Homemade Bread Bowls

Have you ever had soup served in a bowl made out of bread?  A bread bowl is a big roll hollowed out to hold soup.  You eat the soup and then can eat the bread if you want.  Purchased from a specialty bakery they can be expensive.  However, you can make your own yummy version at home for a very reasonable cost.  
I've made bread bowls several times over the past few years.  They're great for entertaining! They were requested recently for my daughter's birthday dinner. For that dinner I made a triple batch of dough with about 9 cups of flour. Out of that I made 12 rolls. That is about 3/4 cups of flour per bread bowl. They turned out to be the right size.  If you want smaller bowls you can portion the dough out to about 1/2 cup of flour per bowl.  A recipe that uses 3 cups of flour would make 6 smaller bowls or 4 regular sized ones.

Here is the bread recipe I used:

French Bread--Bread Bowls

2 1/2 tsp. instant dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. cold water

Pour quite warm water (120 degrees) into your electric mixer and then add the oil, sugar, and salt. Add one or two cups of the flour and mix. Add the instant yeast. Gradually add flour and mix. You want to add enough flour so the dough is easy to handle and soft--but not too much so that's it's tough and dry. Knead by hand or machine for about 5 minutes.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise. A longer rising time gives it a better French bread texture. Grease a cookie sheet. Divide the dough in to equal portions (a single recipe would make about 4 bread bowls). Shape the dough into a ball shape and place on the cookie sheet. Brush the dough with cold water. Don't cover. Allow to rise until double.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on wire rack.

To serve the soup you carefully cut a circle in the very top of the roll, take off the lid, and gently take out the bread insides.  Take care to not cut or tear the bottom crust. You can save the bread pieces to eat with the meal. Then, at the table, just ladle the soup inside and enjoy eating the soup and the bowl.

A great soup to serve in this bowl is our creamy broccoli soup.  That's what's pictured in the above photo.  It's one of our favorites!  

Happy Soup Season!


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