Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Artisanal Bread In Our Rice Cooker

Well, I have been big on making sure we don't have too many unitaskers in our lives.  The rice cooker, in spite of its' name, surely isn't one of these!  I have prepared a number of interesting meals in it.  Recently, we were out of bread and so Kenny and I decided to see if it was up to this task.

The recipe we used was based in basic bread, but we also decided to go off script and make a few of our own changes.  I'll also give my suggestions for how I would modify it in future.

First up, wash hands thoroughly, no cooties in our kitchen!


Then, a nice apron to help keep us clean as we work with sticky, greasy and dusty ingredients.



Our kit all laid out nice and neat.  Including the rice cooker bowl, which doubled (tripled?) as the mixing bowl, rising bowl and baking dish.



First we add in the flour.  It was a half pint/250mL jar overflowing until there was no more chance of even a single grain of flour to be added.  Next time I should use a 500mL about 3/4 full I think.  I added a bunch of Brule Creek flour to the mix, which is pretty heavy.  The balance was straight up all purpose flour.


Next add about 2/3 of a 250mL jar of my homemade hard cider.  Whatever is left in your bottle is the head baker's prerogative to drink.


A big tablespoon of butter needs to be scraped in.  Now we have greasy fingers!  Oh well...


A teaspoon of kosher salt.  It can be any salt I guess, I just found the kosher salt first.


How about a splash of milk?  I had a 125mL jar that I only filled up about a quarter full.


Sugar.  We used brown.  I think maybe another heaping tablespoon.


Yeast.  I used instant yeast, about a tablespoon or heaping tablespoon.  Next time I would probably proof it in a bit of warm water first to give it a big head start.  This time I was lazy.  I bet quick yeast would also be super-effective.


Now mix.  Kenny really kneaded it well, but it was still shaggy and sticky.  I added about four or five more tablespoons of all purpose flour until it became more "loaf"y.




Cover with a damp cloth and allow it to rise.  In the old days I would have put it in the oven with the oven light on for warmth.  This particular day was sunny so I sat it outside to see if it could rise much.



After the first hour, not much had happened, but I flipped it over and set it back outside.

After the second hour I flipped it again, and put it in the rice cooker with a prayer.  Not much rising had happened - curse that delicious but heavy flour and my impatience with the yeast...  Turn on the rice cooker and hit up an hour on your timer.


After hour the first, flip it again, and go for another hour.

After the second hour, flip again and go for another hour.

Okay, we're five hours in...  But at least it's pretty easy to deal with.  Flipping once an hour only takes a second.


Enjoy with a big glass of milk and some cinnamon cream cheese!

Didn't snap a picture before it was already set upon...




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