Introduction: Rice Cooker Bread

Picture of Rice Cooker Bread

So, let's say you're a student. You live in a residence, and they probably don't allow hot plates. You definitely can't have an oven. But you love baking bread! Well, never fear, I have the answer. Rice cooker bread. Rice cookers are usually ok to use in residences because they have an auto-off (or at least auto-don't cook anymore) so that you won't burn anything down. And the bread they make is just delicious.

This will take you anywhere from 3-5 hours, so make sure you budget yourself enough time. Prep time is about 30 mins, then two 1 hour rises, plus 1.5-3 hours of baking depending on yuor rice cooker.

Step 1: Ingredients

Gather your ingredients. You'll also need a rice cooker. Fancy ones are probably better, but mine is the simplest they come, so yours can do it too!

You'll need:

1.5 cups flour
5 grams yeast
21 grams sugar (about 1.5 tbsp)
6.5 grams salt (about 1.5 tsp)
21 grams butter
30ml milk
180 ml water

once you've made it a couple times you can adjust the ingredients to taste, or add in your own secret ingredients. This is a very flexible bread, its taste is not very strong, so it could easily take on other flavours. A saltier or yeastier bread goes very well with chilie, by the way.

Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients

Picture of Mix Dry Ingredients

Before you start, put your 5g yeast in a bowl or cup and add a pinch of sugar and a little (maybe 1/4cup) warm water. Let it proof for aroud ten minutes.

Mix them up into the bowl of your rice cooker. Yeah, right in there! You don't really need any more than three dishes for this bread, I love it.

That's your flour, salt, and sugar.

Step 3: Add Wet Ingredients

Picture of Add Wet Ingredients

Add the water, milk and yeast. Just dump them right in along with the dry ingredients.

Step 4: Mix

Picture of Mix

This is probably the longest step. You've got to mix this stuff up, and since it's in your rice cooker (probably non-stick) bowl, you don't want to use a mixer. You'll scratch all the non-stick off! Just mix it by hand. People have done it that way for thousands of years, don't be a baby. I'm serious, i hate whiners.

Knead it for about 8-10 minutes, adding a little more flour if it seems too wet. The end result should be a coherent ball of dough that isn't too sticky. Form it into a ball.

Step 5: Add the Butter

Picture of Add the Butter

This gets its own step because it's so much fun, and important too! Grab your butter, slap it on the dough ball, and knead it in. Knead it in your rice cooker bowl, as this will grease the bowl as well. This is making your bread so delicious that you will have to beat people off with a stick. You could sell it for a dollar a slice! Butter!

Knead it until the butter is all in there and there are no lumps. Your dough should stll be in a coherent ball. It's now ready to sit around for a while.

Step 6: 1st Rise

Picture of 1st Rise

The first rise is 1 hour. I suggest you use this time to clean up your dishes. Just leave the bread (in the rice cooker bowl) somewhere warm. I've used the rice cooker (on warm setting) a couple times and it works very well.

Let the dough sit undisturbed for an hour, and it will double in size. This is because the yeast in there is eating up the starch and sugars in the flour and breathing out CO2. The CO2 dissolves into the dough, and either escapes, or expands the air bubbles in the dough that were there from mixing. Your dough gets bigger!

Step 7: Punch It Down

Picture of Punch It Down

DON'T PUNCH IT! You just need to pick it up, and drop it from about 50cm. Do it a couple times and your dough will return to its original size. It's now ready for the second and final rise. Let it be in a warm place.

Step 8: Second Rise

Picture of Second Rise

Same as the first. Just leave it alone for 1 hour, and it will puff back up to double its size. Yeast is amazing.

Step 9: Baking Begins!

The original instructions i received for this bread (from Yakitate Japan, an anime about baking that I love) say you should bake it for an hour the first time. I've found that, probably due to my rice cooker's total lack of brains, it only needs about a half hour, and not even on Cook for all of that time. You'll have to be close by to monitor it every now and again to make sure the bottom doesn't burn. Just try and get a feel for it.

I jam an eraser into the switch if i think it should be on cook longer than it wants to.

i don't think you need to see pics of my rice cooker on. It looks just like the rice cooker in every other picture so far except the light is red. And, i didn't take any pictures for these steps. Sorry.

Step 10: Flip and Bake Two

This is the second baking period. It is also supposed to be 1 hour, but it isn't for me. The cooker you use probably makes all the difference here.

Flip your bread out and turn it upside down. Throw it back on Cook!

Step 11: Flip and Final Bake

You're so close you can smell it. Actually, by now, you've been smelling it (and hopefully loving it) for anywhere between 1 and 2 hours already. You are a lucky dog. Final bake is the same length of time as the first two.

