Grandmother Bread in a Crock Pot


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.

And experiments!

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.

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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!

See all my Grandmother Bread recipes here.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 28, 2010  

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59 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-28

    You amaze me! Your persistance is something we should all have :shimmy: I probably would have sulked until I got a new oven :hissyfit: Maybe, just maybe in my younger days 8) I might have looked for a solution. YOU GO GIRL :snoopy: We love how you always come up with an answer.

  2. 4-28

    Very clever indeed!

  3. 4-28

    That looks a lot like the very dense result I get with no knead grandmother’s bread here at sea level. I wonder if that’s some clue.

    (I’m still working on getting that right. So far I’ve tried reducing the water and reducing the oven temp. The only time I didn’t get a gummy inside was when the timer didn’t ring and it got an extra hour’s baking time :-) That had a dense but okay inside and a rock hard outside. Good thing I’m only trying this half a recipe/one loaf at a time :-)

  4. 4-28

    I’m so glad that you’ve found an answer to your problem Suzanne -persistence pays! That bread is making me hungry…. :hungry:

  5. 4-28

    It looks really good. I would never have thought of dumping it out and putting it back. I have a big pack of yeast in the freezer. I’m gonna have to try your recipe. Can you make it in a bread machine?

  6. 4-28

    :woof: you go girl!!

  7. 4-28

    The bread looks yummy. I like the idea of turning the bread over for a more even crust. I never bake bread in my bread maker, because it overcooks the crust. I do love it for mixing and rising, but I have made many loaves of bread totally by hand. I now only make dough by hand when I need to work out frustrations!

  8. 4-28

    You better get a new oven before Clover runs out of Christmas cookies! :smilerabbit:

  9. 4-28

    Have you tried using the gas grill as a oven?

  10. 4-28

    Solution maker!!!! :yes:

    Have you or had 52 take a look at that outdoor oven plan on the forum?

  11. 4-28

    Great idea for a loaf of bread. Thanks for prefecting the crock pot bread.

  12. 4-28

    I never would have thought of doing that. This loaf looks very good. Good for you, clever one! :yes:

  13. 4-28

    English muffins – baked on a griddle

    Steamed breads – stove top. Yum, Boston Brown Bread

    Outdoor oven – oh the pizza you could make!

    Bread machine – love mine when I’m too lazy to even deal with kneading. Just through the ingredients in and walk away.

  14. 4-28

    I can sympathize! I’ve been making Grandmother bread each week since the first of the year, and when I didn’t have time this weekend, I thought, well, I can just buy bread this week. One breakfast of sad, squishy, dry, tasteless storebought (this is even from the bakery) bread convinced me to go home from work early and bake my own. Thanks for your fabulous recipe, and this new variation! Now that I know I can’t live without Grandmother bread, it’s good to know what to do if *my* oven ever goes out.

  15. 4-28

    that is what i love most about you suzanne. when things get tuff you not only tell us how to get out but show us the way.great going , you belong on the food network! someone needs to pitch the idea of the farming cook to the network. what a great show that would be.

  16. 4-28

    That’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

  17. 4-28

    I love the ending about the drama……thats funny!

  18. 4-28

    Well, Suzanne may be ready for the Food Network, but I don’t think they’d be ready for her! How could they work programming time in for: Step one, mix ingredients for bread, kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Step two, put bread in warm spot to rise. Step three, go milk Beulah Petunia. Step four, take cookies to Clover. Step five, pet Pokey’s velvety nose… I just don’t see how they’d work that in.

  19. 4-28

    Just a suggestion~You can bake bread in a solar oven~ There are directions on the web~you can even make a solar oven from cookie sheets. Love your crock pot idea though. Way to make the best in a bad situation but don’t you always…

  20. 4-28

    I have baked bread in a loaf pan set inside of my electric roaster. Works great!

  21. 4-28

    I totally understand this tale of woe! My oven AND my microwave fritzed out at nearly the same time!!!! I couldn’t do anything! Only a broiler and stovetop? EEEK – we figured out how to cook biscuits in a covered cast iron skillet and then I made my hubby replace the microwave first – and it had to be a convection micro – works until the funds are saved up to replace the stove!

