I wander through my kitchen, plaintively seeking that which is not there. Oven, oh oven, why hast thou abandoned me?
My days without an oven are filled with trials, tribulations, and tears.
So I got out my crock pot and started working on the situation.
I’ve seen examples of people baking bread in crock pots using regular loaf pans and big crock pots. I didn’t want to do that. The bread needs to be baked right in the crock to come the closest to some reasonable facsimile of oven-baked bread. It needs good crust, ya know? YOU HAVE TO HAVE GOOD CRUST!!!
I started with the one-loaf standard Grandmother Bread recipe.
How to make Grandmother Bread (one-loaf):
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about thirty minutes to an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. With floured hands, shape dough into a ball and place in a greased 3 1/2-quart crock pot.
Don’t give it a second rise. Turn the crock pot on Low. The bread will rise as the crock pot heats up.
Keep the lid just barely off the pot to keep steam from building up and making your crusty soggy.
Cook it for one hour on the first side.
Dump the bread out onto a wire rack.
Turn over and put it back in the crock pot. Cook for another hour, covered with the lid just barely off.
Look at that! Morgan thinks it looks like a wheel of cheese. I think it looks like a wheel of travesty.
It took me three attempts to perfect this mangled masterpiece!!! (The first loaf I made was overdone. The second was underdone. Took me till the third time to get the baking time right.) Don’t judge it by its appearance. It slices up to just-fine sandwiches and will do in a pinch when your oven is out. In fact, I’m going to keep this in mind for when the power goes out because I can always plug a crock pot into the generator line.
As God is my witness, I’ll never go without bread again!
I might be a little dramatic. Please forgive me. I’m a baker without an oven. A sailor without a sea. A dog without a bone. Well, YOU GET IT! I’M WITHOUT MY OVEN!