Step 12: Why It Works, and EAT THAT SUCKER

Picture of Why It Works, and EAT THAT SUCKER

Let it cool a little first.

The reason this works out ok is this. In a conventional oven, the bread is cooked by the hot air that circulates aroudn the oven. In a rice cooker, the bread is cooked by the pot that touches it directly. Since the pot is transferring more heat than the air, it doesn't need to get as hot. So what if your rice cooker only goes up to 110 Celcius? You can still bake great bread!

hit it with a little of that butter first, holmes. It's better that way.


otacha (author)2009-07-02

What happen if I omit the Butter?

LadyDarkKitten (author)otacha2015-01-08

I know this was 5 years ago but if you can substitute coconut oil 1 to 1 for butter. Same consistency and it will make the bread slightly nutty in flavor.

Robotrix (author)otacha2009-07-02

Science happens! record your findings if you attempt this. You will need some other fat to prevent the dough from sticking to the sides of the cooking pot.

kendall.armstrong.10 (author)2014-10-09

Acidentally burned one side, after only 15 minutes cooking. Turned out fine though, nice. I did have to add a whole lot more flour though. Still, great idea!!

bamboo42 (author)2012-12-04

Hmm, challenge accepted. I had this idea on the way back home tonight and I have learned it is always best to check instructables to see if anyone has paved the way. I am not a student, I am an ex-chef that used to cook the bread for our restaurant everyday. Tired of the long hours and shit pay I re-trained as an English teacher and I am currently in Shanghai. I only have two hobs (gas tops) and a rice cooker. I am going to do a few experiments and get back to you on this one. Good on you sir.

Silver_Kate (author)bamboo422013-08-23

Well what were your results?

SAGE27 (author)2011-03-17

Can this be done with a slow cooker or crock pot?

Silver_Kate (author)SAGE272013-08-23

crock pot bread baking was all the rage in the 70's often in an old coffie tin with the top cut out and buttered and slid into the round crock pots... if using an oval crock pot try just useing a metal bread loaf.. When I get another crock pot I am trying this.. When I get a rice cooker I am trying this.. (both on amazon for under 40.00 dollars and on my amazon wish list.

Robotrix (author)SAGE272011-03-17

sure, i don't see why not!

bennelson (author)Robotrix2012-12-01
dedwardh (author)2007-02-12

I made your bread - excellent!
A co-worker stopped by to give me a loaf of bread she had baked in her rice-cooker. (therefore getting me interested) It was robust to say the least. I recommend everyone also try a plain old white bread recipe (no butter) to see what it is possible. Today I made yellow cake. It turned out about 50 times better than I expected. Same plot. Just throw everything together and cook it till its done. I used the first recipe I came across:
cake recipe

ryoko1011 (author)dedwardh2012-08-02

It's so cute!!! >.<

Michelle Kamran (author)dedwardh2009-09-01

did you make this cake in a conventional rice cooker or the one with baking function? cause your cake looks amazing. i tried baking a cake in a normal rice cooker the one without the baking function and my cake got burnt at the bottom and didn't cook all the way through. if you don't mind, share some baking tips using a rice cooker with me. would mean a lot. thanks.

dedwardh (author)Michelle Kamran2009-11-12

I have never seen a rice cooker with a baking function.   It was a standard rice cooker, HOWEVER, it was a standard JAPANESE rice cooker (fancy!) - not one of those $15 Wal-mart jobs with only one switch.  I believe the nicer ones have thermostats to prevent them from getting too hot.  When doing a cake, you really can't flip it easily, so you need a kinder, gentler cooker.  Those cheap ones are pretty harsh - which is fine with a bread, because you can flip it when you need to.  If you don't want to shell out the $$$ for a fancy nice cooker, I would suggest attempting to flip your cake, if possible, or maybe lining the bottom with something? 

azntrooper93 (author)dedwardh2010-09-18

this is a great idea though i want to try this soon

azntrooper93 (author)dedwardh2010-09-18

guys the Asian rice cookers they cook diffrently American rice cookers are designed to cook regular rice while ours is made to cook sticky rice we tried to cook sticky rice in an American one and it fails ours is made special so yall will have different results
this is not to be rasict or anything just facts

Robotrix (author)dedwardh2007-02-12

wow! Nice loaf! Did you have to flip it, or did it cook all the way through on its own? I just made some soda bread a couple days ago that turned out really well, but i've noticed that so far rice cooker bread lacks a lot of the fluff and texture that oven bread has.

