Bread Bowls. What a fun way to serve soup! I’ve seen–and eaten–bread bowls other places, but none that compare with the flavor of these cheesy, edible bowls.

Most of the recipes I share on Ciao from Debbie are easy, everyday recipes. And while these bowls aren’t the easiest recipe in my collection, I really think you’ll want to learn how to make them! Especially after sharing many of my favorite soup recipes in recent weeks. But even when the soup is delicious, it’s the bowl that I can’t wait to eat! The soup softens the cheesy bowl so that it can easily be folded in half and enjoyed…like this one which my Good Husband took a bite out of!

The dough is is easy to make–without a food processor, a bread machine or even a mixer.

I begin by placing 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl…here I used 1 cup of whole wheat and 1 cup of all-purpose flour though I usually just use all-purpose. By the way, I once made these with bread flour, thinking they would be even better, but the texture was terrible! So please take my advice and don’t use bread flour!

Next I add in 1 T. of dry yeast.

If you prefer, you can use fresh yeast, pictured on the left here.

Then, I add 1 T. of sugar…

…and 1 tsp. of salt…

I pour 1 1/2 cups of warm milk over the dry ingredients. Using milk instead of water softens the texture of the bread.

Everything gets stirred together…

…and then I add 2 C. of grated cheese. In the States I used grated cheddar or Monterey Jack. In Germany I used Gouda. And in Italy I use Provolone Dolce. I think almost any semi-sharp grated cheese will work. If you’re dairy intolerant, consider using a non-dairy cheese such as Daiya.

Once the cheese is stirred in…

…I add 2 more cups of flour…

When the dough gets almost too stiff to stir with my wooden spoon…

…I sprinkle some flour on my dishtowel and begin to knead the dough.

You can work right on a clean counter-top if you prefer but I’ve found it easier to work on a floured dishtowel if the dough is not too wet. Makes for an easier cleanup and the dough seems to stick less to a towel than it does to a counter-top.

 I kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes…

…lifting the dough up and…

…pushing it down. This not only incorporates everything together but activates the gluten in the flour.

I then formed the dough into a ball, placed it back into the same bowl–which I’d rinsed out–and I drizzled a little vegetable oil on top…

I rubbed the oil around the dough so a crust doesn’t form on it while it’s rising.

And then I cover it with plastic wrap…

…and let it rise for about 2 hours until it was doubled in size.

I usually form my Bread Bowls on my white Corelle soup bowls. When my kids were small, I used the smaller bowls for them and larger ones for the “grown ups”. If you don’t have any Corelle, you can use custard cups or any oven-safe dishes. Once when I was visiting my daughter–now married and living in the States–she and her brother requested that I make Bread Bowls. She doesn’t have any Corelle dishes, so I picked up a couple Corelle bowls at the Goodwill, used her smallest metal mixing bowl, as well as a small glass mixing bowl to make our Bread Bowls. As you can see, almost any oven-safe dishes will work fine.

So before you divide and shape your dough, you need to determine what you’ll use as a form for the bowls, and then butter the outside part…

Instead of butter you can brush them with vegetable oil…

I do not recommend using Pam or another spray since the most important part to grease well is the rim, and it’s a bit tricky to grease the rim of the bowl with a spray. You’ll see later why it’s important to have the rim well-oiled when you go to remove the baked Bread Bowl.

Once the bowls are prepared,  you’ll want to divide the dough based on the size of your forms. If you use custard cups, you’ll probably be able to make 10-12 bowls. Since I use Corelle soup bowls, I’ve learned that I can make eight bowls with this amount of dough so I divide the dough into eight balls. I first shape the entire batch into a log…

This makes it easier to divide the dough…in half…then in half again…

…and in half again…until I have eight pretty equal-sized pieces…

I sprinkle some more flour on the dishtowel and flatten each ball with the heel of my hand…

With a rolling pin, I roll out each ball into a circle…

…rolling from the center to the outside until the dough is large enough to drape over a greased bowl…

This dough is extremely easy to work with! I’ve found it’s actually easier to make the circle a bit smaller than the bowl and then…

…just press it down over the bowl.

If you roll the circle too large, you’ll have too much edge making them too large

If they are too big, like this one, it’s hard to fit them onto a baking sheet without touching the ones next to them.

Notice that I’ve covered my baking sheet with parchment before placing the bowls on it. If you don’t have parchment paper, be sure to grease your baking sheet so the edges of the bowl don’t stick to it.

