When I was younger, our family frequented a local restaurant that served soup in bread bowls year round.
Even in the heart of summer, I would often order a big bread bowl of broccoli soup for lunch or dinner, while the rest of my family opted for their awesome sandwiches. There’s just something slightly irresistible about a bread bowl.
As we prepared for a potluck of soups with some friends a few weekends ago, I suddenly had a craving to eat whatever delicious concoctions ended up gracing our table in a bread bowl, so I turned to the Internet for help.
I discovered that they aren’t too difficult to make, although I continue to maintain that I don’t have the patience to wait on yeast to rise on a regular basis. Watching dough swell on the counter just makes me hungrier and hungrier for the finished product.
But the recipe I tried, which I found on the blog “I Heart Naptime,” promised to be easy, and the recipe’s author didn’t disappoint. You can find her post at https://www.iheartnaptime.net/bread-bowl/.
Homemade Bread Bowls
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast that’s three packets
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 to 6 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water and stir to dissolve. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. It’s ready when the plastic wrap puffs up.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine four cups of flour, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the sugar-yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed with a dough hook, if possible. Add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is smooth and not sticky. (Don’t feel like you need to add all of it if you don’t need to, or add a bit more if it’s not coming together.)
- Knead the dough with a stand mixture with a dough hook for three minutes on high, or knead on a floured counter by hand for about five minutes.
- Coat the dough in about 1 teaspoon of oil and place in a large bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough doubles in size.
- While the dough rises, prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
- When the dough is ready, punch it down and divide it into six even balls. Place three on each baking sheet and cut an X in the top of each with a sharp knife.
- Let the dough rise for another 30 minutes or until they double.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the bread is golden brown.
- To serve, cut a circle out of the top of the bread bowl and then hollow out the center. (To leave more bread in the middle and make more room for soup, press the insides down a bit with your fingers.)
- Keep the bread bowls in an airtight container if not serving immediately.
These bread bowls were a huge hit for our get together, as was the pile of bread scraps sitting in the kitchen. I think everyone nibbled on those at some point during the evening.
They were the perfect size for a small bowl of soup to go with the other goodies on our table. Also, for a recipe that was only difficult because I spent a lot of time waiting, the pay off was huge. There are few things people get more excited about than fresh-baked bread.
This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 31, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.