dedwardh (author)Robotrix2007-02-12

That is the cake I made - not the bread. No flip needed. I should have taken a picture of the loaf my friend made. It had perfect fluff and texture, and an excellent crust, however you are right: It will not be possible to get a really thick, tough, or crispy crust on a bread using a rice cooker, but some recipes will do better in the cooker than others, I think. If you haven't already, I suggest making up a plain loaf to see what you can do with it. Just flour, water, yeast (and a pinch of sugar for the yeast). Here are some links to some Japanese pages on RCbread: 1234

ahinckley (author)2011-10-18

I just moved to Japan a couple of months ago and have been wishing I could make homemade bread but unfortunately ovens are very uncommon here. Luckily I have a rice cooker and stumbled upon this site! I was wondering if anyone has tried this with whole wheat? Any suggestions?

miskalala (author)2011-04-04

Tried it out today and made pictures to show how it turned out.
(I added a soda can to the picture to give a scale idea of the result)
My rice cooker is a chinese Philips one and I used the standard rice cooking program twice - for each side once that is.
I still prefer an oven baked bread, but if you sont have that option, it's a very nice alternative.

Robotrix (author)miskalala2011-04-04

That looks delicious! Yeah I definitely prefer oven bread as well, and it's a luxury I now enjoy, but when you're in a pinch this is great and very tasty.

darkfalz79 (author)2008-10-14

That looks good, could you do a cake the same way? I don't see why not... maybe the sugar would pose a problem.

noelle_tan (author)darkfalz792009-02-08

I think I should make an instructable on rice cooker cheese cake...

azntrooper93 (author)noelle_tan2010-09-18

can it be done can u do it.......

gwrober (author)noelle_tan2009-04-01

Have you done this yet?!? :D


kempoka8h (author)2009-12-20

If you don't want to have to mix up the ingredients every time, go to and search for no-knead bread. Click on the first one, and you can make a big batch of dough that rises, then store it in your refrigerator for up to two weeks! I have used the dough to make flatbreads, loaves, and even as I write, I have some dinner roll-sized thingies in a dutch oven in my regular oven. When I saw this rice cooker posting though, I realized that the two were made for each other! Make the dough, then use the steamer thing to steam-bake it in the rice cooker! I just set mine to cooking a few minutes ago. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Self-reliance is BEST! I bake my own bread, brew my own beer, grow my own tobacco, and roll my own smokes. I get by cheaper than buying stuff, and have better stuff than store-bought.

J@50n (author)2009-11-15

Making another loaf today! it was sooooo good it was gone in one day. by just my family of four.

Also, i found that i needed to add 3/4 cups flour to be able to knead it.

Great instructable! 5*****!

sam (author)2009-11-13

One of the biggest obstacles for me baking doughy things has been finding a good place to proof things... even if one didn't bake the bread in the rice cooker, it seems like it might be a great proofing oven.

Where I work in the summer we have a proofing oven, and it enables us to whip up some foccacia in no time, as well as other yummy stuff like danishes. It would be pretty cool to be able to do that at home.

J@50n (author)2009-11-13

 when the rice cooker turns to warm, should i make it stay on cook by jamming an eraser into it or should i leave it on warm??? please help.

J@50n (author)2009-11-13

 I'm in the process of step six!

blaminack (author)2008-01-26

I must say that I find this extremely clever. I see that you attribute the idea to another place, but still the independence of it is impressive. I think that developing skills and ingenuity will get you far in life. I love to see things like this, because it shows me that this is a person that is not trapped in life and will be an over comer. I know that getting bread is not a HUGE obstacle but I like that some one is of the sort that thinks for them selves and makes due with what is at hand. I may be reading too much into this, but strangely it makes me think that I can see something about your character, and I am impressed. Have a good day.

Reeferman (author)blaminack2009-04-16

This whole thing was taken from a manga. The recipe is even written down in it.

apoghee (author)Reeferman2009-05-21

true, actually it was taken from Yakitate Japan. Anyway, thanks @Robotrix for the effort of showing this to us. =)

Robotrix (author)Reeferman2009-04-17

best series ever made.

Robotrix (author)blaminack2008-01-26

Blaminack, I appreciate your comment. All I can say is that you've never got everything you want in life, but with a little adaptability you can get pretty close. I love instructables because it's all about that, and everyone here is thrilled to take the chance and build something themselves that they might not be able to have otherwise. You've just to be willing to look everywhere for inspiration!

Lilium (author)Robotrix2009-04-16

I thought the Instructable itself was super, but this comment thread is just as good _;

noelle_tan (author)2009-02-08

Just curious, why do you need to bake twice?

dyermaker8 (author)2007-01-18

For anybody that cares, one of the easiest big improvements in your breadmaking will happen when you begin using a "sourdough" starter instead of relying on yeast packets to do all the work.

