I have no doubt that most of you have a slow cooker hiding in your home somewhere. Maybe it was a gift. Maybe you bought it awhile ago thinking it would help you.
I'm here to tell you it can help you. You just need to know what it's good for. Did you know you could bake a cake or bread in one? It can be a great way to make cornbread or biscuits when it's hot and humid.
Watch this video on how to make sourdough peasant bread. (some comments felt it wasn't “real” sourdough)
You still have to knead and let rest like any yeast breads. It takes 2-2 1/2 hours in the slow cooker using high heat. They recommend putting it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to toast it up. But honestly, if I'm cooking to keep the kitchen cool, I'd rather just pop one slice in the toaster.
No Knead Bread
If you don't want to knead, here's a video from Garden Fork
It reduces what you have to do with kneading. You will have to let the dough rise.
Alternate Grains and Gluten Free
My friend made a grain-free “sourdough” bread from Urban Poser that turned out great.
Bread Experience discusses what grains are better to substitute in for wheat in this great article. They also discuss which grains are better for what type of baking. For example buckwheat is high protein and will produce a tender baked product. But it can be bitter.
Cakes and Quick Breads
You can also make some great cornbread in the slow cooker. No kneading and no heating up the kitchen.
But wait, Lara, cake? Well, you can make it lighter with less sugar. And you can use alternative ingredients like applesauce instead of oil. Sure, you probably aren't going to eat it every day. Even if you do, you just cut back in other areas.
I don't snack because I like 2-3 glasses of wine at night. It's all about knowing who you are and what you like and working with it so you don't feel deprived.