Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bread Bowls

Recently a friend of mine and I had lunch at La Bou. I really like this place. I wish there was one closer to me. Their dill sauce is simply amazing. More on that when I figure out how to make it for myself!
She had a salad and I had a bread bowl filled with this tasty spicy thai chicken soup.
I had never had a bread bowl before, and after having this one I KNEW I had to make them at home. They are too delicious and fun NOT to make at home.
My husband was going to make his delicious chili, and what a perfect excuse reason to make bread bowls!
I first searched my cookbooks for bread bowl recipes. I know there has got to be some basic bread recipe out there that you can form into this round loaf, but not being that experienced in bread making, I wanted to make sure I found a recipe that was suited for bread bowls. Hard on the outside and soft in the center.
The bread itself doesn't have a ton of flavor, but that's what the soup (or chili!) is for. If you want to add flavor to the bread, go for it. Try some dried spices.
I divided the dough into 6 portions (per lots of the reviews) and they were the perfect size for a dinner serving of chili. Divide into 8 if you want them a bit smaller.

Bread Bowls (makes 6 bowls)
(adapted this recipe from

2 (.25oz) packages active dry yeast (4 1/2tsp total)
2 1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. salt
1 tbl. sugar
2 tbl. olive oil
7 c. all purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water. Let sit until nice and creamy looking (about 10 min). Add the salt, sugar, oil and 4 cups of the flour and mix with the paddle attachment until everything is thoroughly combined. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scrape down the bowl as necessary.
Switch out the paddle attachment for a dough hook and knead until the dough comes together and is smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, move it around to cover with oil. Cover the bowl with a towel or a piece of plastic and set in the oven along with a large cup of hot water (to provide steam). Let rise for 40 minutes, or until doubled.
Punch dough down and divide into 6 even portions. Lightly grease two cookie sheets and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Roll the dough pieces into balls and set them apart on the cookie sheets. Cover again with towels and back into the oven. Reheat the cup of water if it's not hot anymore. Let rise 35 minutes or so, or until they have risen to about twice their original size.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until they have turned a lovely golden. Allow the bread to cool on a baking rack. Slice off the top 1/2inch of the bread, or cut an upside down cone out of the top. Pull out all of the insides but about an inch of shell. Fill with your soup or chili. Enjoy!

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  1. These look wonderful. I'm visiting from TNSC ;)

  2. Yum! We love ordering soup in bread bowls at restaurants, but have never made them ourselves. My husband loves to make homemade bread, so I'm sure I can get him to give these a whirl!

  3. How fun (and delicious!) thanks. I love a creamy chowder in bread bowls, when you are done with the chowder, the bread is soft and chewy, almost the best part.

  4. I've always wanted to do this too - having fallen in love with bread bowls at Panera!

  5. How fun! I love getting these at restaurants, but I've never thought of making my own. Looks so yummy!

  6. YUM! Love soup or dip in bread bowls. :) THanks for sharing your recipe!

  7. These are great! I used to order a chili bread bowl every time I went to this certain restaurant...although I haven't been there in ages, this brings back great memories. I'll definitely have to make some of my own with this great recipe, so glad you shared it w/ the hearth and soul hop this week!

  8. I gotta be honest. Yeast scares me. However, the idea of making these sweet little bowls kinda makes me want to overcome my fear. They are so cute. Thanks for sharing.

  9. what a beautiful and perfect bread bowl! i have never made them from scratch..i always cheat and buy the small loaves of sourdough at the store and scoop out the insides. but...this recipe looks easy enough..i should give it a try! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club. have a wonderful thanksgiving!

  10. What a yummy idea. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I once had seafood chowder served in a bread bowl, and have often wanted to recreate it but have never found a bread roll that was either the right size or consistency. Thanks for sharing this, as I'm definitely going to give it a try.
    Sue :-)

  12. This looks delicious and perfect for my Beat the Winter Blues Party! Tomorrows topic is comfort food, come and link up @