Slow Cooker Bread

4.93 from 42 votes
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Get ready for an easy Slow Cooker Bread with Basil Pesto that’s all about taste without the hassle! Mix your ingredients, place them in the slow cooker, and you’ve got yourself a soft, crusty, delicious bread packed with that awesome basil pesto flavor.

Overhead shot of sliced slow cooker bread on a cutting board with a bread knife set next to the bread slices.


 

Imagine baking bread without the hassle of kneading endlessly or waiting for it to rise. This Slow Cooker Bread brings that imagination to life! It’s a simple bread-making experience where your slow cooker does all the heavy lifting. Infused with the aromatic flair of basil pesto, this bread is soft, savory, and perfect for any meal. Just mix, set, and let your slow cooker transform the ingredients into a beautifully textured, flavorful loaf. Trust me, it’s a game-changer! No complicated steps, no waiting for the dough to rise. It’s a quick, straightforward recipe that delivers delicious, homemade bread.

Why We Love This Slow Cooker Bread Recipe

  • Easy to Prep: Say goodbye to complicated bread recipes; no rising time is needed, and minimal effort is required.
  • So Much Flavor: The basil pesto infusion turns this bread into a delicious masterpiece that’s hard to resist.
  • Versatile: It’s a soft and crusty bread that pairs nicely with various dishes.
  • Slow Cooker Magic: Enjoy the simplicity and consistency of using a slow cooker – set it and forget it!
A loaf of baked bread inside a slow cooker.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Get those taste buds ready because here comes the lineup of ingredients to get this delicious bread with basil pesto on the table!

  • Active Dry Yeast: Gives the bread its soft, airy texture.
  • Sugar: Feeds the yeast and aids in the browning of the bread.
  • Lukewarm Water: Activates the yeast and brings the dough together.
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Olive Oil: Adds moisture and flavor.
  • Basil Pesto: Infuses the bread with a rich, savory taste.
  • Salt: Enhances flavor.
  • Dried Parsley and Kosher Salt: For topping, adds an extra layer of flavor and presentation.

How To Make Bread In The Slow Cooker

This recipe starts out with one bowl plus all the ingredients inside. Once you combine all those ingredients together, you will turn out the dough onto a floured working surface and knead for 5 minutes. For those that do not want to knead and forego the slow cooker, you must try my No Knead Skillet Olive Bread and No Knead Rosemary Garlic Bread.

  1. Line a slow cooker with parchment paper.
  2. Mix yeast, sugar, and water in a large mixing bowl; let sit to activate the yeast. Add in the flour, olive oil, basil pesto, and salt; mix to form a dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a working surface and knead it for 5 minutes, then place it in the slow cooker.
  4. Top with dried parsley and salt, cover, and cook on HIGH for 2 hours.
  5. Pop the bread under the broiler for around 5 minutes to achieve a golden brown top.
  6. Let the bread cool before slicing and serving.
A loaf of slow cooker basil pesto bread cooling on parchment paper.

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • Broiler: Know that the bread will not brown on top inside the slow cooker. To get it all browned up nicely, you’ll have to transfer the bread to a baking sheet and broil for about 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Check for Doneness: Always check the internal temperature of the bread to ensure it’s fully cooked; it should reach 200°F.
  • Let it Rest: Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
  • Olive Oil Drizzle: Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top after it’s done cooking for an extra layer of flavor and a shiny finish.
  • Experiment with Herbs: Try adding herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano to give the bread a unique flavor.
  • Cheese Addition: Mix grated cheese like parmesan or cheddar into the dough for a cheesy twist.
  • Pesto Variations: Swap basil pesto with sun-dried tomato pesto or spinach pesto for a change in flavor profile.
  • Toppings: Before cooking, sprinkle the top with seeds (like sesame seeds or everything bagel seasoning) for added texture and taste.
  • Bread Shapes: Shape the dough differently – make rolls or baguette shapes to make it fun and customized.
Sliced bread showcasing the fluffy inside of slow cooker bread with basil pesto.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the bread as an appetizer with a selection of dips – think marinara, hummus, or olive oil with balsamic vinegar and herbs. Add slices of this slow cooker bread to a cheese board with various cheeses, fruits, and nuts. This loaf is the perfect companion to a warm bowl of Tomato Soup or a hearty Minestrone. Pair it with a classic Chicken Pasta Bake or creamy Alfredo pasta with Steak. The rich flavors of the bread would complement a crisp La Scala Chopped Salad beautifully.

