The best way to serve a hearty, delicious soup or stew is in a homemade bread bowl. This recipe is an easy way to make homemade bread bowls a reality in your home. And yes, you totally can do this.
Ingredients for Homemade Bread Bowls:
Note: This recipe makes 4-6 bread bowls
2 envelopes yeast, or 5 tsp. bulk yeast
3 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp. salt
7-8 cups all purpose white flour (can substitute half as wheat flour)
1 egg (optional, for egg wash)
How to make Homemade Bread Bowls:
First, sprinkle the yeast in the water and let it dissolve. (I buy my yeast in bulk here.) After the yeast has sat a couple minutes, mix in the sugar, salt and a couple cups of the flour. Stir.
Add a couple more cups of flour at a time…
…adding and stirring until you can’t easily stir it anymore. (Depending on the humidity, bread dough can require more or less flour than a recipe states. So don’t worry if the measurements aren’t working out exactly.)
At this point, you need to take the dough out of the bowl and put it on a floured surface. (In my case, the kitchen counter with some flour sprinkled on it.)
Knead the dough, adding a bit more flour as you go until the dough is no longer sticky. We want a soft dough for this so as soon as the dough isn’t sticking to your hands while you’re kneading, you’re good to go. It should take a good 5-8 minutes to get it to this point.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a dishtowel, and set in a warm place to raise for about an hour. (I use my oven. When I start mixing up my bread ingredients, I turn the oven to the lowest setting – 170 degrees – and preheat it. When it hits 170, I turn it off. By the time I’m done kneading, the inside of the oven is a good temp for raising bread.)
After an hour, take the dough out and divide it for as many bread bowls as you want to make. (This is also when you should get your oven preheating to 400 degrees for baking!) Bread bowls can be hard to guess for size. You want something that isn’t going to be an insane amount of bread, but you also want it to hold more than two spoonfuls of soup. For our family’s likes, we divide this batch of dough into five or six balls. (These balls of dough WILL still rise during baking, so don’t make them too big!)
There’s a trick to shaping loaves or buns to be round. It’s not like rolling round balls of clay to make a snowman sculpture. 😉 If you’re unsure of how to shape dough to be round and smooth, this video is a quick and easy tutorial!
Now that you have your unbaked bowls made, place them on a greased pan…
…and it’s time for an egg wash. Whisk one egg with a Tbsp of water and gently brush on the dough.
I like a silicone pastry brush for this. You don’t have to do the egg wash, but the egg wash will give the bowls a shiny and some what “crustier” finish.
Now you’re ready to bake. Bake the bowls for 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
There is one bowl here that didn’t get the egg wash. Can you tell which one? (Still plenty yummy, just not as shiny or crusty.)
After the bowls have cooled and your appetite can no longer wait, it’s time to serve your soup! Cut a hole out of the center…
…and fill that baby up!
Bread bowls work best with stews, or soups that are thick and creamy. The more runny the broth is, the more it soaks into the bread bowl—although my sons enjoyed homemade chicken noodle soup in it and didn’t have any issues. I like serving my Cheesy Bacon Wild Rice Soup in these homemade bread bowls. What kind of soup would you serve?