Homemade bread bowls are a great way to serve soup in and making your own is easier than you think. All you need are five basic ingredients: bread flour, yeast, salt, sugar and sesame seeds. Enjoy your favorite creamy soup in these bowls and eat the soup-soaked bowls afterwards. This recipe makes six large bowls.
I know, some of you (non bakers like me) must be thinking: Easy? Who is she kidding? There's no way I can pull this off! Well, well... let me put your fears to rest. I am no expert at baking myself, but if I can make these bread bowls, you can too. Honest-to-goodness! All you need to do is read through the post as I guide you through the steps, drawing your attention to a few essential tips and tricks so you don't go wrong. I promise, making basic bread recipes like this one is no big deal at all. Let's get started, shall we? First, the ingredients.
- Bread flour (7 cups) - I recommend going with bread flour rather than all purpose flour for this recipe. It makes better, stronger bread for bread bowls, and most brands also include yeast packets, so you don't have to buy yeast separately.
- Dry yeast (2 tablespoons) - Yeast is added to bread to make the dough rise. Dry yeast comes in fine granules and has to be mixed with warm water to activate it. If it is included in the bread flour, no worries. If not, it is easily available in most grocery stores.
- Sugar (2 tablespoons) - White, granulated sugar 'feeds' the yeast and helps it multiply.
- Salt (2 teaspoons) - for flavor.
- Sesame seeds (optional) - You can skip these if you want. It is not an essential ingredient although in my opinion bread does taste nice with lots of sesame on it.
- Warm tap water (3 cups) - To dissolve the yeast and make the dough.
How to make bread bowls
- Pour 3 cups of warm water in a deep bowl and sprinkle the yeast on it. Do not touch the bowl for 5 minutes, then stir the yeast in in with a spoon. Tip: the water needs to be warm, not hot. If it is hot, the yeast will be killed off. Around 115 degrees is a good temperature.
2. Add the sugar, salt, and 3 cups of flour to the water. Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in 4 more cups of flour into the bowl to form a soft dough. The dough will be sticky at this point. Turn the dough onto a clean, floured surface and knead with your hands until it is smooth (4-5 minutes).
4. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl and cover with a damp dish cloth. Make sure the bowl is large enough as the dough will increase in size. Tip: I usually keep the bowl of dough in the oven and leave it there, undisturbed, for about 60 to 90 minutes. It's a warm, dark place and the perfect environment for proofing the dough. Do make sure the oven is not switched on or hot before placing the bowl of dough in it. After an hour, the dough will rise and double in size. As you can see in the picture below, I should have gone for a larger bowl!
5. Now, take the bowl out and punch the dough down to release all the air. Roll it into a log and divide the dough into 6 balls.
6. Place the balls on a large, greased baking tray, a little apart, or if you don't have a large baking tray, divide them into two baking trays, 3 balls on each one. Cover the trays with a damp dish cloth or kitchen bowl and leave in the oven for 20 minutes to rise again. Once risen, remove from the oven.
7. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the dough balls lightly with water and sprinkle sesame seeds all over the balls.
8. Place the baking trays in the oven and bake for 2 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops of the bread are browned.
9. Remove the trays from the oven and transfer the buns to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, take a sharp bread knife and cut off the tops of the buns. Scoop out the bread from inside the buns to leave a hollow. Your bread bowls are ready to use!
How to use the bread bowls
You can fill these bread bowls with any kind of thick soup. They are perfect for this creamy and slightly chunky broccoli cheddar soup. It tastes awesome in these bowls!
Hot tip: You can use the bowls as is or go a step further. After filling the bowls to the brim with soup, here's what to do:
- sprinkle some extra shredded cheese on top of the soup.
- spray olive oil generously on the soup itself and the edges of the bowls.
- switch on your oven to the broiler setting (high).
- once the oven is hot, place the bowls and the cut off tops in the middle rack and set the timer to 2-3 minutes.
- remove the bowls from the oven and serve hot.
I love, love doing this extra step as it makes the soup extra delicious. The cheese melts and becomes all gooey, the bread become crusty and brown, and the olive oil smells so good! Need I say more?
More bread recipes
- Puri - Puri or poori is puffy Indian bread that tastes really good with potatoes or curried chickpeas. The dough is rolled into thin discs and deep fried for golden, slightly crispy puri bread.
- Bhature - A soft, pillowy bread that goes like gangbusters with spiced chickpeas to make chole bhature, a wildly popular North Indian dish.
- Whole Wheat Naan - Soft and pillowy naan to go with all kinds of curries and stews. Made with wholewheat flour, this is a healthier and tastier version of your regular store-bought bread.
- Keema Naan Recipe - Naan stuffed with spiced ground lamb or keema and baked in the oven.
Easy Bread Bowls
- Big Pyrex bowl
- Hand mixer
- Large baking tray
- Sharp knife
- 3 cups warm tap water
- 2 tablespoon dry yeast
- 2 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 7 cups bread flour
- sesame seeds optional
- olive oil optional
- Pour the water in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast all over it.
- Wait for 5 minutes, then stir the yeast in.
- Dissolve the sugar and salt in the yeasty water.
- Stir in 3 cups of the bread flour and using a hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining 4 cups of bread flour into the bowl and mix it in to form a loose and rough dough.
- Turn the dough on to a clean, floured surface and knead with your hands until it is soft and smooth (4-5 minutes).
- Place the dough in a large, greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Keep the bowl in an oven or any dark place to rise undisturbed for 60-90 minutes. The dough will rise and double in size.
- Punch the dough down and shape into a log. Break off 6 pieces and shape into balls.
- Place the balls on two baking trays (3 balls on each) and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Keep the trays in the oven or any dark place for 20 minutes to rise again. Once risen, remove from the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray the dough balls lightly with water and sprinkle the sesame seeds generously on them. Place the baking trays in the oven and bake for 2 minutes.
- Decrease the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking the buns for 15 minutes more or until the tops have browned.
- Take out the trays from the oven and transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool down.
- Once cool, cut off the tops of the buns with a sharp bread knife and scoop out the bread inside to form a hollow inside each bun. The bread bowls are ready to use.
How to use the bread bowls
- Pour your favourite thick or chunky soup into the bowls and serve hot.
- If you are making soup with cheese in it, like a broccoli cheddar soup, turn on your oven to the broiler setting. Add a little extra cheese on top of the soup, spray the bowls with olive oil, and keep the bowls in the oven for 2-3 minutes. This will melt the cheese and form lovely brown crusts on the tops and edges of the bowls. Serve hot.
- It is preferable to use bread flour and not all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- While dissolving the yeast in the water, make sure the water is warm and not hot as hot water will kill the yeast.
- Do make sure the oven is off and not warm from previous use while keeping the dough to rise in it.