New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Perfect Gluten Free Bread Baked in the CrockPot



Day 87.
If you aren't gluten free, this might not mean as much to you as it does to me. When you go gluten free, you miss bread. You miss it a lot. There are substitutes---you can have brown rice or corn tortilla wraps, you can put your sandwich fixings on rice cakes, and you can use tortilla chips to scoop up your favorite dip.

But none of that is bread.

I've spent too much time and money trying to make gluten free bread that doesn't stink. I have bought little bags of this and that trying to mix my own flour. I have added extra xantham gum hoping that I found the perfect amount to create some extra height and lightness, only to have the bread cave in at the very end of the cooking time---leaving me with a mess of crumbs.

and disappointed kids.

but then! Whole Foods came out with a line of gluten free baking mixes that were not only inexpensive, but good. As in tasty. As in light and airy. As in not only palatable, but delicious.

and guess what I just figured out? The dough rises wonderfully when it is cooked in a hot humid environment, like in a CROCKPOT!!!

The Ingredients.


--one box of 365 Gluten Free Sandwich Bread Mix (Whole Foods)

--the stuff the box tells you to use---warm water, butter, eggs, enclosed yeast packet

The Directions.

--prepare dough according to the instructions on the box for oven-method.

(I always use hot water with GF baking. The boxes say luke-warm, but I use hot.)


--spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, dump in batter


--put the loaf pan into a 6qt oval crockpot--you don't need to wait for rising time, it will rise in the crock


--prop the lid ajar with a chopstick or spoon


--cover and cook on high for 2-5 hours. This loaf was done right around 3 3/4 hours.

--remove from pan; let cool before slicing

The Verdict.

Moist, airy, delicious, gluten-free bread. I loved that I could put this on and do a bunch of other things without obsessively checking the oven. I have 3 more boxes in the pantry, and am looking forward to making some more.

I think we need some cinnamon raisin...




It's Slow Cooker Thursday! I'm going to be away from the computer all day today, so can't make the rounds, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Grab a cup of coffee, and go see what Sandra and the other ladies have been cooking.

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74 comments:

Patricia Biesen said...

OMG I am definitely trying this!

Stephanie C. said...

We're not gluten free around here, but I am really happy for you that you've finally found a bread that works and you love.

laughingatchaos said...

I'll have to try this...but tell me, are there high altitude instructions on the box? Think I'd have to change anything before making it in the cp? Thanks!

angela said...

As a gluten-free girlie, I must say "Woo!" I am trying this out this weekend. That would be a great way also for my younger gluten free girl to make bread (she's 10 and a big kitchen helper) to make gf bread without scaring mommy half to death with the 400+ degree oven!

Thanks for trying it out and posting the results!

angelaskitchen.com

PLAIN KIDS said...

Seriously, you're changing my life. Mom of 4 young kids, busy with life. I love to cook, enjoy whole foods (Daughter is on Feingold Diet) and am sooo pleased with all the recipes that I have tried from your blog. Bless you! I am forwardign all my girlfriends your blog to read.

jenijen said...

I LOVE YOU EVEN MORE THAN I DID BEFORE.

xoxoxo
;)

Sissy said...

Followed you here from the Peterson's. The bread looks amazing! I have two friends that have celiacs and eat gluten free, so I am sure they will be happy to hear about the bread mix!

A year with your crockpot...I will have to check back.

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

I don't have an oval crock pot, but I'm wondering -- what if I just put it in the round crock and didn't care if it was loaf shaped? What do you think Steph?

I have the mix, all the stuff,,,etc.

Lee Ann said...

I can't tell you how excited I am to try this! I haven't had bread in years....just plain gave up trying. I'm on my way to Whole Foods right now!

Crockpot Lady said...

yay, patricia!

stephanie c., thank you!

laughingatchaos, the house is sound asleep, so I'm not going to go dig for a new box in the garage right now, but I will look in the morning and report back.

angela, I know! And you don't have to scream every 5 minutes to not thump in the kitchen...

plain kids, I'm so happy to be of any help at all. thank you.

jenijen, yay! I love you too!

sissy, thank you. ;-)

ginger, I do think it would work---I'd spray a bit of cooking spray right in the stoneware. Take pictures! Report back--I'm excited.

lee ann, this bread really does taste good untoasted with butter. that is such a relief to our family.

xoxox
steph

themama said...

omg, I am so trying this!
My 5yo was diagnosed Celiac about a month ago (and the baby and I went GF along with her) and I still haven't tried making bread... Total inspiration here, thank you.

