and stir. Continue pulling more flour in and combine until a workable dough is formed.
Three: Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Four: Form the dough into a ball and put onto a piece of lightly oiled baking paper. Lift the paper and dough into the slow cooker.
Five: Cook on high for 2 hours 30 minutes. After the time is up, check that the bottom of the bread is crusty. If not, continue cooking for 15 minutes. If crusty, tap the bottom of the bread with your finger tip – it should sound hollow.
Seven (optional): To add extra colour to the top of the bread, put in an air fryer for 5 minutes at 180°C, or into a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Water – We need lukewarm water to assist with the texture of our dough.
- Sugar – White, granulated sugar.
- Active dry yeast – This is our leavening agent that will help our bread rise. Instant yeast can be used as well.
- Salt – Not only does salt give a boost to the flavor of our bread but it will also helps add strength to the dough.
- Flour – Today I used all-purpose white flour – you’re welcome to try using other options of flour, but based on this recipe it may jeopardize the integrity of your bread.
- Cheese – I’m using some grated parmesan cheese for some extra flavor – this is optional! I’ve made it both ways and I can honestly say, not much difference.
If you want your bread to have a certain shape, say a loaf shape, you can absolutely use a baking dish or pan in the slow cooker. You should still line it with parchment paper for easier removal. A regular loaf pan will work as will a six to seven-inch springform pan in a five or six-quart slow cooker.
What is the difference between active and instant yeast?
Most breads use active dry yeast, but you can sometimes use instant. The instant kind is ready to use as soon as you take it out of the package while the active kind has to be activated or proofed. You have to rehydrate the active type in warm water before using it in your recipe. Instant also takes less time to make the dough rise.
What are the nutrition facts in this recipe?
Each slice of this delicious bread has 165 calories, 315 mg of sodium, and 2 grams of fat with 1 gram of saturated fat. It also contains 30 grams of carbs, 4 grams of cholesterol, and 1 gram of sugar. On the other hand, your bread also has 7 grams of protein, and 50 mg of potassium. Also, 1 gram of fiber, 40 units of vitamin A, 66 mg of calcium, and 2 mg of iron.
How to store leftovers
- Store: You can store your leftover slow cooker bread in an airtight plastic bag at room temperature for two to three days.
- Freeze: To freeze, wrap your slow cooker bread in plastic wrap and put it in a freezer bag. You can freeze it for up to one month.
- Thaw: To thaw, place it in the refrigerator overnight for best results.
- Reheat: You can eat your bread chilled, at room temperature, or warm. To reheat, place in the microwave for 30 seconds, the air fryer for one minute at 400 degrees F, or use a toaster.
More bread recipes to try
- If you do not have a stand mixer, you can use a large bowl and an electric or hand mixer. But proof the yeast in a small bowl before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- You do not need to let your dough rise before cooking. Just let the bread rise in the slow cooker.
- To prevent moisture from dripping onto your bread as it cooks, place a clean kitchen towel under the lid.
- Slow cooker temperatures differ quite a bit so the cooking time can vary depending on your particular cooker. Check every half hour because the time can range from one hour to two hours for it to be fully cooked.
- Do not wait for your bread to turn brown in the crock pot because that will never happen. Slow-cooker breads do not brown like oven-baked loaves. Let the bread hang out in the cooker until it is done on the inside. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer, it should be 200 degrees F when it is done. Then, you brown it in the oven.
- Additionally, tap the bread on the bottom, it is no longer spongy if it sounds hollow.
- Homemade bread does not last as long as store-bought bread because it does not have all the preservatives that companies use. It will last up to three days if you keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. Or you can freeze it for up to 30 days.
- Putting your bread in the fridge will not keep it fresh longer. In fact, the moisture in the fridge may cause it to mold sooner.
- Turn the slow cooker on high, line it with parchment paper, close the lid, and let it preheat while you work on the bread.
- Next, add the salt, and flour, and mix until well incorporated, the dough should pull from the sides of the bowl, and they should look clean.
- Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured surface and knead for one minute, just until smooth. After that, form the dough into a ball and place it into the preheated slow cooker, and close the lid.
- Bake on high for 2 hours, checking on it occasionally. The top should be crispy, and when you tap on the bottom, the bread should sound hollow.
- Once the bread is done, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Made This Recipe?
How Long Does It Take To Cook Bread In A Slow Cooker?
After some trial and error – oh yes, plenty of that around here – average cooking time is about 2 hours. The first time you bake, it may be wise to check after an hour, and then every half hour, and then a little more frequently until it gets close to finishing.
You’ll know the bread is done when the bottom is slightly brown and the top no longer feels spongy. If you’re able, you can also check the internal temperature, which should read between 190 – 200 degrees.
Store: Homemade bread is never going to last as long as store bought bread, but that’s a good thing because it means it doesn’t have loads of additives. If you store the bread in an air tight container, in a cool dry place, then it will last for 2-3 days. Heat and humidity will cause the bread to get mould.
Freeze: This freezes so well. Simply slice it and then put into freezer bags and it will keep for up to 2 months.
Defrost: If you are toasting it, then there is no need to defrost it as it will toast straight from frozen. If you are using the slow cooker bread for sandwiches, then you can just leave it out at room temperature to defrost for an hour or so.
What to serve with Slow Cooker Bread
I mean, I am sure it is fairly obvious – anything that you would use bread for. But, we have lots of delicious suggestions for you.
If you are looking for a soup to dip this delicious slow cooker bread in to, then why not try our Creamy Vegetable Soup, Kale Soup or Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup.
This bread toasts really well. So, for a simple meal or snack, why not spread something on it toasted? We would recommend our Vanilla and Honey Almond Butter, Strawberry Puree (like a healthy jam) or Homemade Healthier Nutella.
How To Make Bread In A Slow Cooker
This slow cooker bread is perfectly cooked. It has a light and fluffy inside, which isn’t dense at all, and the outside has a little crunch to it which all homemade bread should have in our opinion. However, it won’t get the same crunch as oven baked bread without a couple of tweaks. If we are in a rush, we just leave it as it is though and it’s still delicious.
If you want a little extra crunch on top of the loaf, then after the two and a half hours cooking time, you can flip it over and cook for 30 minutes more in the slow cooker.
You can remove the baking paper so the bread makes contact with the slow cooker for extra crispiness. Alternatively, and quicker, you can put it in the oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7 for 10 minutes or in the air fryer (if you have one big enough) for 4-5 minutes at 180°C. This will give an amazingly crispy crust.