Herb Crock-Pot Dinner Rolls – Easy Thanksgiving Baking

crock-pot buns

This week is Thanksgiving and we have to make the most of our oven space. Scheduling what will go in and out of the oven is just shy of a NASA level endeavor. By the time the pies come out, the Turkey must go in and then what to do about the rolls? There is an easy answer. What was originally a lark, bread in the slow-cooker has become my go-to holiday baking method. As you orchestrate the yams and dressing in the oven, your rolls can be baking on the counter. I made a savory herb dough for our Thanksgiving meal, but really you can bake just about any of our breads in this method.
Herb Dough:
Add up to a 1/2 cup of your favorite fresh herbs (use much less if they are dried), to the Master Recipe, Peasant Bread or even Brioche from any of our The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day books.

fresh herbs

The easiest, and cleanest way to chop fresh herbs is to put them into a small container and

snip them with a pair of Kitchen Shears. It eliminates having to clean a cutting board and keeps them from scooting onto the floor as you chop.

herb bread dough

Mix them into your favorite breadin5 recipe.

Once the dough has risen, you can use it right away or refrigerate it and use it over the next couple of weeks.

When you are ready to “bake” the buns in your slow cooker, line the bottom with parchment and sprinkle it generously with cornmeal, or brush with oil or butter. (Check your machine’s instructions to make sure it recommends baking in this way.)

Divide 1 pound of dough into 8 equal pieces and form them into balls. Place them into the prepared crock-pot.

Set the slow cooker to high and bake for about 1 hour. (THEY MAY TAKE MORE OR LESS TIME DEPENDING ON YOUR MACHINE.)

Once the buns have set, check by gently poking the top, they should no longer feel like wet dough, but will not be crusty.

If you want a crustier bun, with nice color, you can brush them with olive oil or butter and set them on a sheet pan under a broiler until the color you desire. Be sure to keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.

Other slow cooker breads to try:

Crock Pot Bread

Nutella Swirl Crock Pot Bread

Cinnamon Rolls in the Crock Pot

Gluten-Free Crock Pot Bread


73 thoughts to “Herb Crock-Pot Dinner Rolls – Easy Thanksgiving Baking”

    1. yes, they are awesome! tried w/out the herbs but very tasty. I did put them under the broiler. my husband thought they were just as good as the super difficult homemade ones he’s had

  1. I would like make your 10 grain bread in HB5. Is there a reason I could not make it in a loaf pan? I want it to be more of a sandwich bread. Thank-you

    1. Hi Suzie,

      It will make a great loaf bread. You will want to fill it about 2/3 full, let it rise for about 90 minutes and bake it for about 50 minutes.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Thank-you for getting back to me Zoe. One more question. About how much dough will I be pulling out of the container to get that 2/3rds. Thank-you again.

    1. Hi Suzie,

      It will be about the size of a cantaloupe or 2 pounds for a 4 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch loaf pan.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  3. I’ve been baking in a dutch oven on the grill thanks to one of your posts and very happy about it. With the heat outside, my house wouldn’t have survived a hot oven. My last experiment was to replace 50% of whole wheat flour in your 100% whole wheat recipe with kamut flour. The bread turned out small,heavy, and too dry. I’ll try to add more water next time. Have you ever tried kamut flour? I would appreciate your advice.

    1. Hi Valentina,

      I haven’t used it in our recipes, but imagine that it behaves much like spelt. It probably doesn’t have the same gluten strength of whole wheat and you may consider using some vital wheat gluten in your dough. This will give the dough more structure and ability to rise. You will want to add about 1/4 to the whole recipe and increase the water as well.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. Book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
    Page: 43 (Crusty White Sandwich Loaf)

    For some reason the dough won’t rise. I am using refrigerated dough that is less than a week old. During the hour and 40 min rest time the dough rises slightly so I usually shoot for 2 and a half hours. When I put the dough in the oven it fails to rise further, there is slight variation in oven temp but it stays within about 20 degrees of 450. I do not use a baking stone. I know that the dough will rise because when I use the same batch to make a free form loaf and the baguette the loaf rises just fine. Also I am using a glass loaf pan.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Mark,

      I have to say that I am a bit stumped, it should rise just as well in a loaf pan. The Master recipe tends to rise quite well because it is made with all-purpose flour.

