On baking day, dust
the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1- pound (grapefruit- size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter- turn as you go.
Lower the dough
into a 4- quart crock pot or other slow cooker
. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper use.
Turn the temperature to high and put on the cover. (Not all crock pots behave the same, so you should keep an eye on the loaf after about 45 minutes to make sure it is not overbrowning on the bottom or not browning at all. You may need to adjust the time according to your appliance.)
Bake for 1 hour (this will depend on your crock pot, you may need to increase or decrease the time). To check for doneness, it should feel firm when you gently poke the top of the loaf.
The bottom crust should be nice and crisp
, but the top of the loaf will be quite soft. Some folks desire a softer crust
, so they'll love this loaf. But if you want a darker or crisper crust . . .
Remove the parchment paper and place the bread under the broiler for 5 minutes or until it is the color you like, with the rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
Let the loaf cool completely before slicing. Cutting into a hot loaf is tempting, but it won't slice well and may seem underbaked if you break into it before it's cooled.