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

My Crockpot looks like no. 2 in your lineup -- it's 22 years old.

I greased it with cooking spray, mixed the batter WITH MY HAND MIXER (not the stand one) and slid the dough Directly into the Crock.

After about three hours, the tester came out clean, so I inverted it on a rack, and it turned out GREAT. it's a lovely rustic roundish loaf.

PERFECT BREAD. Needs a little more salt in the mix, but I would make ANY bread this way now.

I'll have a post about it tomorrow or Monday -- with kudos to you, the originator!

Ellen said...

Wonderfully brilliant. I just posted about it at my blog, with a link back to you. Thanks for the idea!!!!

Hockey Mom said...

Okay, so I prop the lid with spoon, or do I cover it? That has me a little confused (but I often am anyway). Thanks so much for this!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Hockey Mom,

I put the end of a wooden spoon or a chopstick into the crockpot (it kind of rests on the edge a little) and then cover with the lid. You want to create a bit of a gap for steam to escape, but not enough to lose too much heat.

--steph

CeliacChick said...

I just fell in love with your blog! I'm a crock pot fan too, but bread?!!! That is amazing!

Weird thing is I was just going to do a post on my latest easy crock pot meal! I'll have to link to you now!

So, do you think the bread trick would work with a quick bread too? I don't handle yeast very well.

Crockpot Lady said...

hi celiac chick,

I have baked GF banana bread and coffee cake in the crock which didn't have yeast. Both "breads" baked nicely. They were dense, but no more dense than they would have been in the oven.

xox
steph

graceunderautism said...

looks really good AND easy. my friend sent me here and it looks like I have a lot of catching up to do.

Personally, my kids love the Bob's Red Mill Wonderful Homemade bread. my blog reads like I work for them, but I don't. we just really like their stuff. I'm going to try this with their mix since the last one I did overflowed in the bread maker and stank up the house with burnt bread, the overflow, not the loaf.

Carrie said...

I AM SO TRYING THIS!!! THANK YOU!!! I'm dusting off my crock pot this afternoon and adding a loaf!! I can't wait to see what happens! You are just darn smart!! Thank you for sharing this great post!!

Aimless Writer said...

I tried this bread and I'm amazed! Thank you for turning me on to the wonders of the crockpot!
I'm in shock that I was able to make bread this good.
Thank you!

kastex said...

Ok..I have a 6qt crockpot that looks something like yours. I also have a ceramic loaf pan, it's short though that fits in the crock. When I made pound cake, it dropped down the sides of the pan...we call it lava cake. hehe Did you use a ceramic pan or metal loaf pan? What are the dimentions of it. I don't think any of mine will fit in the crock...even though it's huge! HELP!! I'd love to make our favorite bread mix in the crock!!
kathi

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Kathi,
I used a metal loaf pan because it is the only kind I have. A ceramic pan should work fine. Don't add water to the crock, and mix your dough like normal. Vent the top of your crock with a chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon.

let me know how it comes out!
-steph

Hockey Mom said...

Thank you so much! I'm loving all these recipes.....goes a long way towards making me feel not so isolated.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited about this! I went to your site to make crockpot bread for your family and discover you are GF, like me. Wow! I can't wait to try this. I have started doing mostly crockpot cooking because I don't want to heat up the house (I put the crockpot on the porch). I made rice in it the other day that turned out perfect. I never knew the crockpot was so versitle. Thanks for your blog!
Michelle

Tim said...

Good Job! :)

Tracey said...

Stephanie, Thank you so much. I saw you on Tv and thought I would check out your site. My daughter is gluten free. She is allergic to Corn, Wheat, Soy, Oats, and Peanuts. You have given us some ideas on how to survive. She misses bread the most. :-(

Kirsten said...

I am so excited about this!!!!! I rarely make bread because--silly as it is--I HATE the letting-it-rise part. I just tried this with my regular bread recipe--love it!! Goodbye, store-bought bread! Goodbye, trying to figure out if it's "doubled in size". Can't wait to experiment with different kinds of bread!