      Is the room that you are rising it in colder or warmer than usual? If so, it will effect the resting times.

      Thanks, any more details you can give may help us get to the bottom of this.


      1. I am not exactly sure of the room temp but after taking out my loaf that did not rise (it made really good french toast sticks) I prepared another loaf, in a metal pan, and due to time constraints I could not bake it. I let it sit overnight in the fridge and it rose. Could it be that it just needs more time? If you have any specific questions I would be happy to try and find out the answers.

      2. Hi Mark,

        I am glad to hear you had success with the refrigerator rise. For whatever reason, maybe your room or the refrigerator is running a bit cold, and it just took longer to rise.

        Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Hannah,

      Some people have just put cornmeal in the pot and baked the loaf directly on that. I have yet to try it, but they have reported success.

      Thanks! Zoë

  5. Is there any way to add the herbs to dough you already have in the frig or do you need to make the dough with the herbs from the beginning, committing yourself to herbed bread for that batch?

    1. Hi Mariola,

      You can roll out a piece of dough, sprinkle it with the herbs and then roll it back up to form a ball or bake it as a loaf pan bread.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. My husband and I are beginners using “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”, and we have a couple of questions. We store the remaining dough in a large Tupperware bowl. Should the lid be sealed for storage, or should ee just rest the lid on top? Should we place the remaining dough in a smaller container after each use, or will that result in excessive handling? Thanks for your help. – Kelly

    1. Hi Kelly,

      You just want to rest the lid on top without snapping it shut. You can leave the dough in the container or transfer it to smaller ones. It won’t hurt the dough, but it will create more dishes to clean! 😉

      Enjoy the bread! Zoë

  7. For Bran-Enriched White Bread (PG. 72, Artisan Bread in 5 Min a Day), can I use oat bran in place of the wheat bran? If so, do I need to adjust the measurements?


  8. I am getting ready to try the dough in the crock pot. You don’t say whether to put the lid on the crockpot, so I assume you do? Thanks, love your books, your bread and your website!

  9. Thanks for these great recipes! I can’t tell you how many compliments I have gotten on the bread I make with your recipes and each time I serve it or give it away, friends are asking for the recipe. I love telling them how easy it is! My kids love to bake with the dough, too, and create their own loaves (which are usually very uniquely shaped!). Great recipes. I have the first two books and can’t wait to get third one! Thanks!

  10. I am making the 10 grain bread into a loaf for sandwiches, should I lower the oven temp from 450 to 350 to get a softer crust. Thank you.

    1. Hi Suzie,

      Yes, that will result in a softer crust, but you will have to bake it for a longer time as well.

      Thanks, Zoë

    1. Hi Jean,

      Are you using an oven thermometer, sometimes it is a matter of the oven being too cool. You can also try the Dutch Oven method, which produces a great crust and crumb. Or, you can put it on the top rack for the last few minutes of baking, where the heat is more intense.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. I just took the herb crock pot rolls out of the Toaster Oven. I mixed the herbs into cold master recipe(white) and baked in my crock pot for 11/2 hours. Then I transferred the rolls to a pizza pan and brushed them with soft butter and browned them under the broiler in a toaster/convection oven. They smell and look lovely and are going to make great little sandwiches for lunch and the kitchen is still cool. Thanks for continuing to innovate and coming up with new things to do with the wonderful doughs. I also have a pain de mie pan of dough rising. I have tried three different doughs resulting in successful sandwich loaves.

    1. Hi Susan,

      I am thrilled that you tried these and I love that you were able to finish them in your toaster oven!

      Cheers, Zoë

  12. Wishing I had seen this when you posted it! I’ve been waiting until the heat and humidity broke in southeastern PA before trying my first Artisan Bread in 5. To think my family and I could have been feasting on delicious homemade bread weeks ago without baking ourselves, too! My first two traditional loaves came out beautifully, but I will save this slow-cooker version for the next heat wave or when my oven is otherwise occupied. Thank you!

    1. Kathryn: Check with your crock-pot’s manufacturer before trying this method, since some model’s instructions specify that the pot has to be at least partially filled with liquid to avoid safety or durability problems. And never bake in a crock-pot unattended.

    1. Nede: You can try to just skip it– some readers have. Use cornmeal under the loaf, or just dust really well with flour or it might stick to the bottom of the crockpot.

