Week 3 of Bread: Bread Bowls

February 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm 14 comments

Soup in Seasoned Bread Bowls

You know what I love most about blogging?  With a little dedication, time and encouragement, a virtual community starts forming and the flow of ideas starts going both directs – me to you and you back to me.  Actually, I guess ideas really start flowing three ways when you consider readers sharing hints with other readers in the comments section.  In short, you guys rock! 

Seasoned Bread Bowls

Why the sudden outpouring of love?  Well, the Yeast Primer post got a lot of great discussion going in the comments, and I’ve started getting regular emails with helpful ideas and recipes too.  For example, the base recipe for today’s Seasoned Bread Bowls, the last of the bread recipes until next winter probably, comes from reader, Kim, and it helped me to offer an easy method for making bread bowls, a request made by another loyal reader, my mom. 

Kneading dough Ball of dough in hand

The original recipe was meant for baguettes, I believe, but I thought the seasoned dough would make nice bowls for soups too, adding a little extra flavor in the background.  This dough was very interesting to work with as it wasn’t like any other I’ve made before.  It started with making a batter!  And then beating that batter until it was nearly frothy wiht a heady yeast smell.  Then it became a very fast riser and generally much shorter process from start to finish, which is perfect if you’re trying to get a bunch of them together for a dinner party. 


Thanks to the milk, butter and egg, the resulting crumb of the bread is very light and soft with a good crust – perfect for bread bowls. The seasoning wasn’t as prominent as I expected so I’ve added some extra in the recipe below that I think will give it a boost.  I found I liked my second bread bowl better than the first since it had sat for a day, getting ever so slightly stale (I forgot to seal the bag) and developing its flavors more. 

Ranch dressing packet Melting butterHow to shape dough balls Bread bowls on the rise

I don’t have any to test it on, but I think this would be a great recipe to get the kids involved with, particularly the shaping of the dough balls.  The dough is super easy, even downright fun, to work with so have them thump it around a bit and then use their little hands, which are much better proportioned than adult hands, to rotate the dough to form small taught balls.   And how excited will the be to then eat their soup out of the bread bowls?  I know I sure was! 

Cutting open bread bowl

Recipe adapted from one submitted by reader, Kim, and her mom
4-5 c. white bread flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. wheat gluten
2 packages of rapid rise yeast
1 package of Ranch-style Buttermilk Dressing Mix, 2 t. reserved
1 t. garlic salt
1 t. dried dill
1 ½ c. buttermilk
½ c. water
¼ c. margarine
1 egg, beaten
1 t. salt dissolved in warm water
1 T. melted butter

Combine 2 cups of the white flour with the yeast, wheat gluten, and the Ranch mix (reserving 2 teaspoons) in a large mixing bowl.  In a small saucepan, melt the quarter cup of margarine.  Add the water and buttermilk and heat until warm. 

Add the warmed buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Add the egg and mix vigorously for about three minutes until you can really smell the yeast and the batter is noticeably airy.  Gradually stir in the wheat flour and then as much of the remaining white flour as needed to form a firm dough. 

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for five minutes or more until smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl, turn the dough over to grease both sides.  Cover and let rise in a warm spot, such as on top of a warm stove or radiator, for 20-30 minutes.  If it’s not rising, you can use the oven on its lowest setting to give the dough a boost.

Punch dough down and divide into eight equal pieces.  Press a piece out into a rough rectangle and fold over in thirds like a business letter.  Turn dough over, forming a ball, and rotate with your palms against the counter until a taught surface forms on the dough ball.  Set on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with each remaining piece of dough.  Place four balls evenly apart per baking sheet.   

Cover dough balls and let rise in the warm spot again for about 20-30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Brush the tops of each dough ball with salted water and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom.  Once removed from the oven, brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with some of the remaining Racnh dressing mix.

Store in a ziplock bag until ready to use.  Cut off a thin slice from the top of each bread bowl and scoop out the insides.  Fill with hot soup and serve immediately.  These little bread bowls also work well for serving dip or really thick burger rolls.

(makes 8 bread bowls)

Tomato soup anyone?

Entry filed under: Bread, Recipes. Tags: , , , , .

Yeast Primer Invigorated!

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. fallenangel65  |  February 23, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Very cool. I had wondered when I re-read the recipe after all these years (I was around 10 or so when this came out and my grandma made it) if the it wouldn’t be too light on the spice.

    What a wonderful idea to use it as bread bowls!!

  • 2. kmorganmoss  |  February 24, 2008 at 7:03 am

    I grew up in a home of bakers, to this day we bake our bread in lieu of buying. For some reason we never made our own starter. Thanks for the great series I will give it a go and pass it on to my father who is the head baker now. I grew up in New Jersey and had a farm house in Ludwigs Corner, it was delightful and I miss living on a farm. I had the most wonderful strawberry patch!
    Lucky You!!!

  • 3. Jennie  |  February 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Glad you approve of the final outcome, Fallen Angel. 🙂 I’m so glad you pass the idea on to me as it really was a great recipe to work with and turned out to be perfectly suited for the bread bowls. 🙂

  • 4. Jennie  |  February 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    kmorganmoss – A home of bakers is the best kind of home there is. Lucky YOU! 🙂

  • 5. gintoino  |  February 25, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Bread soup bowls! How clever is that? Wow, they really look great. I had never eard of anything like it. Once you finish the soup do you eat the bread?

  • 6. Jennie  |  February 25, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Yes, the best part is eating the bread afterwards since it soaks up all the soup and has lots of flavor! I wish I could take credit for the idea but it is actually not that uncommon here in restaurants in the States. 🙂

  • 7. adelphos24  |  February 26, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I love the idea of edible bowls. My Father-in-law made some for thanksgiving a few years ago and filled them with his home made chilli. It was so hearty and filling. Perfect for cold weather.

  • 8. Madeline  |  February 26, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I love this idea since I’ve recently become addicted to making dough in my bread machine, I think I’ll give these a try. I don’t see why they wouldn’t work. Even if they don’t, those bowls look so delicious, it’s worth a try.

  • 9. MiM  |  March 5, 2008 at 12:48 am

    I was looking 4 this recipe 4 long time

    yhanks alot

    I will give it a try 🙂

  • 10. Jennie  |  March 12, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Madeline – let me know if they work in your bread machine and if you had to adapt the recipe at all. I’m very curious!

  • 11. Angel  |  August 27, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I don’t have this Ranch-style Buttermilk Dressing , cuold I omit it , or I should add extra ingridents ?


  • 12. Jennie  |  August 27, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Angel – It’s meant mostly to add some flavor to the bread. You could try adding some garlic powder/salt, some dried oregano, or other dried herbs in place of the dressing mix. Let me know how it turns out without the mix… I’m curious! 🙂

  • 13. Angel  |  August 28, 2008 at 4:25 am

    no the is rising , I will tell you my result:)

  • 14. Chelsea  |  November 16, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Made this tonight and put my first homemade pumpkin curry/ginger soup. It was amazing. what a fabulous bread recipe. I omitted the Ranch dressing but added some fresh dill, garlic salt and some rosemary.



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