in college my friends and i used to pass around friendship bread starters. for 1o days the starter sits in large zip-lock, being mixed everyday and left in a cool spot on your countertop. at the end of the 10 days you separate it into 3 smaller zip-locks and give as a gift to your friends who follow the same instructions. the bread can be baked into cinnamon, vanilla, or sourdough flavored breads. super easy for someone who has time to squish a bag once a day to create an incredible flavored bread (see below). an example of a recipe can be found here or in this super fun cookbook.
today, i really wanted a great bread but didn’t want to wait 10 days. i have been reading about how you can bake bread in a crock-pot or slow cooker, thought i’d give it a whirl.
2 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon salt
5-7 cups flour – i use whole wheat
1. whisk together water, olive oil, and honey. if you measure the olive oil first, it allows for the honey to slip right out of the measuring cup.
2. add 3/4 cup flour and the yeast. whisk for 30 seconds.
3. add the remaining flour and let the mixer knead for about 5 minutes. or slowly add the flour, kneading for 5-8 minutes. mix until it is soft but not sticky.
4. let it rise in a clean, greased, covered bowl for 30 minutes.
5. transfer the dough to a greased crock-pot. cook for 30 minutes on medium heat, then increase heat to high and cook for an additional 60 minutes.
6. transfer the loaf to a pan and cook in the oven at 450°f for 15 minutes. i added some honey to roast on the top for this step.