Baking has been a thing recently. Maybe you finally learned how to use yeast, maybe you’ve been nursing a sourdough starter. Maybe its cinnamon rolls, or perfect baguettes. Maybe you are a little tired of it. Or maybe, you never started at all. But there is just something so comforting about fresh, warm homemade bread, and we could all use as much comfort as we can manage these days. This recipe has been banging around in my files for a while, and now seems the perfect time to bring it out. Fresh, hot bread with so little effort. A quick stir, a light knead, walk away while it cooks.
This loaf is similar to a soda bread (though it uses baking powder). It isn’t a risen, airy yeast loaf, but a denser, heartier bread perfect for dunking into soup or slathering with butter. Once you have the basic recipe down, you can go to town with creativity. And grated cheese will work – cheddar, gouda, gruyere, jack, fontina, crumbled blue. Same with herbs. Whatever you have on hand – or a combination of what you have left in those little packets. No fresh herbs? Use dried, or any spices you like – smoked paprika, garlic, curry powder. (The loaf pictured here has sage and gruyere). Tailor it to your taste, what you have on hand, or to match a meal.
Seriously Simple Slow Cooker Cheese and Herb Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, gruyere, gouda)
1 ½ cups buttermilk
- Line a slow cooker with two pieces of parchment paper in a cross. Place another piece of parchment on the counter and sprinkle with a little flour.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Use a fork to combine, then add the herbs and cheese and stir to combine. Add one cup of the buttermilk and work with the fork to combine as much as you can, then get into the bowl with your good, clean hands to bring the dough together. Add the remaining buttermilk as needed until you have a shaggy dough that’s just come together incorporating all the flour. Don’t mix or knead the dough to heavily, just bring it all together. Turn the dough onto the floured parchment and turn it around in the flour to shape a nice round. Use a sharp knife to cut a deep cross in the top of the dough. Gently lift the dough into the lined slow cooker. Drape a tea towel over the top of the cooker, then place the lid over the towel – this will absorb the steam so your loaf doesn’t get soggy. Cook on high for 2 ½ hours without peaking. When the time is up, lift the loaf out of the cooker by the paper and flip it upside down into the cooker and cook a further 30 minutes. This will help brown the top.
- I love this served warm, with butter. But once it is cooled, wrap it tightly and it will keep for a day.