Mmmmmm. I’m sorry, I can’t talk about how delicious these bread bowls are, I’m too busy enjoying my own, nom nom nom. Ok I better take a break so you can join in on the fun too! Eating your favorite soup out of a bread bowl has got to be number one on your comfort food list. These wholesome, hearty, rustic Easy Bread Bowls can accommodate any soup or chowder and make a big impact when served to guests.
A Nostalgic Recipe.
Back in my college days, I lived in the ‘non-cooking’ dorms as a freshman and had a complete meal plan for eating at the cafeteria, three meals a day. Sometimes they would serve soup or chowder and for a little extra fee, you could order it served up in these fantastic things called ‘bread bowls’. I recently found out that the dorms I lived in are being demolished for more parking space at the old alma mater. Be a nostalgic girl that I am, I began to reminisce about the good old days in college. Bread bowls came back to my memory and I had to come up with a recipe. This one is as close as I could come and is absolutely delicious.
Easy Bread Bowl Recipe.
This is simple Italian bread. No eggs, no honey. Just flour, water, olive oil, yeast, salt and a little sugar. Form the dough into as round a ball as you can get. It will settle as shown above.
I like to place my bread to rise in a warmed oven. I will always make sure to switch it off before I put the dough in there. Some ovens can get a bit too hot and start cooking the dough! Also, shown here is my trick to keeping dough moist while it rises. Don’t bother covering your dough with a towel. I know it’s traditional, but our great grandmothers didn’t have plastic wrap! I pull a long sheet of plastic wrap out, and before tearing it off, I’ll spray it good with cooking spray. Then tear it off and place it over the dough. No sticking, no drying out. Voilá!
Here’s the secret to making bread bowls leak proof: egg white wash. Yes, you could in theory turn any yeasted bread recipe into a bread bowl, as long as you give the dough a couple egg washes while baking. It creates a great crust and almost ‘waterproofs’ the crust! These bread bowls shown above are fresh out of the oven and cooling on a rack. It’s important to always let fresh bread cool before you cut into it. Hot bread will just mush right up like dough if you cut into it. I know it’s super hard to wait, but you must learn patience, my child, patience. ;0)
Have I ever mentioned how much I love to use Rapid Rise Yeast? You don’t have to proof it, and you can skip the second rise when making bread. Thus making easier and faster bread. As Sweet Brown said so perfectly: “Ain’t nobody got time for plain old yeast!”
Once your dough is cooled, carefully slice a circle of bread out of the middle and scoop/pull out a bit more bread around the inside of your bread bowl. Now it’s ready to be filled with your most favorite chowder or soup. These photos feature Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder, one of my new favorites. Eat the soup and bread inside that has soaked up all that great flavor. Then you can eat the crust too! Enjoy this recipe and let me know how it goes in the comments below! Or take a picture and tag me on instagram @The_Goldilocks_Kitchen. I’d love to see it!
Easy Bread Bowls
Yield 3 Bread Bowls
These easy to make bread bowls are a fun and delicious way to enjoy your favorite soup or chowder.
- 1 and 1/4 cup water
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- Set oven temp to 'warm' (or the lowest temperature it will go) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a glass measuring cup, add 1 and 1/4 cups water, sugar and olive oil. Heat in the microwave until 120 to 130 degrees F. Stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, salt, and yeast. Whisk to combine. Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and pour in the hot water. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Knead on medium for about 8 minutes, adding a tablespoon of flour after 5 minutes if the dough is sticking to the sides and not coming together around the dough hook. (This step can be done up to three times, in one minute intervals.) Empty the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Turn the oven off. Separate the dough into three equal portions, shaping each into a round ball. Place each on prepared baking sheet. Cut an 'X' pattern in the top with a sharp knife about 1/4 inch at the deepest.
- Place in the warm oven on center rack to rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size. (I like to pull out a long piece of plastic wrap, spray with cooking spray, and gently place it over the bread, sprayed side down.)
- Whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. Gently slide out the baking rack with the bread bowls on it. Slowly remove the plastic wrap. (Don't remove the baking sheet from the oven, the dough will likely deflate.) With a pastry brush, very gently coat each bread bowl with egg white wash. Gently push the oven rack back into the oven. Set the oven to heat to 400 degrees F. Bake the bread bowls for 15 minutes and brush again with egg wash. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and reaches an internal temp of 190 degrees F.
- When bread has sufficiently cooled, cut out the top portion of the bread in the center with a serrated knife. You may need to remove additional bread inside by simply pulling it out with your fingers, but be sure to keep the thickness of the bread to about 1/2 inch to 1 inch. Fill with your favorite chowder or other thick, cream based soup and serve.
Courses Side dish