If you’ve never made bread bowls, today is the day to try. They’re fun and not difficult!
A couple weeks ago, I was talking to Little Miss, and I mentioned bread bowls. She scrunched up her adorable face and peered at me, confusion written all over her face.
I stared back at her, realizing but not quite believing that she wasn’t familiar with the heaven that is bread bowls – and more specifically, soup served in bread bowls.
I immediately vowed that we would make them. Soon. After all, it’s the middle of winter, and I make soup all the time in an effort to stay warm inside and out.
I bake all my own bread, and I do it regularly, but I’ve gotten lazy and simply make a big batch of dough from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes method. The idea of making dough and kneading it and letting it rise – twice – and only then baking it, well… for some reason that was incredibly daunting to me.
Mostly because I’m a moron. In a good way. Last week, I sucked it up and decided I was going to do the bread bowls because I had promised.
They really aren’t that hard, and bread doesn’t take that long to make – even as lazy as I’d gotten.
So I made them. My husband pronounced them one of the top five things I’d made this year (he couldn’t give me a full listing, sorry).
The wee ones gobbled them up and wanted more. And they wanted me to make them for dinner the next night, too. Well, I haven’t made them again yet, but you can bet I will. Because they’re that awesome.
Need a soup to enjoy in your new favorite recipe? Check the bottom of this article for some of my favorite simple soup recipes.
How to Make Homemade Bread Bowls
In a large bowl, add the water and salt. Add the yeast and one cup of flour, then stir until combined.
I like to do this in my KitchenAid mixer, but if you don’t have one, you can definitely do this by hand – do not try to use a hand mixer.
Add the oil and stir until fully combined again, then add another two and a half cups of flour and mix until it is fully incorporated. If your dough is still wet and sticky, go ahead and add a little more flour a quarter cup or less at a time until it is not wet but retains just a bit of stickiness.
From there, you can either turn it out to knead by hand for five to seven minutes or keep it in your mixer with the dough hook and mix on low for the same amount of time. When it finishes, it should feel soft to the touch though perhaps still just a touch sticky.
Oil your bowl lightly. You can use your same bowl for this; the only reason I didn’t is that I had more baking to do and needed my bowl for the next recipe.
Return the dough to the bowl and turn it so that it is fully coated in the oil.
Let it sit to rise in a warm spot until it’s doubled, around 45 minutes or so. It isn’t exact, so if you need to leave it a bit longer, it will be fine.
Carefully separate it into four sections (or five or six if you want to make smaller bowls, but this is perfect for a main course size).
Turn the dough in your hands so that the top is stretched smooth and the extra dough is on the bottom. Grasp the extra dough and squeeze it so that it adheres and won’t come apart during baking. This is the bottom of your bread bowl.
Place the dough balls, separated, on a baking sheet that is lined with a silpat or parchment paper then sprinkled with cornmeal.
If you don’t have parchment paper or a silpat, go buy some (just kidding). You can lightly grease it, then use the cornmeal.
Let the balls of dough rise for another 40 or 45 minutes. Start preheating your oven to 400 degrees about 20 minutes into this second rise, and place a small empty pan in the oven on the lowest rack.
In a small bowl, separate an egg and use the egg white (save the yolk for something else). Add about a teaspoon of water to this and whisk.
When the bowls are ready to go into the oven, lightly coat the bread bowls with the egg wash using a pastry brush.
Place the bread bowls in the oven. At the same time, dump a cup of water into the empty pan you placed in the oven.
The steam this generates will help create a nice crispy crust. It’s one of my favorite tricks about making my own bread. Bake for 15 minutes in the 400 degree oven.
Once they come out, let them cool for five to ten minutes to allow them to stop steaming inside. If you cut them open too early, too much steam escapes and the bread bowl will be drier than you want it.
Once it’s cooled a bit, cut off the top of the bread bowl and scoop out the inside. Fill with soup, and serve immediately. I made my baked potato soup, and it was perfect.
What are you putting in your homemade bread bowls?
- 1 1/2 c water, hot around 105-115 degrees
- 2 T oil
- 2 1/2 t yeast
- 1 t salt
- 3 3/4 c flour (more or less, depending on humidity levels)
- 1 egg white
- cornmeal for dusting
- In a large bowl, add water and salt, then yeast and one cup flour. Stir until combined.
- Add oil and stir until fully combined again, then add another two and a half cups of flour and mix until fully incorporated.
- If dough is still wet and sticky, add a little more flour a quarter cup or less at a time until not wet but still has just a bit of stickiness.
- Either turn it out to knead by hand for five to seven minutes or mix with a dough hook on low. It should feel soft to the touch though perhaps still just a touch sticky.
- Oil bowl lightly. Place dough in oiled bowl and turn fully coat dough in oil.
- Let rise until doubled, around 45 minutes.
- Create four equal portions. Turn the dough in your hands so that the top is stretched smooth and the extra dough is on the bottom. Grasp the extra dough and squeeze it so that it adheres and won't come apart during baking. This is the bottom of your bread bowl.
- Place the dough balls, separated, on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper then sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Let balls of dough rise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees about 20 minutes into this second rise, and place a small empty pan in the oven on the lowest rack.
- In a small bowl, separate an egg and use the egg white (save the yolk for something else). Add a teaspoon of water and whisk. Lightly coat each bread bowl with egg wash using a pastry brush.
- Place the bread bowls in the oven. At the same time, dump a cup of water into the empty pan you placed in the oven to create a steam oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Let cool 5-10 minutes, then cut off the top of the bread bowl and scoop out the inside.
- Fill with soup, and serve immediately.
This recipe makes 4 large bread bowls for a main course. You can make six smaller bowls and serve them as appetizers, as well.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 458 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 0g Sodium: 506mg Carbohydrates: 91g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 0g Protein: 14g