Slow-Cooked Sourdough Bread

Slow-Cooked Sourdough Bread.

The latest in my continuing experiments investigating what can be made using a slow cooker.

Two weeks ago I made some Biga, planning to leave it a week and make sourdough bread the following weekend.  Two weekends passed in which I was diverted to more pressing matters.  Last night I discovered the forgotten biga in the refrigerator, and decided to try using it.  I took it from the cold, fed it a little sugar and was happy to see it begin to work almost immediately.  It was late, so I left it until early morning.  Since I had no time during the day  to stand around baking, due to the requirements of employment, it seemed a good opportunity to try the slow cooker method.

First a reminder of how to make biga:



  • 1/4 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup tepid water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for the bowl


  1. Mix all the ingredients into a sticky dough.
  2. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it to rise at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours  (up to 72 hours).
  3. It can be covered and refrigerated for a week, or frozen indefinitely, until used.

Sourdough Bread

To make the sourdough bread, I first lined the slow cooker bowl with grease-proof paper and sprayed it with aerosol cooking oil.  Baking paper would do too.

Into the bowl of my Kenwood Chef, I put:

  • 2 cups or so of biga
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup tepid water  
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt

and kneaded it using the dough hook for ten minutes or so.

I then dropped it into the slow cooker bowl. It not-quite half filled the bowl.   Perfect.

I put the lid on and stood the bowl in my sink, which I had half filled with warm water.  Then I went to work.  It was 8:50 am.

Just over an hour and a half later I returned to find the dough had risen almost to the level of the lid.  I just put the bowl into the slow cooker, turned it on high, and left again.  I did not return  for lunch because we had a BBQ  for the kids.  It was almost 5 pm by the time I came home, and to be honest I had quite forgotten I was baking bread.   I was surprised to find the bread had turned out really well. It has a brown crust except on top so it just needed to be turned out onto a board. It was just a little soggy around the edge at the top (now the bottom) so I trimmed it and gave the extraneous bits to the goat.  I had a warm slice with a little butter and found it delicious, with a distinct sourdough flavour.

It reminded me of my Grandmother’s home-made bread that she made using milk that had gone sour.



About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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One Response to Slow-Cooked Sourdough Bread

  1. Pingback: An Interesting Day | Through Hollow Lands and Hilly Lands

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