When I found this recipe in one of my slow cooker magazines I knew I had to make it. I believe it was a Better Homes and Garden magazine. Actually, I made it twice! This was a fun recipe for me, I guess they usually are, just to experiment using a slow cooker to “bake” bread. This was some thing I have never done. If you look at my blog of 750+ recipes I like to cook just about every thing, from meat to fish and veggies, and of course healthy recipes (I am a Lifetime Member of Weight Watcher’s). I love my sweets and I love new ideas 🙂
Not being a beer drinker I first “googled” wheat beer before I went shopping. I wanted to have some idea of what I was looking for. There are two common varieties and the one I chose is witbier (Dutch- “white beer”) based on the Belgian tradition of using flavourings such as coriander and orange peel which was revived by Pierre Celis at the Hoegaarden Brewery. It has a refreshing taste, naturally cloudy and brewed using a unique recipe of wheat, malted barley along with the flavourings. Sounds good, doesn’t it with coriander and orange peel?
Like cereal boxes and everything else the containers are getting smaller but still the same price. Each bottle only had 11.2 oz. of beer, so I had to open another to make up the difference and have 12 oz. We all know when baking, you need to be precise.
I just love sauerkraut, which is one of the ingredients in this bread, and knew this recipe had the potential to be good. I use to make my own sauerkraut back when I had a big garden and grew lots of cabbage. Homemade sauerkraut does not compare to a bag, bottle or can of sauerkraut. Even though sauerkraut is German for “sour cabbage” the Chinese first ate it as standard fare while building the Great Wall of China over 2,000 years ago. They used rice wine!
Yes, that is me below at the end of a long row of cabbages along with my hard-working family members. This is an old picture from Manchester, our “farm” in the country.
The first time I made this bread I was not happy with the crust – it was too hard to eat, part of it was burnt even though the bread inside was delicious. So, I decided to make it again as I had plenty of ingredients but this time I made a foil collar to place inside the 3 quart slow cooker. I also added a foil circle for the bottom. This little tidbit comes from Cooks Illustrated. See information below.
Caraway-Sauerkraut Beer Bread in the Slow Cooker
- nonstick cooking spray
- heavy duty aluminum foil for a “collar”
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. caraway seed
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 12-oz. bottle of room temperature wheat beer
- 1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained and chopped (I did not rinse it or squeeze it dry)
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Make your foil collar and round foil bottom and place in slow cooker. Use heavy duty aluminum foil and fold it over 6 times. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Mix all of the wet ingredients and pour all at once into the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined; add to the slow cooker.
Cook on high for 3-1/2 hours; it did take this long in my slow cooker. Remove lid carefully so as not to let any condensation from the lid touch the bread and place scott towels on top of the bread and tuck them in. Put the lid back on, turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes so the moisture can be absorbed.
I put it under the broiler to brown the top just a little more.
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju
My 3 quart round slow cooker and foil collar.