Soup’s On: Learn How to Make Bread Bowls
Soup in a bread bowl is one of our favorites when we’re out to eat for a casual meal. It always seems like such a treat. But now that we’ve discovered how easy it is to make bread bowls, we might eat soup at home more often. Even better, bread bowls mean fewer dishes to wash.
Here’s everything we learned about how to make bread bowls, including some smart tips to help yours turn out like the ones in restaurants.
How to Make Bread Bowls: First, Make Bread Dough
Bread bowls start with nothing more complicated than a basic bread dough recipe. If you have a recipe you love, you can start there. If not, here are two recipes we like.
This recipe from Handle the Heat makes six bread bowls, and this one from Baker Bettie makes four bread bowls. Both posts include videos to help walk you through the process.
On Handle the Heat, Tessa offers a couple smart tips for the dough. One, use bread flour — either alone or in combination with all-purpose flour. Bread flour will help the dough keep its structure when baking. Likewise, add the salt last to prevent it from interfering with the yeast. Usually this isn’t an issue, but it’s worth taking the precaution to ensure your bread bowls rise properly.
On Baker Bettie, Kristin shows how to mix and knead the dough without a stand mixer, which is an important skill. We love using a stand mixer, but not everyone has one. Everybody should be able to enjoy bread bowls though. Like Kristin says, “Eating soup out of a bowl that isn’t edible is kind of pointless.” We certainly prefer it that way ourselves.
How to Make Bread Bowls: Shaping and Baking
Once the dough has finished its first rise, you’ll cut it into equal portions and shape those into tight dough balls. Both Tessa and Kristin demonstrate how to roll and pinch the dough into shape. Watch carefully so your bread bowls will stay round and rise up high.
We do like the way Tessa brushes her dough with egg white before slashing an X in the top. We also think it’s smart to place a broiler pan filled with water on the top rack while the bread bowls bake. This will help create the steamy environment that results in a crisp crust.
Now that you know how to make bread bowls, let us offer one final tip: Creamy soups are the best kind to serve in a bread bowl. Broth soups like chicken noodle will soak into the bread too quickly. Creamy soups stay in the bowl long enough for you to eat them!