Food Republic recipe developer Jessica Morone says that making bread rolls in a slow cooker eliminates waiting between proofs for dough to rise, making the process much quicker.
Line the slow cooker with parchment paper to prevent the bread from sticking, and grease the paper before preheating on a high setting.
Use a stand mixer with a dough hook for the flour, sugar, instant yeast, warm milk, kosher salt, and melted butter. Instant yeast is essential since the rolls won’t proof.
The milk should be about 110 degrees Fahrenheit to activate but not kill the yeast, and the dough should be soft and pull away from the bowl's sides.
If the dough is tacky, it needs more flour until it's smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 12 rolls, place in the slow cooker, cover, and bake for 1½ to 2 hours.
It's finished when the sides are golden brown, and the top is soft but no longer gummy. The cooked bread's internal temperature should be between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
This method produces a gentle, slow cook, with the bread flatter and softer without a crust. Allow them to cool to prevent leaving finger dents in the soft rolls.