Today I’ll be showing you how to make my homemade bread bowl recipe completely from scratch. This sturdy recipe is perfect for serving with your favorite soup or dip! I’ll walk you through all of the steps in my how-to video!
Because why eat soup out of a regular bowl when you can eat it out of a bowl made of bread?
On Monday, when I shared my broccoli cheddar soup recipe, I promised that I’d soon be sharing a bread bowl recipe for you to put it in. Well here it is!
This recipe is perfect for the beginner bread baker. It’s simple with only a handful of ingredients, can easily be cut in half if you’re not trying to serve 6, can be made with or without a stand mixer, and yields a sturdy bowl-shaped loaf of bread that’s great for filling with your favorite soup or dip. Let’s get to it.
There are only a few very basic ingredients you need for this bread bowl recipe:
- Water. This needs to be warmed to 105-110F. Too cool and your yeast won’t activate. Too hot and you’ll kill your yeast. And what did that yeast ever do to you to deserve that?
- Yeast. Active dry.
- Sugar. Helps our yeast grow but also adds flavor to the bread bowls.
- Butter. I went back and forth between using butter and olive oil for this recipe. Butter yielded a fluffier texture and better flavor.
- Flour. I’ve tested this recipe using all-purpose and bread flour. Bread flour yields a higher/taller, rounder (more bowl-shaped) bread bowl with a chewier center and is what I recommend.
- Salt. You will need 1 Tablespoon. That’s not a typo! Salt adds some much-needed flavor. Our bread bowls need to taste good and not just look good!
- Cornmeal. Sprinkling a bit of cornmeal over your baking sheet or parchment paper helps to keep the bread bowls from sticking to the pan.
A Few Notes on the Method
The recipe itself is as straightforward as the ingredient list. I use my stand mixer to make the dough, but if you don’t have one you can do it by hand. You will have to use a little muscle to work the dough together until the proper consistency is reached and then knead by hand until the consistency indicated in the recipe is achieved.
Scoring the dough (cutting an “X” into the top of each loaf) is done to encourage the rolls to expand upwards in the oven. Use a sharp knife.
We brush the dough twice with egg wash, once before baking and then again halfway through. This encourages a deep golden brown crust, deeper than it would be if you were to only brush your bread bowls once.
- Brush your bread bowl dough with egg wash and score it before letting them rise. I did not do this in my video, and if you watch it you’ll see one of my bread bowls deflated pretty badly. As did my ego.
- Let your bread bowl cool before slicing.
- Use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to slice the top off of your bowl without squishing it.
- Bread bowls are best served warm and fresh (isn’t all bread) but will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
What to Serve In Your Bread Bowl
Time to fill it up! Basically any soup will work well in this bread bowl recipe, but here are a few of my favorites:
Dips are also great, reserve the bread you’ve torn out for dipping purposes! I love serving dill dip in a bread bowl.
More Bread Recipes You Might Like:
Are you more of a visual learner? Check out my YouTube channel where I show you how I make this recipe step-by-step in my own kitchen.
Bread Bowl Recipe
- 2 ½ cup warm water heated to 105-110F (40-45C)
- 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 7 cups bread flour plus additional as needed (870g) + additional as needed
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- Cornmeal for sprinkling baking pan
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- Combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook¹. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Add melted butter and stir until combined,
- In a separate bowl, stir together remaining 4 Tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt.
- Turn mixer to low speed and gradually add flour mixture until combined. Dough should be soft and slightly tacky to the touch. If needed, add additional flour one Tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Continue to knead dough with dough hook (or transfer to a clean surface and knead by hand) until dough is elastic and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl. Roll the surface of the dough through the oil, cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
- Gently deflate the dough and divide into 6 even pieces and roll each into a ball.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle liberally with cornmeal.
- Transfer dough balls to baking sheet, spacing several inches apart. Use a sharp knife to make an “X” on the top center of each dough ball. Prepare your egg wash by whisking together egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush bread bowls generously with egg wash (don't discard this, you'll need it again a bit later on).
- Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise while you preheat your oven to 425F (220C).
- Once oven is preheated, bread bowls should have almost doubled in size.
- Transfer risen bread bowls to 425F (220C) oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush once more with egg wash. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes or until golden brown and bread bowls sound hollow when tapped.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, use a serrated knife to slice off the top of each bread bowl. Use a knife or just your fingers to hollow out the center of each bread bowl, then use as desired!