Last month, I wrote about kicking my convection oven to the literal curb in favor of baking with my rice cooker. For entry-level bakers and those new to baking with a rice cooker, I suggested trying out cake from a box. Try baking something from a box a few times. Brownies are good. Banana bread is another easy option.
When you’re ready to go to the next level, I strongly suggest trying to make bread in your rice cooker. Is it easy? Well, if you already know how to make bread from scratch, the process is practically the same. If you’re new to bread making, it will take some patience and trust. The results are great and I guarantee that nearly any floury masterpiece will beat out Paris Baguette in price and taste.
You will need:
1 and 1/3 cup wheat flour plus extra flour for kneading
1 tsp salt
About 1 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 pinch sugar
Start with the dry ingredients. Mix the flour and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, add the yeast and sugar to the warm water until the yeast blooms. Then add the wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until the dough starts to clump or pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is dry, you can add water. If wet, add flour as needed.
Once the dough has taken shape, begin to fold and knead the dough. You will want to flour your hands and the surface you’re working on to knead more easily. Start by stretching it lengthwise and folding it in half, then fold it crosswise. Repeat for a few minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a clean bowl and cover. A towel is fine for a cover. Let the dough rise for a minimum of 45 minutes.
Repeat the kneading process for a few minutes. The dough should feel firmer and take shape more easily.
Place the dough inside the rice cooker. With a knife, cut an “X” into the bread so it does not pop while rising. Set for 45 more minutes to rise.
Turn on your rice cooker to bake for 50-60 minutes by setting the rice cooker to “Steam” (찜). You may need to flip the bread about halfway through so that the top becomes firm.
Once you master the simple bread, you can get fancy. Add rosemary, olive oil or grated garlic. Or don’t.