Proper Storage

Store this slow cooker bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it! Wrapped tightly, this flavorful bread can be frozen for up to a month.

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4.93 from 42 votes

Slow Cooker Bread Recipe

This no-rise, no-fuss, delicious slow cooker bread recipe is packed with basil pesto and probably one of the most flavorful bread recipes you will ever make!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients 

  • teaspoons (or 1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • cups lukewarm water, (about 105 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dried parsley,, for topping
  • kosher salt,, for topping
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Instructions 

  • Line a 6-quart slow cooker with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add water and continue to stir until combined. Add in the flour, olive oil, basil pesto, and salt; stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated and a shaggy dough begins to form.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured working surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. IF the dough is sticky, add a little more flour, about one tablespoon at a time. 
  • Place the ball of dough in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the top with dried parsley and salt.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or until golden on the bottom. The internal temperature of the baked bread should register at 200˚F.
  • Remove the bread from the slow cooker together with parchment paper and place on a baking sheet.
  • Place the bread under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  • Remove the bread from the oven and set it on a cooling rack. Let rest until completely cooled before cutting and serving.

Notes

  • Broiling Step: The slow cooker won’t brown the bread. For a golden crust, transfer it to a baking sheet and broil for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Check the Temperature: Ensure the bread’s internal temperature hits 200°F to confirm it’s cooked through.
  • Cooling Time: Let the bread cool thoroughly before cutting. The internal steam helps cook the bread from the inside, even after it’s out of the oven. Cutting it early can halt this process, creating undesirable chewy, gooey texture and structural integrity.
  • Measurements: It’s crucial to highlight that “3-3/4 cups” indicates 3 full cups plus an additional 3/4 cup, totaling 3.75 cups, and not 3 instances of 3/4 cups. Unfortunately, this misunderstanding has led several readers to make a bread that was gooey, undercooked, and chewy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.4mg | Sodium: 243mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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93 Comments

  1. Trish Hyatt says:

    This was incredible.

    The only things I did different was I used the stand mixer and through in everything except 2c. flour, and mixed with dough hook, then added the rest and mxed until it looked ready.

    I put papertowel under the lid covering 95% of the top to catch moisture.

    I don’t have a broiler so I finished on high in barbecue for 5 minutes.

    It was light and surprisingly sweet.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Carmen says:

    Wondering if sun dried tomato pesto would work?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi!
      Yep, that will also work. 😊

  3. Catherine Bujtor says:

    Awesome recipe. I’m not a very experienced baker but I followed the directions and it was perfect. Will definitely make this again!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Happy to hear that! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  4. ashley says:

    Because the pesto adds some extra oil I am wondering if I took out the pesto if adding a bit more olive oil would do the trick?

  5. Kelley says:

    Can I substitute bread flour for all purpose flour 1:1?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi!
      Yes, you can absolutely make a 1:1 substitute… the bread might have a bit more chew, but results will still be good.

  6. Josh says:

    Are there changes to the recipe for high altitude? It’s been cooking on high for 4 hours, won’t go above 200 internally, and regardless, is still pretty doughey and dense in the center. The slow cooker is in working order.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi!
      I don’t know much about high altitude baking – I’m in Indiana – but I do know a couple of general rules, like, a longer baking time is needed than a recipe calls for, and temperature should be at least 25F higher than what the recipe states.

  7. Kelly Stacey says:

    I made this yesterday. What fun! Unfortunately, the bread wasn’t done after the specified two hours, but I finished it in a 350 oven for 20 minutes, which browned the top and finished the interior. I put in more than 1/4 cup pesto, so that’s probably why it didn’t bake completely in the slow cooker. The taste of the bread was very good, the pesto being subtle. I’d make this again, but I think I’d do a conventional rise, then bake it in the oven.

  8. Molly says:

    Hi! My bread was golden on the bottom, 200 degrees internally, but squishy on top; as in… didn’t seem all the way cooked. Any ideas how to prevent this?

  9. Wander says:

    I just made this the other day and I am making it again today! Needless to say, the entire family loved it and is clamouring for more! I like that I could just stick it in the slow cooker and do my errands then coming back to a home smelling like basil pesto bread. You are a genius Katerina!

  10. Edward says:

    Tried this recipe. This bread is delicious, thank you for the detail, I follow your guide step by step and make it right the first time.