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Crockpot Bread

What is a baker’s kid supposed to do when her oven has been on the blink since early summer and she really, really has to have some homemade bread?

Sure, could use the bread machine that my neighbor gave me last year but I just am not happy with the results of it(and it just doesn’t seem to rise properly).

The one gadget I use almost daily is my crockpot.  A simple one with no fancy gizmos attached to it…actually the glass lid of it broke(shattered when I had a meal in it) two  years ago…so I have been using a double layer of foil on top ever since…works fine.

The crockpot it is…

Last week I made a loaf in the crockpot…didn’t realize I barely had enough flour and I had  already added the water/yeast mixture…so had to add instant potato flakes and oatmeal to make it the right consistency(actually that bread was pretty amazing…dense, moist and great tasting…especially toasted.)

I had gotten a new bag of flour and since I had a day off today(plus it was a miserable damp day…definitely a fresh bread kind of day), I experimented once again.

This makes one loaf.  Now, cosmetically, this is definitely not my father’s loaf of bread…the top of it will not be brown.  If you have an oven, you can put the bread in there under the broiler for a few minutes…but today I found another way..will explain that in the recipe.

I am definitely going to do this again…might do my father’s holiday bread recipe this way…I might actually make one up next week to take to my brother’s for when we go there for Thanksgiving.

(Note: this works if you want to just buy some frozen dough…just make sure the dough has been defrosted and do the rising of the dough in the microwave…same concept.)

Basic Bread Made in the Crockpot

Ingredients:   1 Tablespoon of dry yeast with 1 teaspoon of sugar)

1 cup of warm water

4 cups of flour(I just used basic white flour today…you can add other ingredients to this to make it up to the four cups…ex. 3 cups flour and 1 cup of something else like I did last week…the potato flakes and oatmeal…you could add whole wheat, some cornmeal, flaxmeal, experiment…

1 Tablespoon of oil/margarine/butter

salt(1/2 teaspoon or more if desired)

a. In a measuring cup, take the one cup of warm water, add the yeast and sugar mixture to it.  Let it sit until it is frothy.

b.  Warm your mixing bowl by putting hot water in it…dump the water out and place your flour, oil/margarine/butter, and salt in it.

c. Start the mixer with the dough hook and gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour until well incorporated.  Keep mixing it until it is as soft as a baby’s bottom.  If you have other ingredients in your mixture, it may require more water…if that’s the case, have some extra warm water and add to the flour mixture a little at a time.  (and vice-versa…if it’s a little watery, gradually add a little flour to it).

d. When you are satisfied with the texture, place the dough in a greased bowl and put it in the microwave until it rises double in size(I use the microwave because it is a small contained space and is amazing for raising your dough…you aren’t turning the microwave on…you are just letting your dough sit in there).  When it has risen to double size, it is ready for the crockpot.  Punch it down.

e. Prepare your crockpot by greasing it…the bottom and sides. Turn the crockpot on HIGH.   When the dough is ready,  and let the crockpot warm up a bit before putting the dough in.

f. Put your dough into the crockpot and rub a little oil on top of it.  Place the lid(or in my case, the foil) on top and  set your timer(whether a regular timer or if you have a timer on your crockpot) for an hour.  After the hour you are going to check if it is done(if it feels doughy when you put your finger on it, it  needs more time…set it for another 1/2 hour then).  When it feels done, you can do one of two things…take it out and put it under the broiler til the top is brown, or do what I did today…take your bread out and put it back in the crockpot top side down for 15 minutes.  Put the lid on again.  When the fifteen minutes are up, take it out of the crockpot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.  Do not cut the bread until it is cooled…

Enjoy…I hope you will try this…it really is good.

Let me know if you do.

til next time…Eva

 

 

Update:  December 14, 2016

I have been making the bread regularly(weekly or more often) and have been enjoying a version similar to my dad’s holiday bread.  Basically the difference to the basic recipe is additional ingredients:  2-3 T of brown sugar, 1.2-1 t of cinnamon, 1 t vanilla, fruit and nuts of choice(1/2-3/4 cup).

Add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in the beginning when you are starting to mix the bread dough.  Towards the end of the process, add your fruit/nut mixture(I had found packets that had a mixture of raisins and dried cherries plus the nut mixture was mixed as well).

Continue with the crockpot as above.

It. is.yummy!  Enjoy!

Plum or Apple Kuchen…Time for Cake!

002020                                    All summer long it’s been way too hot to even think of putting the oven on to bake anything(my sister in law always tells my brother that the oven is off from Memorial Day to Labor Day…and she means it!)

I had gotten some really nice prune plums at the green grocer last week and decided to try and make the Plum Cake(Zwetchgenkuchen) that Frau Lampe used to make.  When I was finished my freshman year at college, I spent the summer in Marburg/Lahn in Germany for a summer and went to the Sprachenschule there to improve my German.  I stayed with a family and she used to make amazing desserts…this being one of them.   I tried it again last night using some apples I had gotten yesterday and that was delicious as well.  They are not sweet and are good for anytime of the day.  My husband likes to put a dollop of yoghurt on his, I like mine heated a little in the microwave and eat mine plain.

Frau Lampe’s Zwetchgenkuchen(Plum Cake) or Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups flour(note: I used whole wheat for the plums, white for the apple) You can also use gluten free flour.

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1 stick margarine or butter, softened

Sugar…the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar…I use 1/4.

1 Egg and 2 T yoghurt(the original recipe uses 2 eggs only)

1 T lemon juice and 1 t lemon peel

1 t vanilla( you could use almond flavoring instead)

1-2 Tablespoons of milk…if needed

Topping(2 T of sugar and 1 t of cinnamon mixed)

Plums(if you are using prune plums, just pit them and cut them in half)  Apples(2 apples cored, peeled and sliced)

a. Mix the sugar and butter/margarine until well mixed.  Add the egg(s) and yoghurt(if only using one egg), mix well.  Add the lemon juice and peel.  Add the vanilla.

b. In another bowl, mix the flour of preference with the salt and the baking powder.

c. Mix the two together and stir well…if it is too thick(you want a thick batter but so thick that you can’t smooth it out…I usually need 1-2 T of milk. It has to be thick enough that the fruit doesn’t fall through.

d.  Pour into an 9 inch in diameter pan.  Grease well.

e. Taking the fruit, start in the center and arrange in a spiral.

f. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar mixture and place in the oven for 30 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Let it cool a bit…I like mine warm, hubby likes his cold cause he says he tastes the lemon more when it’s cold.

This recipe can be used with other fruits as well…I have some peaches I have to try it with next…let me know if you try it.  Today in my part of the world it’s rainy and chilly…perfect day to put something in the oven!

Enjoy!

til next time…Eva

c.