Some wives dream of great adventure when their husbands are away for the weekend and they’ve nothing but time on their hands. Me? I just want time in the kitchen to cook up some fresh fruits and veggies…..yea, I’m that kind of
agoraphobic domestic now days. Only glitch was that it’s been horrifically hot here for over a week and after working outside all week, even I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen.
So I didn’t.
Enter Slow Cooker Onion Focaccia Bread with Fresh Peach & Plum Jam for my solo dinner….
But sometimes you just have to help Mother Nature along a bit and kick things up a notch.
When I saw these fresh fruits and veggies at an Orchard nearby yesterday….I could have bought twice as much and twice the varieties. They really had some beautiful stuff. You got to love the grocery store for giving us stuff year round….but there really is a huge difference buying locally grown produce that you trust and know has been picked just that day. In fact, while I was at the Orchard, the workers were bringing in cart after cart from the fields. God love them, it was in the upper 90’s here and I was sweating just milling around the market for a few minutes. So I kept some composure and only picked up a few of the things that they had to offer. The Peaches and Plums looked so perfectly ripe and juicy. I love yellow plums too. I think that they are a little sweeter than red but that may be just me.
The Purple Onions looked great as well and I’d been drooling this week over some gorgeous pics from Nancy over at Spicie Foodie. Purple Cauliflower. My market didn’t have that but I settled on these wonderfully colorful onions.
I have a real love for onion bread and I knew these beauties would do just great in a new Slow Cooker bread baking method that I wanted to try out. Well it worked great and the house smelled like a bakery for hours….kind of makes your stomach growl all day though 🙁
And who’d turn down homemade Peach & Plum jam? Not me.
Fruit jams cook up in about 30 minutes and make your fresh produce last a little longer…if you don’t start in on it on the drive home like I did that is. I always have to watch myself with fresh ripe plums especially cause I really can eat 4 or 5 easily.
I made this dough up from basic dry to wet ratios for doughs. I was really glad when it actually worked very well and then baked in the slow cooker well. I made two batches to test the slow cooking method. I let all the dough rise once and then divided it in half. One half I wrapped well and put it in the refrigerator. The other half, I divided into 9 sections and rolled each section into a small ball of dough. I placed all 9 balls of dough into the slow cooker on top of parchment paper. You don’t have to cover the entire cooker with parchment. Just make sure that where ever the dough will touch when cooking is protected by paper.
I covered the slow cooker with the dough balls inside and let them rise a second time before turning on the heat.
First doubled rise after 1 hour in a warm place shown below. This is all the dough from the recipe batch.
From left to right, top to bottom: dough after mixing, dough after 1st rise / 1 hour, dough balls from half the dough and dough balls after 30 minutes rising…ready to bake.
The second rise is after the rolls are formed and placed in the slow cooker. Another 30 minutes will double the size of each roll.
After the dough balls rose for 30 minutes I sprinkled each with coarse sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and some spicy
BBQ seasoning to add some flavor.
- 1 Flax Egg = 1 Tbs. ground flax mixed with 2 Tbs. water ( or 1 egg substitute )
- 2 Tbs. Rice Vinegar (or apple vinegar)
- ¼ Cup Agave Nector or Maple Syrup
- ¼ Cup Organic Olive Oil
- 1⅓ Cups Non Dairy Milk *or water + 1 Tbs. Agave or Maple Syrup warmed to 105 - 110 degrees
- 2 tsp. dry Yeast
- 3¼ Cup Flours ( I used 1 cup Whole Wheat and 2¼ Organic White)
- ½ tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 Purple Onion diced small
- Extra oil for greasing the bowl
- Parchment Paper
- Slow Cooker
- Optional topping:
- Coarse Sea Salt, Coarse Ground Black Pepper, BBQ Seasoning
- First add the yeast into the warmed milk and agave. Stir gently to mix the yeast in completely and set aside. The warmed milk should begin to bubble as the yeast grows. It should sit for 10 - 15 minutes while you gather the other ingredients.
- If you are using flax egg, that also needs to sit for a few minutes to gel up some.
- Mix together all the dry ingredients, flour, Onion & Garlic Powders and Sea Salt in a large bowl.
- When the yeast is ready, pour in the other liquid ingredients, Oil, Agave, Flax Egg and Vinegar with the Milk/ yeast.
- Blend the dry ingredients in with the wet gently. This bread does not need to be kneaded but stir together until the flour is moist and dough begins to clean the side of the bowl. Add a little bit more flour if needed until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl but is not too dry. It should be slightly sticky to the tough so rubs some oil or flour on you hands and fold the dough into a large ball. Drizzle some oil around the bowl and place the dough ball in the bottom. Rub your oiled hands across the top of the dough ball to lightly grease it and keep it moist during the rising process. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set the bowl in a warm place for 1 hour until the dough doubles in size.
- When the dough has doubled, cut the dough in half and store ½ wrapped well in plastic wrap and store in the fridge or freezer for the future.
- With the remaining half, cut off small pieces of dough and make roll small balls (with oiled hands) to form rolls. Place each ball in the bottom of your slow cooker, lined with Parchment Paper. Leave space between the balls as they will double in size again before baking. Cover the slow cooker and allow the rolls to rise again for 30 - 40 minutes. Sprinkle toppings on the rolls and turn the heat to high on the slow cooker. Check the rolls every 30 minutes. Wipe off any water that collects on the lid of the cooker at each check as well.
- Each cooker varies in cooking temperature. Your bread is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees with a meat thermometer or when the tops spring back when gently touched.
- My batch took a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes to be done. If the bread looks almost done, you can cut the heat off and leave the cover on the cooker for another 30 minutes to keep cooking at a low temperature.
- Store the finished rolls in foil at room temperature. They are best served hot.
The Peach and Yellow Plum Jam came together in under 30 minutes. More on that this week.
The mild sour of the plum and the sugary sweet of the peach blended perfectly with this bread. The sour and sweet compliment the earthy onion garlic flavors and then the salt and ground pepper hit your tongue at the end. It’s a wonderful blend.
My Peach & Yellow Plum Jam recipe coming up. Enjoy your week everyone!
For lots of other Slow Cooker recipes, check out Kathy Hester’s book “The Vegan Slow Cooker”
Other Vegan Bread recipes around the web:
More from my site
- Homemade Brown Sugar – 2 ingredients – 5 minutes
- On being Vegan…& Floyde has a new friend…sort of?