Mama Kat said...

Ok I know this post was awhile ago but I am SO excited to try it!! Now to find out what this Whole Foods thing is everyone keeps talking about...maybe they have a website...

Chandra said...

OK, I finally got a chance to try this after obsessing about buying a big enough crock pot for months! (Actually I did buy it about a month ago but today being Christmas I'm actually home long enough to bake the bread.) I think it's done now, so I'm going to take it out!

Cove Girl said...

I've never been good when baking with yeast so I'm a bit hesitant and have some questions.

1. Do you turn the crock pot on prior to putting the loaf in to let it initially rise? Or will it rise on it's own?

2. Do you only keep the lid ajar until the dough rises?

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Cove Girl,
I didn't preheat the crock.
I did leave the chopstick in the entire rising and baking time.

xoxo
steph

Sheree said...

I will so be trying this! We're GFCF here and just started at New Year's! Dying for bread! Found Gluten free pantry's sandwich bread mix - pretty good but kid won't eat it! I'll have to try this one!

NativeRose said...

GF...bread aside from the frozen stuff? I'm not still dreaming, right? I can't wait to try this! Do you think this would work with something like a cornbread mix? I can't wait to try some real bread again!

Rachel said...

WOW! WOW! Hooray, I can' wait to try this!

I just have one question; do I just let the dough rise in the crockpot, or will it cook in there too? I know you're probably busy, but if you don't mind clarifying for me, I'd really appreciate it! I soooooo miss decent bread!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Rachel,

it cooks and rises at the same time----not need to let it rise on it's own before plopping it into the crock.

good luck!!
xoxo
steph

Zom! said...

You are such an inspiration for "thinking outside the crock"!!! Thank you! I am trying out a crockpot bread experiment this week.

Anonymous said...

thank you!!!!!!! i ahve been so unsure, but i just purchased this box and i was afraid to actually bake it. thank you !!!!!!

another crazy tired fun autism mom

Sarah said...

I've never made bread in my crockpot, so I'm excited about trying this. Do you mix it by hand or do you use a hand mixer? I don't have a heavy duty mixer, so I'd have to use my hand mixer or by hand instead. Also, do you put it in the oven after baking to brown it on top?

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Sarah,

I don't have a fancy-pants mixer, either. I used the hand mixer and followed the directions on the box. No, I did not put it in the oven to brown it on top----the slow cooker did that all on it's own!

:-)
xoxo steph

Jennifer said...

omg i am so excited about this recipe! i'm not GF, but i LOVE making my own bread. i am going to be oven-less for the next several months (long story) and i was so sad to have to go back to store bought! i have a question though, the bread recipe i usually use requires a double rising. would you let it rise the first time as usual and then put it in the slow cooker for the 2nd rising and baking? or would you just skip the first rising and go right from there? i'm not sure what the directions say on the mix you were using, so i wasn't sure. thanks!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi jennifer,

the box mix I used didn't ask for a second rising. I suppose the safe thing to do would be to let it rise once out of the crock, then plop it in, but it's your choice. I really don't know. I haven't cooked with traditional flour in quite a few years.

xoxo steph

silver9mm said...

It's in the crock pot as I type. I'm using the 'homemade' gf bread mix from Bob's Red Mill, I'm so excited to see if this will work, thank you so much for answering questions asked by your readers, they helped me feel a lot more confident in trying this. I'll let you know how it turns out, thanks again!

Devon said...

made the GF bread today.. but my silly breadpan was too big for the SmartPot. So i cooked it the ol fashioned way.. but oooh it was sooooo nice to eat BREAD!!!!!

thgilrats said...

I'm not GF, but I don't have a bread maker. I've experimented with various types of bread dough, all of which work great thrown into a slower cooker on high for 3 hours. But I have struggled with condensation making the top soggy, I can't wait to try your chopstick idea and see if it saves me covering the pan with tin foil each time!

loyemarie said...

So, I put my glass loaf pan in my 6qt. crockpot, because my metal ones didn't fit. The glass pan is 8"x4", and it has spilled over the sides of the pan! Maybe I need to make half at a time, (weigh out half the mix, use 1 egg and 2T. butter and about 3/4c.+2T. water). Or... use the spilled over bits to make into breadcrumbs!

