I have been wanting to bake something fierce but it's just been too hot. So I decided to figure out this "slow cooker baking" I've read about in the past. I think it was last Fall I started seeing folks baking bread in their slow cookers. I thought, hey that's pretty smart and then I forgot about it. It was cool and my oven was in high use but with temperatures running over 100 degrees day after day there was no way the oven was being turned on.
I did a few searches on baking times, read a few recipes from sites I trust then set about writing my own recipes and testing them out. Three to be exact and you'll find them all in the next few weeks because it was super easy and delicious plus no heating up the kitchen with a hot oven. So a big ol' win win for me, plus clean up was super easy.
Here are a couple of tips about slow cooker baking that I learned while creating these three deliciously easy recipes.
1. SPRAY your slow cooker with a baking spray, one with flour and called "baking" spray. Trust me, clean up is NOT easy if you do not spray the inside. The batter will stick and burn on the edges.
2. Place paper towels over the top, I used 4 so a layer of two, twice. THEN top that with a sheet of non cling plastic wrap and add the lid. The paper towels absorb any condensation from the lid and the cling wrap hold in the heat.
3. Preheat your slow cooker. Plug it in and place it on HIGH while you prepare your batter. Once the batter is ready turn the cooker on low.
4. Baking time for most everything is 4 hours. You can do 3 1/2 covered and 1/2 uncovered if you want a firmer top to your bread, cake or brownies. I like the crusty or firmer top.
5. IF you use a loaf pan for your bread, which you can do in a large oval slow cooker, be sure to place something in the bottom first. A small roasting rack IF your slow cooker came with one, mine did. OR a few wet paper towels, this will prevent your metal loaf pan from rusting the bottom of the slow cooker.
6. You CAN use silicone baking molds, ramekins, mini loaf pans or other small baking pans in a large oval slow cooker or even round pans in a large round slow cooker. But not necessary.
Apple Banana Cinnamon Sunflower Seed Bread
a few notes:
*place the bananas in a blender along with the oil, margarine and eggs. This will create a smooth base for the batter. Plus it will eliminate any chunks of mushy brown bananas in the bread, which I hate.
*place the apple in the food processor to mince it so there are no chucks of apple in the bread which like the banana will turn brown.
*for an added crunch or flavor sprinkle brown sugar on top, chopped nuts or coconut
*flip out a rack to cool and slice
*store in an air tight container for 2-3 days or in large zip top bags
*store in the fridge and toast before eating, smeared with a little bit of butter YUM
*at 3 hours and 15 minutes it smelled so wonderful I had to take a peek. The bread was done but a tad soft so I took the lid off for the remaining 45 minutes. When there was 30 minutes left I turned it off. Then at the full 4 hours I took it out to cool. Perfect bread
Ingredients and Instructions
4 hours on low
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 medium bananas
1 large apple minced
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
In a food processor or blender place the eggs, margarine, oil, and bananas, blend until smooth. so it will look like this:
In the food processor mince the apple: so it looks like this.
In a large bowl place the smooth banana mixture and mix in the apple. Stir in the sugar. Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg. Lastly fold in the sunflower seeds. The batter will be thick.
Pour into the slow cooker that has been heated and sprayed with baking spray. Spread evenly. Last thought was to sprinkle some goodness on top. Cinnamon, shredded sweet coconut and brown sugar.
Paper towels on top, plastic wrap and then the lid.
Bake for 4 hours
Turn the crock upside down and allow the bread to cool on a rack. Slice and enjoy!