Robotrix (author)dyermaker82007-01-18

got an instructable on making starter? I read a little bit about it, does it significantly change the taste of the breads you make with it, or is it just a convenient way to get fresher yeast?

LasVegas (author)Robotrix2007-01-19

Starter uses bacteria to produce hydrogen, much the same way that yeast produces CO2. It's a different flavor that isn't bad. My favorite starter type bread is Salt-rising. This uses the bacteria produced by leaving wet cornmeal out over night. I find yeast bread a whole lot easier to make though, and I happen to like the taste of yeast.

dyermaker8 (author)LasVegas2007-01-25

Uh,. no. But thats a good idea,. i'll see what i can do. I don't think a young starter takes away from the yeast flavor,. plenty of active yeast in starter,. the flavor of sourdough bread mostly comes from the starter because the bread is very basic(plain) to start with. So the sourness of the starter becomes a prominate flavor. It is much less pronounced in other recipes though. like whole grian,. honey wheat,. and other more hearty breads. What is does do is really enhance the texture. Adding a nice airy, chewy sort crumb thats more of what you would see in an artisan bread. High Gluten flour helps as well. : )

dyermaker8 (author)dyermaker82008-09-30

I Changed my mind,. happens sometimes! Sourdough is great, but i've become a big fan of the no knead bread recipe. Which basically has 3 important differences than other recipies. 1. The dough will be wetter(just wet enough that its sticky),. this creates more steam in the baking process when using a baking vessel with a lid(which should apply with the rice cooker one would think). The end result being a crustier crust. 2. Rise time (i've had good results with 8-24 hours). Mix the dough, walk away. the longer the better. This gives time for the yeast to "work the glutens". The end result being a nice chewy crumb texture with plenty of airy holes. Wonderfullness. The yeast does all the work you would normally do with your hands while kneading. 3. Only uses a 1/4 tsp of yeast. Which is cheaper. The long rise time and wetter dough makes it easier for the yeast to multiply to sufficient numbers on thier own terms. They work hard and multiply fast saving you money. God I love yeast. I recommend cleaning and preheating your pot before placing the dough in for baking to help prevent sticking.

shooby (author)2008-06-06

The first time I tried this, I jammed an eraser to keep it on cook, and burned the hell out of both the oaf and the rice cooker, the bottom surface of which was pretty badly damaged. But half of the loaf was still edible. Since then I've cooked this a few times, and it worked out fine. Am currently cooking an Italian version using some mixed herbs and olive oil instead of butter. There are three issues i have with this method: 1) It's quite a small amount of bread that comes out (anyone tried using more dough in an equivalent cooker?) 2) Once the bottom has cooked, the top is no longer the same shape as the bottom, so it's difficult to get a good crust because of lack of contact. 3) There's quite a lot of moisture compared to an oven. I usually wipe off the inside of the lid a few times while it's rising and cooking, to avoid high condensation levels. Awesome instructable though, one of my favorites.

Robotrix (author)shooby2008-06-07

I sympathize, i've been there. This method has a lot of those problems, and the one that bothered me most was the lack of crust. It really needs to be finished in a conventional oven or something else to dry it out a bit and put a nice shell on it. You could always try flipping it and kind of pressing it down, like a pannini, to get a better crust on the top. Your italian version sounds great! How much olive oil do you end up using?

shooby (author)Robotrix2008-06-07

It turned out great and actually did have a good amount of crust on it, enough that it got a little too compressed when trying to cut it, even with a serrated knife. I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of herbs, and didn't measure the olive oil, but I'd say 1-2 tablespoons (basically equivalent to the amount of butter suggested in this instructable). Today is cinnamon bread, using 3 tbsp brown sugar and some....cinnamon.

shooby (author)shooby2008-06-06

I'm the oaf, the loaf is what I burned.

hInstance (author)2008-05-09

Do you use dry yeast, the type you can buy in little sachets ( or as a vacuum sealed 'brick' )?

Robotrix (author)hInstance2008-05-10

I always used to use packets of active yeast, but i'm making the switch to packets of instant yeast to save some time. I don't bake enough to really buy them in bulk or in a brick.

Vixel (author)2008-04-01

That looks amazing! You have the same rice cooker as me so I've definitely got to give this a go at some point soon! I don't live in halls of residence, but the oven in our house is terrible and whenever we've tried to bake bread in it before it's collapsed in the middle, this looks like it could be a brilliant solution!

Punkguyta (author)2007-02-09

So can I make this in a slow cooker, I belive I asked before on my other account, but looks like the comment got deleted. I just have one of those "crock pot" slow cookers. I bought yeast to try it, but want to see from you if this can be done so I don't end up making something ungodly. I'd imagine I would have to double the batch because slow cookers are bigger in diameter?

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