My idea of a perfect summer meal is a great salad and home-baked bread. But who wants to turn on the oven on the hottest days of the year? Relief is at hand! Use what you might think of as cold weather equipment: bake in your slow cooker (crock pot). Yes, really, that clunky thing isn’t just for soups and stews. Instead, make no-knead slow cooker dinner rolls.
Make dough, let it rise, shape into rolls — then put the unbaked balls of dough into the slow cooker, on a parchment lining. Cover and let cook. Once the rolls are baked, lift the whole assemblage right out. You may want to broil (or grill) the tops of the rolls after they are cooked, so they don’t look pale.
Here’s how it all works, in photos:
If you don’t want to use the broiler, even for a few minutes, turn the buttered rolls upside down, and grill the tops. No-knead slow cooker dinner rolls: it’s how you keep the kitchen cool in the hottest parts of the year.
No-Knead Slow Cooker Dinner Rolls
- 1½ cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp sea salt
- ¼ to ½ cup minced fresh herbs [optional]
- 3 - 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- parchment paper
- melted butter, for the tops
- In a mixing bowl stir together water and yeast. Add herbs, salt, and flour; mix to combine. Don’t bother to knead it, just make sure there aren’t any streaks of dry flour. The dough will be sticky.
- Cover dough with a tea towel, and let it rise until doubled in size, an hour or more.
- Line a large slow cooker with parchment paper, and sprinkle it liberally with cornmeal. Punch dough down, and divide it into 9 equal sections. Form each into a ball and distribute evenly on the parchment in the base of the slow cooker.
- Cover the slow cooker and bake on high for 1 to 1½ hours. Your time for baking may vary, of course. Check the rolls by gently poking the top: they should not feel like wet dough, but they won’t be crusty – they’ll be set, and not sticky on the tops.
- Remove from the slow cooker by lifting the parchment paper.
- If you’d like the rolls to have a more normal browned-top appearance, place the rolls on a cookie sheet, brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter, and broil just until crust is browned — or, keeping to the no oven use, turn them upside down and use your grill!