    Good luck, may have to try the bread in the crockpot idea, except my crock pot is oblong and huge – probably need to double the batch of dough and have really interesting “heels” on the bread! Thanks for the idea!

  22. 4-28

    Learning something new everyday, thanks to Chickens in the Road! I had to get inventive with a fondue pot during a ice storm once…

  23. 4-28

    That is totally amazing! Even though I DO have an oven (sorry) I will just have to make this. :sheep:

  24. 4-28

    I was having problems with overdone and underdone loaves until I found out that white bread is done at 180F (internal temp). An instant read thermometer is great, but the kind you hook up via a cable to readout will work, too.

  25. 4-28

    I am so excited to learn this, in the summertime, this could be such a saver to keep the heat outta the house!! Thanks, awesome as always!

  26. 4-28

    That’s a great idea, Kat. I will try that and report back.

  27. 4-28

    You never cease to amaze me , Suzanne. The other day I ran out of butter, and thanks to your directions I was able to make some with leftover cream in the fridge, and now bread in the slow cooker! Awesome!!

  28. 4-28

    Who woulda thunk it? Only Suzanne, that’s who!!!!

  29. 4-28

    Reminds me of something called ‘flowerpot’ bread, only bigger. Looks good, at any rate.

  30. 4-28

    When I read about you being ovenless I thought you might try baking bread in the crockpot. Well my 40 yr oven died Monday night and now I’m totally empathizing with you. I am feeling lost without it now. I like to bake! My teenage son needs his cookies (and so does my sweet tooth). My husband thinks he will be able to repair it. Would love to buy a new stove but then it would make sense to remodel/update the kitchen and the funds aren’t available for that now.

  31. 4-28

    You are ever resourceful! How the bread looks is much less important than how it tastes when your options are few!

  32. 4-28

    Drama? We southerners rely on it. “As God is my witness. As God is my witness, it’s not going to lick me. Now that I have my crock pot, I’ll never go hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to plug into a generator, cook in a crockpot, hide cookies from Clover, As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”

    Susan, aka Scarlett

  33. 4-28

    Hmmm this sounds familiar (oven going on the fritz), we have 3 roaster ovens that we adore. In the summer, all baking and roasting is done outside. Holidays they get used more then the oven does.

  34. 4-28

    You can also bake bread in a dutch oven over hot coals; that’s what I do when we’re camping!

  35. 4-29

    Another approach to baking in a Crockpot is to turn it into a mini-oven by putting the bread in a container inside the pot, so that air can circulate around it like it does in a real oven. Rival used to sell an insert for this purpose, called a Rival Bread n Cake Pan. They don’t sell them anymore, but you can find them on E-Bay for under $10. Or you can use any smooth sided container that will fit in your Crockpot, and elevate it with a jury-rigged trivet (like bunched up aluminum foil).
    Here’s a link to the instruction sheet for the Bread n Cake Pan:'n_Cake_Bake.pdf
    and here’s a picture of one on eBay:

    I’ve heard it’s also possible to bake bread in a pressure cooker, but I haven’t tried it. Here’s a page with instructions:

    And don’t forget griddle cakes and hoe cakes. I make hoe cakes by simply making my cornbread batter a little thinner and cooking them on a lightly greased griddle. Yum!

    Just some ideas. Forgive the unsolicited advice; I’m just hoping to distract you from your lack of oven. Oops.

  36. 4-29

    I am still without my oven too…because of the blasted electronic push button controls…They came out to fix it but had ordered the wrong part!

    TIP: Use instant read thermometer to check bread for ‘doneness’ Once I learned to get it to 190 to 200° about the middle of the loaf, I have never over or under cooked again.

    Looks like the crock pot worked fine. I have a very small counter-top oven but couldn’t do bread in it.

    I have let us run out of bread with all the gardening so resorted to frozen homemade hamburger buns this morning.

    Just found I can do 380° so will attempt bread anyway. Just will have to watch it closer! Only certain number pads are dead.

  37. 4-30

    that’s an awesome idea for the summer. my bread making tends to slow down in the heat of july and august. I may try it this weekend. Thank You for the great idea.