Alicia said...

I can't believe you can make bread in the crockpot! I tried this last night, but with a regular wheat bread recipe, and it turned out awesome! The only problem I had is that the bottom was a little hard, but I did leave it overnight, so that may have been the reason.

Anonymous said...

I have had your site bookmaked for a while but never took much time to look around I saw this today and I'm hooked! Thanks so much.

Bookworm Momma said...

This sounds awesome! Our family is GF and had given up on bread for awhile. My DH got me a 6-qt. crockpot for Christmas to help me spend less time in the kitchen. He's a baker, so I got him a Le Creuset stoneware loaf pan for Christmas so he could have a healthy non-stick surface to attempt bread again. We would NEVER have thought to use them together! (Reminds me of the old commercial -- "Hey, you just got your chocolate in my peanut butter...")

I'm going to try this tomorrow, but we won't use the 365 mix, because we think one of the kids is sensitive to corn (hence our desire to bake bread to replace the corn tortillas for lunch), and the 365 mix has cornstarch. We'll use the white bread recipe from "Bake Deliciously" by Jean Duane (yes, we're casein free too!).

Erika K said...

Oh my, I just tried this. I have a 5 qt cooker, so I had to use an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 pan. I used Breads By Anna because we don't have a Whole Foods within 3 driving hours from us. I halved the recipe and shortened the cooking time to 2 1/2 hours.

Perfect! No caving, no sinking, no weird globby parts in the middle. A lovely rounded top and great texture. I'm stunned. Now I'll try other recipes and/or mixes I have with this method.

Genius!

Rachel said...

I didn't believe it could be done, so I mixed up a batch of my favorite bread dough (Tom's Bread, from www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com) and threw it in my crockpot. WOW! It was great! I tried to make it flat and round like focaccia bread and it looked funny but tasted great. I'm going to experiment with more shapes and sizes. I see a lot of bread sampling in my future.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I guess I've ignored the gluten-free baking mixes for the most part, because I was unaware Whole Foods started selling their own blend. How cool, and even more cool that you can make it in your crock pot! Love this. Probably have ot give it a try - and I bet it's cheaper than buying a loaf of Udi's!

KilaRohner.com said...

So excited to find this, I can't wait to try. I've tried so many GF breads and usually pretty disappointed. Sometimes a girl just wants a sandwich or toast. Thank you.

Jacqueline said...

Could I put a silicone pan (one of those bendy, rubber ones) in the crock pot, or would it melt? I'd love to try making a braided challah!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Jacqueline, silicone will work just fine. Anything you can safely put in the oven will work as an insert. Be careful taking it out of the crock!
enjoy-steph

Julie said...

recently dx'ed with wheat/yeast intolerance. I noticed you said this one uses a yeast (which would explain why it's lighter than most gluten free breads). Bummer, unless you tell me that it's not regular yeast but some special thing.

Becky L. said...

I recently have started eating gf. I want a tuna fish sandwich so bad! have been putting the tuna on little gf crackers and its good but just not the same. can't wait to make this bread and have a sandwich! God Bless You.

Katie said...

I will have to try this! Looks good!

littlefigblog.com said...

I love this idea for baking bread during the Summer, and for getting a moister, airer loaf out of GF recipes. I found your recipe by googling "crockpot gluten-free bread" to see who had tried this before me... thank you for blazing the trail, Stephanie!!

mom2kgirls said...

I am so excited to find this website! I was skeptical at first, but tried the bread in the crock-pot directions and am so happy with the results! I used Bob's Red Mills bread mix and it came out tasting great, nice and airy. I baked it in 2 smaller loaf pans and found that I could use both my 4qt and 6qt slow cookers to do this. I have missed bread so much - THANK YOU!

Diana Rivers said...

I just found your site and am so thrilled. I live in south texas and even winter has been warm here so I hate to heat the house with the oven. I have also not had very good luck with gluten free bread. There is not a Whole foods near me so I will try the Sorghum bread recipe from bette hagman and see how it turns out. Great site. Thanks!

Cindy Lucento said...

