In these troubled times, there’s an understandable level of uncertainty around the things we usually take for granted. Whether it’s loo roll or tinned tomatoes, spooked shoppers haven’t exactly helped to project an air of calm. As empty supermarket aisles prove, this is not a normal situation.
However, just because the ready-made supplies that we’re all used to aren’t as easily accessible doesn’t mean that it’s all doom and gloom. As dozens of creative home cooks are demonstrating, there are plenty of ways to recreate some store cupboard staples, without leaving your kitchen. Case in point, this viral slow-cooker bread hack.
According to a Tasmanian home baking enthusiast, it’s actually much easier than you might imagine to go without your local bakery. In a popular Facebook post, which has been shared almost 300,000 times since it was originally published on March 17th, user Danielle Luttrell encouraged her followers to “(not) panic if you can't find bread in the shops, just make your own in the slow cooker.” The detailed instructions that follow should help everyone feel better about themselves.
As Luttrell explains, all you need to get started is:
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups of warm milk
- 2 Tbsp melted UNSALTED butter
- 1-3 tablespoons of sugar (add more if you like sweeter bread)
- 3 tablespoons of active dry yeast (conservative side)
- 6 cups of whole wheat flour (or 3 cups whole wheat & 3 cups all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
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Her post continues:
“Grab a big bowl, and stir the 1/2 cup of warm water, 1 (or more) tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of yeast. Wait for 5 minutes (no longer - mine went all over the place the first time!) – it should be frothy on the top. While your waiting warm 2 cups of milk and 2 Tbsp of butter in microwave.”
“Next, add milk and butter to yeast mixture. Using a standing mixer slowly add the 6 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Mix and knead the dough. (I used dough hook once I had incorporated most of the flour for about 5 minutes then kneaded by hand for another 5-7 minutes.)”
“Line your slow cooker with cooking (baking) paper and place in your round ball of dough. I will rise in the slow cooker as it heats through. Cook on High power for 2- 2.5 hours. Start checking at every 7-10 minutes until top is sponge-y but springs back and no moisture on the top. The bottom should be a nice brown colour as well as sides. I put mine (just the loaf) in the oven on broil/grill for less than 5 minutes to get a nice crusty top too!”
Danielle also notes that, “You can use a tea towel on top if you want to avoid condensation dripping in down on the loaf,” and suggests that bakers “Slice and enjoy as whole grain toast or sandwich bread!” We might be in a scary place, but at least we won’t run out of sarnies.