Bread and pizza aren’t the first things most people think of when they think of using a slow cooker, but it’s perfect for hot summer months, plus you can run errands while the dough is rising or the bread is cooking. This focaccia recipe is easy because it requires no kneading and the dough lasts for 7 days.
- Yield: 4 pizzas and dough for 2 focaccias
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) or 1 packet dry yeast
- 1½ cups (355 ml) warm water (105° to 115°F [40.5° to 46°C])
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling (*or use aquafaba)
- 2 cups (240 g) whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup (120 g) white whole-wheat or unbleached white flour
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- Coarse salt, for sprinkling (optional)
- Dried or fresh rosemary, for sprinkling (optional)
- Combine the yeast, warm water, and agave nectar in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. You should be able to see the difference in the mixture as the yeast grows. The yeast expands and looks almost foamy. When this happens, add the olive oil, flours, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until combined, or use a mixer with a dough hook. The batter will be very sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured cutting board and separate the dough depending on what you plan on making. This recipe makes one thick focaccia, but you can split it in half to make two thinner ones. Store any extra dough in a covered bowl in the fridge for later in the week.
- Oil the crock of your slow cooker. Shape the dough to fit the shape of the slow cooker. I like to use a 51/2-quart (5 L) oval slow cooker for this, but a round one will work, too. The size and shape of the slow cooker will affect the overall thickness.
- Place the shaped dough into the slow cooker.
- For focaccia, make indentions with your fingers or a fork, drizzle with more olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt and chopped rosemary. Let it rise for about 1 hour with the lid on and the slow cooker turned off.
- Place a clean dish towel under the lid while it’s cooking to absorb the condensation that will otherwise drip down onto your bread and increase the cooking time. Cook on high for 11/2 to 2 hours, or until the middle feels springy.