Bread bowls are a beautiful and fun way to serve dips, soups, and stews. They’re easy to prepare and you can make them large or small for individual servings; this recipe makes one large bread bowl, but you can split up the dough and make single-serve bowls for soup if you prefer. The recipe calls for a few basic ingredients to create a simple dough, which is baked in a Dutch oven. The top is cut off, some of the middle is pulled out, and then the shell is baked again to prevent the bowl from getting soggy when filled.
- 3 cups bread flour (or all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling the bowl
Gather the ingredients.
Add the flour, yeast, salt, water, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a bowl. Stir until it becomes a shaggy dough.
Use your hands to help the mixture come together into a loose dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and allow it to rise, covered, for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 475 F. Place a medium-sized (6-quart) Dutch oven in the oven to heat for 15 minutes. Form the dough into a single, tight ball and place it on a piece of parchment paper. Using the paper, transfer it to the hot Dutch oven and bake, covered for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes, or until browned.
Remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Cut a lid off of the top of the loaf and set aside.
Scoop out the inside of the bread to create a clean bowl, removing most of the soft crumb; you can save it for another use. If using the bowl for dip, cut the bread lid into cubes.
Brush the inside of the bread bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and bake again for 10 minutes to toast the inside of the bread bowl. Do this especially if you are serving soup, as it will keep the soup from making the bread bowl too soggy.
Once warmed, place your favorite dip or soup inside the bread bowl and serve.
- You can let the dough rest, covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. Just make sure to reshape it before placing it into the Dutch oven to bake.
- Do not skip the step of brushing the inside of the bread with oil and baking again. Especially if you are going to serve soup in the bowl. This will keep it from becoming mushy and falling apart.
- Separate the dough into four smaller balls for personal-sized bread bowls. Bake them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, checking the internal temperature after 25 minutes or so.
- You can also use the same baking and hollowing-out method with store-bought pizza dough.
- If you have a sourdough starter, feel free to add some of the discard to this bread dough for extra flavor and texture. Just make sure to add more flour to counteract the moisture in the starter.