500g strong wholemeal flour or strong white flour (or a mix of flours, see tip), plus extra for dusting
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1g fine sea salt
For wholemeal or granary bread, simply use a wholemeal or granary flour instead.
The bread can be baked in a 450g loaf tin if you can fit it in the slow cooker.
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 240C/220C fan/gas 9 for 5-10 mins to get some colour.