Did you know that you can make bread in your slow cooker? You can, and it's easier than you might think. Here is a recipe that I use and love, and it can be tweaked to create several artisan style breads! Here is the recipe:
Slow Cooker Herb Bread
1 tsp Sugar
1 1/3 cups Warm Water (slightly warmer than room temperature)
1 envelope active dry yeast (or 1 scant Tbsp)
*In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water, then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it stand for 5-7 minutes, or until the yeast starts to foam. Stir to dissolve the yeast. *
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 more cup flour
Add the next 8 ingredients to the yeast mixture and beat in a mixer on low until moistened, then on medium for 2 minutes. If you do not have a mixer, you may mix by hand.
Work in the second amount of flour. If you have a mixer, use the dough hook attachment to "knead" for a couple of minutes. If you have no mixer, you can work in the second amount of flour by hand and knead until the dough becomes more elastic.
Grease your slow cooker and place the dough into the middle. You can smooth out the top of the load with a wet spoon or your hand, or you can leave as-is.
Place 5 paper towels in between the lid and the slow cooker (to absorb the excess moisture so your loaf won't turn out mushy on the top), and place a wooden tooth pick (thick ones) between the paper towels and edge of slow cooker to allow for a little steam to escape.
Cook for 2.5 hours on high. DO NOT lift the lid, if at all possible. When it is done (you will smell it becoming fragrant), turn off the slow cooker and loosen the sides with a knife. Turn it out onto a cooling rack until cool. DONE!
Variations: You can omit the seasonings (except the salt) completely for a regular loaf, or try adding different variations of seasonings to try different flavors.