I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. Well, actually I know COMPLETELY who I shall blame this on, but honestly, it’s not even really her fault either. My friend Aisha from Birmingham is to blame. She’s been a baking something or another for the last month or so, and well, yeah, she’s an enabler. I know that I’ve baked bread, and cupcakes, and whatnot, but I’ve become OBSESSED with trying to get the perfect bread bowl for soups made. I’ve tried several different sourdough starters, and I wanted to cry in regard to all of the flour and yeast that I was wasting. One of the doughs SMELLED great, but I just couldn’t get the consistency right no matter how much I tried. No worries though, I’m not giving up that easily. I shall return with a great sourdough bread bowl. Until then, here’s one that can be made in an afternoon or right before dinner, and it’s so good. May I present to you, homemade bread bowls.
Don’t worry your little heads about the broccoli cheddar soup that you see with it either. I’m still tweaking that as well, and will link to it as soon as I get it to the point in which I like it. I’m certain that will be next week, but don’t hold your breath, because I’m not sure how much cheese I can safely feed my family without issue. It gives me nightmares what too much cheese will do to them. Nightmares I tell ya. Until then, we’ll share the homemade bread bowls, and link back up next week.
I’ve also learned that the key to getting these homemade bread bowls nice and crusty on the outside is a spray bottle filled with water. I tried doing it the “easy” way because I didn’t have one last week, but let’s just say, it’s not so easy to do it without a spray bottle. I picked one up from a local chain store for less than a dollar, and now it joins my arsenal of baking accessories, and it makes me happy.
Seriously though, these homemade bread bowls would be perfect for some dip or something this spring or summer. You don’t HAVE to fill it with hot soup, but I tend to like soup year round, so I totally will. I’m sure that you could even fill them with eats like tuna salad, or even chicken salad. The possibilities are endless. I’m not saying that I should be a head baker for Panera, but I’m kinda saying that.
Anyhoo, the recipe is as follows – PLEASE NOTE – make sure you have FRESH yeast and adhere to the water temperatures. Anything too high will kill the yeast, and anything too low, well, you’ll ruin it that way too.
- 1/4 oz active dry yeast (1 packet of Red Star Platinum Yeast)
- 2 1/2 c warm water (between 110 - 120 F)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 7 c all-purpose flour
- - Place the warm water in a large bowl, add the sugar, and stir to combine. Add the yeast to the water, and let stand until foamy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Let the yeast proof, if it does not get foamy, throw it away, and get some fresh yeast.
- - Fit your electric mixer with a the paddle attachment. In the mixer bowl, add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; and mix until throughly combined. With dough hook in place, add in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, about 45 seconds on medium speed, or 2 minutes by hand.
- - Continue kneading dough until smooth and springy.
- - Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.
- - Remove the dough from the bowl, punch it down and divide into six equal portions.
- - Shape each of the portions into a ball.
- - Cover and place in a area that is free of drafts, and let rise until doubled in size.
- - Place two racks in the bottom and middle positions and preheat oven to 400 F
- - You can use a baking stone to make the process easier. Make sure to heat the stone for 20 minutes prior to putting your dough on it.
- - Crosshatch each ball of dough and sit dough in corn meal to coat the bottom of it. Transfer to the baking stone and spray the entire oven with water to create a humid environment. Bake for 15 mnutes and then respray the oven
- - Bake an additional 15 to 18 minutes, or until the bread bowls are a golden brown.
- - Remove from the oven, and then allow to cool on wire racks.
- - To make the bread bowl, cut about a 1/2-inch slice from the top of each bowl, and then using your hands, scoop out the guts of the bowl (save those for dipping into your soup or dip!) but don't scoop through the crust.
- - Enjoy your homemade bowls!