500g strong wholemeal flour or strong white flour (or a mix of flours), plus extra for dusting
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp fine sea salt
- Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Measure 350ml warm water and pour most of it into the well. Mix the flour and water together with your fingers or a wooden spoon until combined into a slightly wet, pillowy, workable dough – add a splash more water if necessary.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 mins until smooth and elastic. This can also be done in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook.
- Shape the dough into a large, tight ball and sit the ball on a square of baking parchment. Use the parchment to lift the dough into your slow cooker, cover and set the slow cooker to high. Leave for 2 hrs.
- Lift the bread out using the parchment. The bottom should be crusty and the top should be springy, not soft. (If you have a digital cooking thermometer, the middle of the loaf should be 90C.) If it isn’t ready, return to the slow cooker for 15 mins and test again – it could take up to 2 hrs 30 mins.
- The bread won’t get a significant crust or golden colour in the slow cooker. Once cooked, you can leave it to cool, or put in the oven at 240 C / 220C fan / Gas Mark 9 for 5-10 mins to get some colour.