I have a question about baking bread in the crock-pot, since I have never tried it. Do you leave the liner in if using a loaf pan? Obviously those people who are putting the dough right into the crock are not using a loaf pan, or at least that is the way it sounds to me. But if one wants to use, say a 9" by 5" pan, do you removed the ceramic liner or leave it in? Thanks for your help.

Stephanie ODea said...

Hi Cindy,
yes! Leave the ceramic slow cooker insert in the pot, and put the loaf pan into that.
-steph

Cindy Lucento said...

Thanks, Stephanie, for the answer to my question. This may be a use for a crock-pot that I have that is only about a year old. The crock has a crack in it, so the last time I used it, I used a crock-pot liner (the ones that are like the bags to roast a turkey in) But I was still concerned that it might leak. The crock cracked after only about 5 or 6 uses, which is why I was hoping that I may be able to use it for this. I am going to give it a try, as I hate to heat up the oven in the summer, but we still like homemade bread then, too. Thanks again.

Emily said...

Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful Crockpot recipes. I always come to your site first when I'm looking for ideas and I try to make at least one Crockpot dinner every week. I've never seen bread done this way and can't wait to try it. Do you include most of your favorite recipes in your books? I would love to get a book but didn't know which one to start with. Can you recommend a good starting book for a family with a little baby just starting to eat solids and the rest of us that love meals with veggies and all kind of meat? Thanks again!

Stephanie ODea said...

Hi Emily,
I think you'd like the first book -- the yellow Make it Fast Cook it Slow cookbook. It outlines pretty much everything you can do with the cooker and if you have a kindle, Amazon is currently selling it for $1.99 if you want to see if it's a good fit for you.

Congratulations on your new arrival! This is a such a fun age-- enjoy!

deanna morris said...

thank you so much! have not been able to find a breadmaker without teflon pans. cant use teflon due to toxicity to birds.
i am so happy you figured this out. you are awesome!!!

Charlene Schlegel said...

Would love to try this, but I can't use the premade box mixes since they contain potato starch/flour. Will an almond/coconut flour blend work in the crockpot?

Elizabeth said...

How about dairy free? We also can't have potato starch because white potatoes mimic gluten for us. If I can find or make a blend without potato starch, has anyone tried without the butter? Maybe coconut oil? Thanks! Love your blog!

Diana Rivers said...

Elizabeth, I have had good success with the Bette Hagman Featherlight Bean bread without dairy. I just use water and I substitute the amount of dry milk powder with almond meal. It comes out great but you have to use a 9x5 loaf pan for the medium loaf or it will overflow. I have also substituted millet for the bean flour with good results. Many of her bread recipes don't require potato starch. I also get better results with oil over butter in breads.

Diana Rivers said...

Elizabeth I forgot to mention you can get her Sorghum bread recipe at
http://twinvalleymills.com/
That is the basic recipe you can sub some brown rice, rice, millet, oat flour and various others for the sorghum and keep the starches at that level.

Natasha said...

Here's another reason this is a great recipe: I live in a foreign country and we have a gas oven with no temperature gauge. I used to bake my own bread all the time but this oven has me beat, I can never get it to come out right consistently. Either the top is underdone, the bottom is burned, or the whole thing was baked at such a low dry temperature for such a long time that it's hard as a rock. Now I can try and make it in my slow cooker! With a more even, consistent, and moist environment maybe it'll work...

Nancy H. said...


Thank you so much for this great post! I have been trying since 2007 to bake a loaf of GF bread that didn't sink when I took it out of the oven. I tried everything...I thought......until now.
Well, I finally tried this method with a Gluten Free Pantry mix and a 9x5 pan in my Ninja slow cooker (which I love) and it actually worked!!!!! The crockpot loaf did NOT sink! The texture is great! It is not quite as brown on top but who cares!

This is how I will be making all my GF bread recipes from now on. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Kate said...

I was really excited to try this so I made the dough, got it in the pan, and put it into the crockpot. The pan is barely too big so the pan doesn't touch the bottom of the crockpot. Can it still cook this way? Or does it need contact with the bottom?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Kate,

I think it will work just fine in this situation, but it might take a bit longer than the recipe stipulates. You can help conduct the heat from the bottom by bunching up some foil balls to help transfer the heat, although the sides of the newer pots do heat up along with the bottom.

I hope this helps a bit!!
steph

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