Makes one large loaf Special equipment Large oval slow cooker Bread pan that will fit into slow cooker These are the ones I use: 5.5 quart crock pot Good Cook 9 Inch Ceramic Loaf Dish
Evening Ingredients 2 cups rye flakes 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour mix 1 cup light rye flour 1 cup dark rye flour ½ cup sprouted rye berries (optional) ½ cup or one ball firm gluten free levain ( sourdough starter) 2 teaspoons caraway (optional) 2 cups filtered water
Morning Ingredients 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
Method I use a food processor for mixing, it can be done by hand. In the evening Measure rye flakes into food processor and spin until fine Add gluten free flour and rye flours and spin Crumble firm levain over flours and spin for a minute. Dump into a mixing bowl, add water, stir until combined, cover and let sit at room temperature 65-75F for 12 hours or until fermented.
In the morning Turn slow cooker to high for 20 minutes with the lid on. Sprinkle salt over fermented dough, Add molasses and combine until you don’t see any streaks of molasses showing. I do this with my hands in the bowl. Oil loaf pan, smooth batter into pan.
Proofing After 20 minutes, turn off slow cooker and set the loaf to proof inside. It should reach the top of the pan within 1 to 2 hours.
Baking Pour water into the bottom of slow cooker until it is half way up the side of the loaf pan and set to high for 4 hours. The loaf is done after four hours, its internal temp. should be 202-205F.
Cooling Turn it out of the pan and let cool completely before slicing, This bread slices well when it’s fresh. It also re-steams nicely when dried out, makes wonderful toast, freezes well pre-sliced. Store in a cloth, or paper bag at room temperature. With Love Enjoy
Smells of Rye bread steaming
I make this bread so often, at least once a week, that I forget that it’s novel to others, but remember every time a guest enters my house and smells the sweet rye, and sees bread steaming away in a crock pot. They go wild with disbelief, especially when I slice off a piece, and they taste the sour, moist delicious bread. Then, they want to know how to make it, and never believe how easy it is. It doesn't requires kneading, and there's less than 10 minutes of hands-on time.
A light bulb went on
I can’t quite remember this bread’s evolution, it’s been a few years. I’d discovered recipes for yeast batter breads in Marion Cunningham’s Fannie Farmer Cookbook, and wanted to try them out, and at the same time I was reading Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck from the library. I was excited by her recipe for Pumpernickel (German Rye Bread) because it was made as a batter, but did she used wheat, or commercial yeast, or sourdough? It seemed that she steamed the bread in the oven? I’ll have to check the book out again. I tried her recipe and it was good, but then started to fool around with it. A thought whispered to me about the possibility of steaming bread in the crockpot, then about using potato starch, which is in my all purpose blend, and adding rye flakes. I was careful at first about checking the bread's internal temperature, but after making it several hundred times, I can tell when it’s done by smell. Smell is an accurate gauge, in most cases, and four hours on high is just right. One of my current innovations is using the slow cooker for proofing bread! Why hadn’t I thought of that before? It’s perfect, I bring it up to about 85-90F by turning it on high for 20 minutes and then turning it off while the bread proofs. Wow, the dough is active and happy in that environment. No slow, proofing rye sourdoughs anymore. My potato starch based levain helps as well, it’s very active. I can pull it out of the fridge and put it right in whatever I’m baking,and the next morning it’s big and bubbly, consistently so.
Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread. Pablo Neruda