  38. 5-1

    I think I am going to try this bread today. thanks for this recipe and creative way of baking it.

  39. 5-22

    Have a fireplace and a cast iron pot with a lid you can make bread in your home made dutch oven! Just set above the coals, hang or place in the fire and put coals on the lid to get a great top crust, just make sure the top is solid on so the steam doesn’t release because the steam makes a great crunchy crust in a few hours. My mom used to make cakes this way when we were camping, throw a few chocolate chips in the cake batter and we were Totally Happy Campers with moist cake, ha ha! We felt like our Pioneer ancestors! I’ve even seen Gordon Ramsey do this in Volcanic Steamy Rock and I’ve made cakes and pull-apart breads in campfires, it really does work. I’m glad you finally have oven knobs though.

  40. 8-23

    I’ve had dough in crockpot for over an hour on low, went to plop it out to turn over, and the middle came out, so I floured the middle and poped it back in. Crock pot is still on low,, This is my first attempt.
    Am I doing anything wrong I have followed the insuctions as were given

  41. 8-23

    Hi, Jeri. I’ve made this several times without a problem. Was your dough firm enough? It sounds a little bit like your dough might be too wet, but it’s hard to tell from here, of course.

  42. 8-23

    yea now that I think of it, is was not real firm, will try it again, and my crock pot is an older one as well but I am like you, i don’t give up very easy. ty hun
    Will keep you posted on how it turns out and then will make another one

  43. 8-23

    Jeri, if your crock pot is old and you think it might not be heating properly, that could also be the problem!

  44. 8-23

    it is working, i’ve used it for other things, well the 1st try was not done in the middle lol, so the 2nd batch is in now, so ev1 plz keep fingers crossed, i will not give up ty Susan love your site

  45. 8-23

    2nd one doing well as of now either, when fliped it, bottom center still mushy and top center still a bit mushy but still ha another hour to go.

  46. 8-23

    also it did not rise correctly either what am I doing wrong, I used the exact ingredients, but I have never done this before. I am trying though

  47. 8-23

    Jeri, have you ever made yeast bread before?

  48. 8-23

    no hun I have not, I am using All purpose Flour, and Rapid ise Highly Active Yeast, if that helps you, I am new to making food from scracth.

  49. 8-23

    Jeri, do you have a bread pan and an oven? For the first time you make bread, you might be better off making it the usual way before trying an alternative method. Breadbaking is a journey, so don’t worry about mistakes–it is worth it to learn. it’s just flour and yeast and water!

  50. 8-23

    I do not have a bread pan I do have pie tins and cake tins, and yes oven works it is just so hot here in AL, and the Humidity is real high. was wondering why dough is not rising.
    P>S> I not trying to be a pest.

  51. 8-23

    Jeri, it’s okay! If you want to use your crock pot, do be sure it works properly and is heating right. Also check that your yeast is not expired. (Look at the expiration date on the package.) The other guess would be about your dough being too wet.

  52. 8-23

    ok yeast has not expired, i just looked, the crockpot seems ok, so i guess i will try again tomorrow and cut the water down some, cause neither time i made it, it did not rise properly. Thank You Hun,

  53. 8-23

    the crockpot is hot, all the around and on the inside, the center is still mushy lol

  54. 8-24

    OK the 3rd attempt, I used a little less water, used white flour( hot-rise) it did not brown like the pictures, it was eatible, but dry this time

  55. 9-14

    Thank you so much for this! The natural gas line to my building is out so I’m left with only my crockpot. But I will have bread!

  56. 9-24

    I tried this crock pot thing, just because you ought to try it before you need it, right? Perfect! :cowsleep:

  57. 12-1

    That is totally AMAZING! I have learned so much from you and everyone on this site! I really don’t know when you have time to sleep or breath! Your the bomb diggity in my book!~

  58. 12-7

    Now why couldn’t I have known you when our power was out after hurricane isabelle hit (it would have been so much easier LOL).You are definately brilliant.

  59. 12-19

    :fairy: Hello, Happy Holidays,
    New to your blog but really have enjoyed reading it all. I must tell my granddaughter about the crock pot bread,, she will just have to try it.Have a wonderful Christmas,

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