    1. Christi: White Whole Wheat swaps for regular whole wheat in our recipes that call for it, not for white all-purpose flour. But, which of our “basic” recipes do you mean? From which of the books, which page number? More whole grain stuff’s in https://bit.ly/3wYSSN

  13. OK– that won’t work too well, it’ll be too dense and the dough will be too dry. WW or WWW take more water, and to our taste, don’t store well without vital wheat gluten in the mix. Do you have our 2nd book that gets into that?

    1. I don’t have your books yet, just found your website yesterday and got very excited. We are trying to eat mostly whole grains so all of my homemade breads and pastas lately I have made with whole wheat flour 1/2 and 1/2 with white.

      1. Christy: If you keep the WG to 50%, you can actually get away without the VWG. But you do need to increase the water.

  14. I’m pretty new to bread making, but love herb breads. Don’t have any idea what herbs are good to use or what pairs together. Any ideas? also, Love rolls from Red Lobster that have that garlic or cheesy flavor (If neither of those are the herbs that are in that bread then you know how much I need the herb help/suggestions lol)

  15. I just made my first batch of boule dough last night and I found this blog post today. Is there any way I could mix some fresh herbs in right now or would that not work? I have some rosemary and thyme leftover from making homemade pizza this week and would love to throw it in!

  16. Hi! I am anxious to try this recipe, but wondered if I could somehow make this in conjunction with pot roast in the crock pot. I am wondering if I can make the pot roast leaving enough room to set a cake pan down into the top of the crock pot for the last hour. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Corrinne,

      This is such an interesting question and one I am not 100% sure about. I suspect that there would be too much moisture in the pot for the bread to bake well, it would be more like a steamed pudding in texture. But, the ingredients for one of our loaves is about 45 cents, so I think it is worth a try! Please, if you try it, will you come back and let me know how it goes?

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. I just made in the crockpot the Whole Grain Rye recipe from the HBin5 mins. book. I took it out of the refrig. and put in in a 3 qt. crockpot and turned it on high. It took 1hr. 40mins. to “bake” but seems to be OK. I should probably have let it rise for 90mins but in excitement to try the crockpot I forgot. Love this idea.Denise

    1. Usually you can skip the resting period with crockpot because of the slow preheat, but yes… you may get better rise with by resting in advance.

  18. Hi There. Your recipe and beautiful pictures inspired me to try baking in my crock pot.
    I didn’t have parchment paper so I placed my dough in a brown paper bag. I finished it in the oven. Came out great but I have a hard time removing the paper. Tomorrow another try with parchment paper.

  19. When making buns in the crockpot, do you let them rise after forming the balls or do you cook them directly without allowing them to rise first?

  20. I read through all the comments above and am not quite sure if I can bake an artisan loaf instead of rolls in the crock pot. I have been making the whole wheat loaf from HBin5 about every other day but have been dreading turning the oven on in the summer. Since it has been in the 60’s here in Albuquerque the last few days, I need to plan for the heat that is coming. If a 1 lb. loaf will work, how long should I cook it and should the crock pot be set to low or high? Thanks for your help.

  21. I would really love to try this recipe. Can you please tell me what brand of crockpot that you use to bake the rolls and bread in? I can’t find any info on the crockpot that I presently use. Thanks so much!

    1. We tested mostly with a (very old) Chefmate brand. We don’t even know for sure that it’s still made. Testers reported that modern ones worked similarly– you’ll have to just experiment with the one you have.

  22. Love the website and books! Just wondering – do you need to let the rolls cool before serving, or can they be served warm from the crockpot?

    1. Skinny or small breads can be served warm. Loaves, especially when made with our wet dough, can seem underbaked or gummy when served hot.

      Even for rolls/baguettes I’d let them cool a little while.

  23. I’d love to make these in my oven 2 – 3 days in advance for Thanksgiving and then just bring to room temp on Thanksgiving, then pop them in the oven to reheat while turkey is resting.

    Can I just place the proved dough in a round cake pan w/ corn meal on bottom? Or just place them on parchment on my stone? What temperature and for how long in the oven? If possible I’d like to bake these by Monday prior to Thanksgiving. Thanks. They sound lovely.

  24. Hi – we LOVE all of your bread & just found out that my son has to be gluten free. I’ve had great luck with your recipes — thank you!!! – would the crockpot teqnique work with gf?

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