Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread in your house? Whenever I prepare bread of any form, I can count on my husband’s voice within minutes after putting it in the oven inquiring of what I’m making and when it’s going to be done. Without fail. It’s one of the things I look forward to. Having somebody by my side that can get as excited about food as I am is a huge blessing to me. He wouldn’t really call himself a foodie and most days can’t figure out why in the world I’m so excited about making, eating, and looking at food.
All. Day. Long.
With that being said, I too am a lover of all things bread. And these bread bowls? To die for. So, so, good.
With soup season in full swing, I figured there would never be a better time to make homemade bread bowls than now. Being somewhat intimidated by preparing sourdough (the starter part is what keeps me holding out), I went on the hunt for easier recipes. Lo and behold the very first one turned out to be a winner. Everything you could possibly want in a bread bowl is found in these ones. Dense, chewy, perfectly crusty and baked to golden perfection with a fluffy inside. Oh, and one of the most important things, these bowls are certainly hearty enough to prevent sogginess once filled with soup.
The dough comes together in a matter of minutes and needs to rise for 1 hour. After that, you divide it into 4 sections and form them into balls. The dough balls need to rest in the fridge for at least 4 or up to 24 hours. The long resting period helps develop the flavor and reinforces the hearty and chewy texture. I may have let my bread bowls rest in the fridge for close to 48 hours… oops! They still turned out great – in fact, I happen to think that the bread bowls turned out so beautifully because of the additional time they had to develop.
This recipe is a definite keeper. We’ll probably never be eating soup out of regular bowls again!
I hope you enjoy an artisan bread bowl filled with your favorite soup this weekend – I hear it’s the perfect cure for chocolate hangovers, especially for the day after Halloween. Have a happy weekend!
Here’s this week’s favorite quote:
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ~ Dr.Seuss
- 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup dry milk or nonfat dry milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1. Mix together the flours, dry milk, rapid rise yeast and salt. Add the olive oil and slowly mix in the lukewarm water. Knead until a smooth dough forms.
- 2. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour.
- 3. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and remove the bowl from the warm resting place. Divide the dough into 4 sections and roll into balls. Place the dough balls onto the baking sheet and cover with clear wrap (spray the wrap with nonstick spray as well). Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 24 hours (the longer the dough rests in the fridge, the chewier and crustier the bread bowls will be).
- 4. Remove the dough balls from the fridge and let them rest on the counter while preheating the oven to 425 degrees F.
- 5. Just before putting them into the oven, take off the clear wrap and slash the top surfaces a couple of times with a knife. This will help the bowls to expand and rise even more while baking.
- 6. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the bread bowls are deep brown and bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Remove from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack.
- Bread bowls will keep for 2 days or up to 2 weeks in the freezer.
- The dough can easily be doubled.