Once the bowls are all covered with dough, I bake them (upside down) for 10 minutes at 375° F (190° C). I’m usually baking two sheets at a time, with four bowls on each sheet, so I switch the baking sheets from the top to bottom shelf in the oven after 5 minutes. Otherwise the bowls on the bottom shelf get overcooked on the bottom, since they’re closer to the heating element.

When you remove them from the oven, if the bowls are touching each other, you may need to cut them apart before flipping them over…

Keep the form inside the dough and continue baking for 5 minutes more…

Then, loosen each edge with a knife and…

…using a hot pad, lift out the form…

I then brush the inside of the Bread Bowl with an egg wash–a yolk mixed with 1 T. of water. This helps to seal the bowl so that it holds the soup better.

Now I bake the bowls for a final 3-5 minutes. Watch them carefully at this point! Neither burnt egg nor burnt cheese taste very good!

The bowls are now ready to be filled with one of your yummy soups…and enjoyed!

This is my Escarole Soup, page 51 of O Taste & See Some More! –made with cannellini beans instead of rice or tortellini. (I’ll post this recipe next week.)

And this is Provencal on page 51 of O Taste & See Some More! (Recipe coming next week!)

If you don’t eat all the bowls up today, they can easily be stacked up…

…and placed in a plastic bag to be frozen for use later..

I think this blog wins the prize for using the most photos…I intentionally included a lot of photos so that you will realize that making the bowls is not as overwhelming as it might initially seem. I hope you’ll try them this week. I know your family will thank you! My kids used to beg me to make Bread Bowls…and now that they’re grown and gone, even my Good Husband gets excited when he sees me making them for supper!

Enjoy! Ciao!

Debbie

 

Bread Bowls

Yield: 8-10 bowls, depending on size

Bread Bowls

Ingredients

  • 4-4 1/2 C. (500-550 g) flour
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 1 1/2 C. (375 ml) warm milk
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 C. (250 g) shredded cheddar, Gouda or Provolone cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T. water

Instructions

  1. Combine yeast with 2 C. (250 g) flour. Add the warm milk, sugar, and salt. Stir in the cheese. Beat well.
  2. Stir in the rest of the flour, kneading on a floured board when the dough gets stiff. Let rise until double (1 1/2 - 2 hours).
  3. Grease the OUTSIDE of 8 ovenproof custard cups or bowls (I use Corelle bowls.)
  4. Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a circle (the size will vary depending on the size bowl you use). Fit over the cups or bowl.
  5. Place bowls on a cookie sheet; bake at 375ÂF (190° C) for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and turn the bowls right-side up. Bake 5 minutes more.
  7. Gently remove the bread from the cup/bowl, using a knife to loosen any edges that stick.
  8. Brush the inside of each bowl with a mixture of the egg yolk and water beaten together. Bake 5 minutes more until the bowls are golden brown.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/step-by-step-cooking/bread-bowls-step-by-step/

This recipe can be found on page 38 of O Taste & See Some More!

7 Comments

  1. 1-14-2012

    Thanks so much for posting the step by step photos Debbie! I’ve seen this in O Taste & See, and thought about making this several times. Now it doesn’t seem so daunting!

  2. 1-17-2012

    These look delicious and very fun. I think my kids would get such a kick out of eating their bowls. =)

  3. 1-17-2012

    I can speak from experience with my own kids that they LOVE them! Making them this size, however, would be too large for your kids. So make them a bit smaller…and freeze the extras for a quick and easy lunch another day.

  4. 11-3-2013

    Greetings! These look lovely and I like the addition of cheese.

    I’d like to make and freeze a great quantity of these to be used w/ an outdoor soup program later this month. How should they be thawed / reheated from the freezer so as not to turn soggy?

    Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • 11-11-2013

      Catherine, sorry for the delay in replying! These bread bowls freeze very well. They can just be stacked together after they’re baked, and frozen in plastic bags–usually I freeze about 4-5 in a bag. Thaw them at room temperature for a few hours, then just put them on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven for 5 minutes or so. They reheat well. Because they’re already baked, you don’t want to overbake them or the cheese can taste burnt. Enjoy!

  5. 1-11-2014

    I was confused over your detailed instructions vs. ingredient list for “bread bowls step by step”. In your step by step process you say do not use bread flour, however, in your ingredient list you say to use bread flour. Can you clarify?

    • 1-11-2014

      I’m sorry for the confusion, Becky. I’m not sure why I put “bread flour” in the ingredient list since I only made them once with bread flour and the texture–for some reason–wasn’t good at all. So stick with all purpose flour and I think you’ll love them! We do!

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