In our ongoing exploration of the whole bread experience, I tried yet another method this week. A favourite food blog on my list is Frugal Mum Of 3 [aka Sharon] who blogs here. She was on Radio 4’s Food Programme this week with Sheila Dillon, extolling the virtues of the slow cooker. [you may still catch it on iPlayer for the next couple of days]
Sharon blogged her recipe for slow cooker bread last week. My slow cooker is very busy at the moment – preparing casseroles for when I get home from a long day in the classroom, or cooking a ham joint to slice for lunchtime sandwiches, or turning a chicken carcase into stock…but bread? Her recipe is here.
The amazing thing is, it was incredibly simple, and required almost no effort on my part. I put the ingredients in my Kenwood Chef, with the kneading hook, left it to its own devices for 5 minutes while I made a cup of tea, then put the dough into my slow cooker [lined with a couple of cake cases] and set it on High for 2hr 15 mins.
We decided that next time we would perhaps cook it a little longer [I used 100% brown flour, and with some white I think it would have been fine] and Bob felt he would have liked a little more salt. But the texture and taste were extremely good. Thank you Sharon!
I am not sure Paul Hollywood would approve- but he is a bit of a purist. From my point of view this loaf has lots of advantages…
- speed – I started at 4pm and it was cool enough to eat by the time “The Archers” came on the radio just after 7!
- economy – slow cookers are wonderfully cheap to run
- shape – the breadmaker does leave a ‘plughole’ in the bottom of the loaf
Speaking of PH, I didn’t enjoy the GBBO very much this week. Is it me, or is he being unnecessarily harsh in his judgements? I felt so sorry for Beca and Frances, who were reduced to tears by what he said. But if Ruby tells us how awful her cooking is once more, I may scream. The other week she kept saying it was so stressful because she was also doing her exams. Surely if you have Big Exams coming up, you shouldn’t enter a competition like GBBO at the same time?
I cannot decide who I want to win – Frances does amazing presentations [if only PH would stop quoting his ‘style over substance’ mantra at her every week] Beca appears to be a great ‘family’ baker, and Kimberley clearly has good technical know-how, and skill with flavours. As Ruby repeatedly says her cooking is dreadful, then either it is false modesty, or it really is dreadful. In either case she does not deserve to win.
And who was that intruder behind Frances?