Friday, 11 October 2013

Kneadlessly Breadmaking

In our ongoing exploration of the whole bread experience, I tried yet another method this week. A favourite food blog on my list is Frugal Mum Of 3 [aka Sharon] who blogs here. She was on Radio 4’s Food Programme this week with Sheila Dillon, extolling the virtues of the slow cooker. [you may still catch it on iPlayer for the next couple of days]


Sharon blogged her recipe for slow cooker bread last week. My slow cooker is very busy at the moment – preparing casseroles for when I get home from a long day in the classroom, or cooking a ham joint to slice for lunchtime sandwiches, or turning a chicken carcase into stock…but bread? Her recipe is here.


The amazing thing is, it was incredibly simple, and required almost no effort on my part. I put the ingredients in my Kenwood Chef, with the kneading hook, left it to its own devices for 5 minutes while I made a cup of tea, then put the dough into my slow cooker [lined with a couple of cake cases] and set it on High for 2hr 15 mins.


We decided that next time we would perhaps cook it a little longer [I used 100% brown flour, and with some white I think it would have been fine] and Bob felt he would have liked a little more salt. But the texture and taste were extremely good. Thank you Sharon!


I am not sure Paul Hollywood would approve- but he is a bit of a purist. From my point of view this loaf has lots of advantages…

  • speed – I started at 4pm and it was cool enough to eat by the time “The Archers” came on the radio just after 7!
  • economy – slow cookers are wonderfully cheap to run
  • shape – the breadmaker does leave a ‘plughole’ in the bottom of the loaf

Speaking of PH, I didn’t enjoy the GBBO very much this week. Is it me, or is he being unnecessarily harsh in his judgements? I felt so sorry for Beca and Frances, who were reduced to tears by what he said. But if Ruby tells us how awful her cooking is once more, I may scream. The other week she kept saying it was so stressful because she was also doing her exams. Surely if you have Big Exams coming up, you shouldn’t enter a competition like GBBO at the same time?

I cannot decide who I want to win – Frances does amazing presentations [if only PH would stop quoting his ‘style over substance’ mantra at her every week] Beca appears to be a great ‘family’ baker, and Kimberley clearly has good technical know-how, and skill with flavours. As Ruby repeatedly says her cooking is dreadful, then either it is false modesty, or it really is dreadful. In either case she does not deserve to win.

And who was that intruder behind Frances?

gbbo intruder


  1. I agree wholeheartedly with your views on this week's Bake Off. I think this is the first year that I haven't had a 'favourite'.

  2. I have been updating some thing on my blog tonight,and when I saw my picture in the blog feed, I though I had broke my blog ha ha.

    I am so glad the bread came out well, it looks fantastic, yes my brown loaf took a little longer, but I do prefer it to making it n my breadmaker, now I use my breadmaker for 5 minutes to do the initial mixing then transfer over, so very little graft involved

    Sharon x

  3. I'm beginning to feel I may be the only person not watching this

  4. I think PH has got a bit 'above himself'. Mary is always so encouraging even when she is being mildly critical.

  5. I haven't taken to Ruby. The good thing about the colder weather is the slow cooker casseroles. Like you it is set before school and ready later. I'll give the bread a try...

  6. I missed GBBO this week, will have to catch up later, but I can't imagine it being so much fun now Glenn has gone.

    Ruby is the kind of girl that really got up my nose at school, always pretending to be useless to get attention and it was even more annoying that all the boys fell for it!

  7. i find Ruby very irritating too - I think I want Beca or Kimberley to win, I do think PH over uses the "style over substance" quote but it is true - no matter how amazing a cake looks if it doesn't taste nice people won't eat it! Can't believe it's the semi final already it's gone so quickly! Don't know what I'll do with Tuesdays when it finishes (probably homework!!!) x

  8. I noticed him too! I think last week's challenge was unfair. They should have stuck to 3D decoration- but combining it with a vegetable cake? Who makes a decorated cake like that with weird stuff inside? Could have had that earlier and let them have Vic Sponge as normal, I think. They have Frances far too stereotyped with this style over substance thing, but she and Beca do wobble a lot. Kimberley is VERY confident, and Rubs does pull it off very often.


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