There is nothing like home baked bread, thickly spread with butter, and a hot cup of soup or coffee. Baking bread means turning on the oven, heating up the kitchen and making a minor mess. Now you can enjoy freshly baked bread, baked on top of the counter or stove, by baking it in a rice cooker. It's clean, easy to clean up afterwards, and the bread is just delicious.
Prep time - 30 mins
Two -1 hour rises
Baking time - 1.5 - 3 hours
350 grams flour (2.5 cups)
5 grams yeast (about 1.25 teaspoon)
21 grams sugar (about 1.5 tbsp)
6.5 grams salt (about 1.5 tsp)
21 grams butter (about 1.5 tbsp)
30ml milk (1 oz.)
180 ml water (6 oz.)
About 5 hours
Carefully read all instructions, especially the fire hazard warnings below them.
Put 5g yeast into a bowl or cup and add a pinch of sugar and about 1/4 cup warm water. The water needs to be between 110 - 120°F. Allow it stand for approximately ten minutes.
Form the dough into a ball after kneading for 8-10 minutes, adding a little more flour if it seems too wet. If the dough feels very sticky, then dip your hands into some flour so that the dough will not stick as you roll it.
Add butter to the dough ball. It might be easier to cut the butter into small pieces. Also the butter should be soft and at room temperature. The butter will also help to grease the rice cooker bowl, so that the bread will not stick to the sides. Knead the butter into the ball until the butter is completely absorbed into the dough and has no lumps.
Notice that the dough, as it sits undisturbed doubles in size. This is because the yeast in there is eating up the starch and sugars in the flour and breathing out carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide dissolves into the dough, and either escapes, or expands the air bubbles in the dough that were there from mixing causes dough to get bigger!
Lift the dough from the bowl and with some force, toss it back. Do this a few times, until the dough returns to its original size. Once again allow it to sit in a warm area. This is now the second and final rise.
Note that the second rise will be the same as the first. Just leave it alone for one hour, and it will puff back up to double its size. Yeast works this way.
Bake for an hour, but check after a half hour to see if it is done. Make sure it does not burn on the bottom. Temperatures differ with each rice cooker, so you will have to learn what is best for you. Write down the times and steps, so you will remember it for the next bake.
Once you have baked the bread a few times, you can easily adjust the ingredients to taste.
This is a very flexible bread, its taste is not very strong, so it could easily take on other flavors.
A saltier or yeastier bread goes very well with chili.
Let the bread cool a little before eating it.
Bread is done when it sounds hollow if you tap it.
If your rice cooker stops cooking before the bread is done, you can jam an eraser into the switch to keep it on the "cook" setting. Only do this if you will attending to the cooker as this is a real fire hazard.
The reason this would be necessary is because the average rice cooker is programmed to stop cooking at a certain temperature--the temperature at which rice is deemed to be fully cooked. Since you're baking bread, however, it may need more cooking time than rice would. Unless you hold the "cook" button down with your finger or with an object, the cooker will continue detecting the same temperature and keep turning off.
Keep in mind that you are using a rice cooker for something it was never intended to be used for. Do not leave the rice cooker unattended, and keep it as far away from flammable materials as possible (papers, curtains, etc.).
Rice cookers turn off when the temperature rises above 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100C) Forcing it to stay on makes it run much hotter than that. In addition to being a fire risk, this will also shorten the life of your rice cooker and void any warranties.