1 batch bread dough (enough to make 1 one-pound loaf), any variety, prepared to the point of shaping and baking
- Shape your loaf of bread: Shape your loaf into a round or a loaf depending on the size of your slow cooker and/or what kind of loaf you’d like to make. Set the shaped dough on a square of parchment paper. (If you’re baking the bread in a pan, there’s no need to use parchment.)
- Lift it into the slow cooker: Lift the loaf by the parchment and set it in the middle of the slow cooker. Try to flatten the parchment as much as possible against the sides of the slow cooker to prevent it from getting caught in the bread as it rises. Cover the slow cooker with its lid. (See Recipe Note.)
- Set the slow cooker to HIGH: Turn on your slow cooker to the highest heat setting (or quickest time setting).
- Bake for 1 to 2 1/2 hours: Baking time will vary depending on your slow cooker. If this is your first time baking bread in your slow cooker, begin checking the loaf after 1 hour, then every 30 minutes, and then more frequently as it nears finishing. Record this baking time for future reference.
- Bread is done with an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F: Checking the internal temperature of the loaf is the best way to tell when it is done baking; a finished loaf will have an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F. The top will also feel soft but no longer spongy, and the bottom will be hard and slightly golden.
- Brown the loaf under the broiler: If a darker-colored, crustier loaf is desired, set the loaf on a rack positioned in the middle of the oven and turn on the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Check frequently to avoid burning the loaf.
- Cool and slice: Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
- Pre-Baking Rise? You do not need to let your bread rise before baking. However, if your bread dough has been in the refrigerator, letting it warm a bit on the counter can reduce the overall cooking time.