Taste: Fresh bread in summer without overheating the house? Try this slow cooker recipe.

Katherine Grandstrand
This delicious loaf of honey wheat bread was baked in the slow cooker. No preheated oven needed and only one rise.

One of the good things about making bread in the summer is that it’s usually warm enough to get a good rise.

There’s no turning on the oven just to make sure it’s warm enough for the yeast to do its thing.

But once the bread has risen, most recipes call for dozens of minutes of baking in an oven that seems like it heats up the whole house. It’s the price we need to pay for fresh bread.

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Unless the bread is baked in a slow cooker. This old-school kitchen appliance is the real star of the show with this honey wheat bread.

I love all sorts of fun kitchen gadgets, but time and time again, head back to the slow cooker. When the highs are above 90 for a week straight, we’re digging through recipe books looking for slow cooker options. Sure, it’s great to come home to a slow cooker full of soup in February, but it’s also just as amazing in July.

Baking bread in the slow cooker takes a little longer than the oven and, depending on the model, there isn't usually as precise of a temperature control.

More:Taste: Air fryer French toast full of flavor without the fat

This loaf took about 90 minutes at high to reach an internal temperature of 190. That time is going to vary based on the size and functionality of each slow cooker.

The bread doesn’t need to be risen twice, like many breads, so even though it takes longer to bake, the overall process is actually quicker than a traditional bread recipe because it goes from the mixer to the slow cooker for a short rise and then onto baking without having to be punched down.

Because the slow cooker doesn’t brown the loaf the same way an oven does, it’s really important to check the bread’s temperature before pulling it from the slow cooker.

To get a golden crust — which isn’t necessary, but does make the loaf prettier — go straight from the slow cooker to the broiler. Using the broiler for a few minutes doesn’t heat up the whole house the same way using the oven to bake does — the broiler doesn’t even heat up the whole oven.

In this application, it just toasts the top a little bit to give it the color expected.

The best part about this bread isn’t the way it’s baked, it’s the way it tastes when it’s done. I love a good honey wheat combo and this loaf is it.

There’s a little bit more all-purpose flour than whole wheat flour in the mix, but still enough whole wheat to give it that rustic flavor. The crumb is soft and tight.

I’ve almost exclusively eaten slices with a little bit of spreadable butter, but it would be really good with some peanut butter or even some homemade jam.

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Katherine Grandstrand, Taste columnist

Slow cooker honey wheat bread


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour.
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (also known as rapid rise).
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 3 tablespoons of honey.
  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water.


  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the flours, yeast and salt. Then add the olive oil, honey and lukewarm water. Mix on low speed or by hand until the dough comes together and begins to pull away from the bowl.
  • Knead the bread dough for six to eight minutes or until the dough is less sticky. This can be done by hand on a floured surface or in the stand mixer. This dough should be soft, but firm enough to knead. If the dough is too sticky or soft, add all-purpose flour one tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time.
  • Set the dough in the middle of a piece of parchment paper large enough to line the slow cooker. Then place the parchment paper with the dough in the slow cooker and cover with a lid.
  • Turn the slow cooker to warm and let sit for 15 minutes.
  1. Then, set the slow cooker on high heat and cook for 90 minutes to two hours, until the bread has a crust and a thermometer inserted in the loaf reaches 190.
  • Set the broiler to high. Using the parchment paper, transfer the bread to a baking sheet. Trim the excess parchment. Bake for three to five minutes until the crust is golden brown.
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes, then slice.

Recipe by 31 Daily at https://www.31daily.com/rustic-slow-cooker-honey-whole-wheat-bread/.