While I am on the topic of bread, here is an easy hands-off way of making bread for those circumstances when your oven is being used for other dishes, its Summer and you do not want to “heat up” the kitchen, or you just never had it in you to pull off the real deal. It is called Crock Pot Bread. Not very Artisan, just sort of, hmm, stand-back-I-have-a-crock-pot-and-I’m-not-afraid-to-use-it. Or I’m working my way through “101 Crock Pot Uses: In and Out of the Kitchen” the 1973 edition and I am already on #36. You should have seen #19- Kitty Hot Tubs, “Mommy why wont Fluffy wake up?” “Because, my dear ones, the author forgot to print-bathe 6 hours on low uncovered.” Sniffle. We loved that cat.
This technique is practically effortless yet still satisfying, especially once the bread’s aroma spreads through the house and quells those feelings of guilt for your chicanery. The crust is soft like sandwich bread and due to it’s slow heating process the bread browns through and through to a warm carmelly brown. Try it soon on a wintery Saturday morning so that it will be ready by afternoon tea.
Grease the pan and dough liberally with the cooking spray. Place the pan in the crock pot, cover and cook for 2 hours on low. Then cook for 2-3 hours on high. Never lift the lid while the bread is baking. Remove from pan, slice and serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey.
By the way, we will not be politically correct and ponder the carbon footprint left by operating a crock pot for 6 hours with a meager loaf of bread being the only thing to show. Wink. Grin.
P.S.- I will never try #84, just too earthy.