One of my favorite things to do is to make bread from scratch. What can I say? I am my father’s daughter. Back in the 80s when I was in high school, my dad was head of security at Area 51. You’ve heard of it? Where the aliens are kept?? Anyway… He couldn’t talk about his job so he would come home & bake bread. Now this was way before stand mixers. At least before stand mixers where in almost every kitchen. He would knead the crap out of the dough to take out his frustrations & aggressions. And we always had deliciously warm & fresh bread. It was pretty awesome.
A version of this recipe was in my last Slow Cooker magazine & caught my eye because this is my favorite loaf at Costco. I just had to try it!
One of the things I learned from my dad was not to bother with little envelopes of yeast. They expire quickly & they’re kind of a pain. Just invest in the jar & keep it in the fridge. The jars of yeast will usually last 2 years but keeping them in the fridge gives them a longer shelf life. If the date has expired, you can still use the yeast, but it might need a longer proofing time.
For this recipe, it called for 1 & 1/2 cups of warm water (105 – 115 degrees). It’s super important to pay attention to the temperature. If the water is too hot, it will kill the active enzymes. If it’s not hot enough, the active enzymes won’t ‘activate’. Add the yeast (2 & 1/4 teaspoons – the equivalent of an envelope) to the warm water in a large bowl. Let it foam for 10 minutes.
Add the flour, parmesan, rosemary & pepper to the yeast water. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine thoroughly. The dough is going to be sticky & soft. Cover the bowl & let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
When the two hours are up, pour the dough out onto a well-floured surface. It was super sticky so I had to flour my fingers pretty well, too. Shape it into a ball. Set it into the crockpot. I didn’t have any parchment paper so used my silicone mat & sprayed everything pretty well with cooking spray. Cover & cook on high for 2 hours.
Once the two hours are up, lift the bread out (carefully – it’s hot!) and transfer it to a cookie sheet. Broil in the oven about 4-5 inches away from the top & watch it carefully. The point here is just to dry out the top & make it a golden brown.
Slice & serve warm with butter! OMG it’s UH.MAZE.ING. I’m sooooooo making this on a regular basis!
Slow Cooker Rosemary Parmesan Bread
- 1.5 cups warm water 105 – 110 degrees
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2.5 tbsp dry rosemary
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
- 1.5 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- cooking spray
- Add the yeast to the warm water in a large bowl. Let it “proof” for 10 minutes or until it looks foamy on the top.
- Add the flour (2 & 2/3 cups + 3 tablespoons), rosemary, parmesan, salt & pepper to the yeast water. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. The dough will the soft & sticky. Cover & let it stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Cover your fingers with flour & form the dough into a ball.
- Add parchment paper or a small silicone mat to the crockpot. Spray well with cooking spray. Add the dough ball to the center. Cover. Cook on high for 2 hours.
- Carefully transfer the loaf to a cookie sheet. Broil 4-5″ from the heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until top is dry & golden brown. Slice & serve.