Yes, you read that right! You can make bread in a slow-cooker! I was pretty skeptical when I first saw a recipe for a loaf of bread baked in a slow-cooker. I mean really, how good could it be? The answer is...pretty good! I enjoy making my own bread and have for years, but I've always used a high-fired oven -- not something I want do in the dreadfully hot summers. So, when I saw this concept I jumped on it! Using my favorite dinner roll recipe, I fired up the slow-cooker and crossed my fingers. I found my large 6 quart slow-cooker worked better than my 4-quart slow-cooker. It evenly baked the rolls as the 4-quart tended to cook the rolls on the outside faster resulting in a crispier harder roll. Having that said the small 4-quart still produced a good dinner roll. With very little work, 2 hours later I had soft homemade delicious dinner rolls...from a slow-cooker! Needless to say, my mind was blown.
Equipment needed: slow-cooker, parchment paper, and cooking spray or cornmeal
makes 12 dinner rolls
In a small bowl, stir to combine warm (not hot) water and yeast. The yeast will dissolve and start to foam. Set aside until needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attatchment or in a large bowl using a spoon, stir to combine milk, egg, olive oil, sugar and salt. Slowly pour the yeast mixture in and stir.
Add the flour and rosemary and stir until the mixture is combined. If using a stand mixer, switch to the kneading hook attachment and knead for 5 to 8 minutes on low until the dough has formed. It should still be tacky but smooth. If you are not using a stand mixer, pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough by hand for 5 to 8 minutes until the dough is smooth.
Place the dough onto a surface. At this time line a slow-cooker with parchment paper. You want a large enough piece that you can lift the baked rolls out of the slow-cooker using the paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray or a sprinkling of cornmeal to prevent sticking.
With a knife, slice the dough into 12 even squares. Roll each piece into a ball with your hands and place in the slow-cooker on top of the parchment paper. Space the rolls at least 1-inch apart. If using a 6-quart slow-cooker, use all 12 rolls. If using a 4-quart slow-cooker, use 6 rolls and freeze the remaining for another use.
Cover and cook on low for 1 hour to let the rolls rise. Then switch the heat to high and cook for 1 more hour. If using a 4-quart slow-cooker, check the rolls at 50 minutes. Remove the rolls by using the parchment paper to lift the rolls out of the slow-cooker. The rolls should be fluffy and cooked through. They will not, however, be golden. If you would like the rolls to be golden on top, simply remove them from the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Serve warm.