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. Nicki S says:

    I have an 8 qt crock pot, would this recipe still work?

    1. Katerina says:

      That’s fine. The bread won’t be as tall, but it will still work.

  2. Janelle says:

    Would it work in a five quart slow cooker instead of a six quart one?

  3. robin siegfried says:

    Excellent bread. Good flavor and very easy except it needed 2 and a half hours in my crockpot to cook and then broil

  4. Emily says:

    Can other flours be used instead of the all-purpose flour? If so, what adjustments need to be made to the recipe?
    Thanks!

  5. Jane says:

    Hi can I use the dough hook on my KitchenAid instead of kneading by hand?

  6. Nancy says:

    How would you cook this if you had no slow cooker?

  7. Linda says:

    So good!! Mine came out perfect. Used bread flour and subbed olive tapenade for the pesto because I was out. Delicious flavor and great texture. I did use the foil balls idea.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  8. S. Miller says:

    So, it came together really well and it smells great while cooking! Unfortunately, I had no idea how many quarts my crockpot holds. The dough fits but after two hours it’s still raw on top. That’s when I realized my crockpot is 2.5 quarts not 6. Whoops! I’m going to give it more time and hope for the best and worst case scenario I’ll finish in the oven.

    1. S. Miller says:

      Gave it another 40 min and it’s perfect! Thank you!

  9. Mary- Windy Meadows Farm says:

    OK I have to say it, I was skeptical – but this is fabulous! It couldn’t have been any easier to make and tasted great- who knew I could make good bread in a slow cooker ?!

    Any suggestions on what I can swap out for the pesto to get some different flavors of bread? The bottom is a little darker than I would like – has anyone tried putting a few balls of foil in the bottom of the slow cooker or maybe a rack of some kind to lift it up off the bottom a bit? Thanks again for sharing!

    1. Katerina says:

      So happy you liked it!! 😀
      Yes, you can use some foil balls and that should definitely help with the browning.

      I have used other pestos, tomato to be exact, I have also used cheddar cheese, feta cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, etc… You can add whatever you like, but just make sure to adjust the amount of oil (liquid) if you are not going to use an oil-based filling. If using dry ingredients, like cheese, I add about 2 to 3 more tablespoons of olive oil to the dough mixture. Hope that helps.

  10. emmajune says:

    Today, Feb 4th is National Homemade Soup Day and I’m getting ready to make CopyCat Olive Garden’s Chicken Gnocchi Soup. This bread would be so amazing on the side ! I have homemade basil pesto in the freezer ready to go. Thanks for the recipe !