Every good soup deserves a fresh homemade bread bowl! These Easy Homemade Bread Bowls are super easy, super yummy and perfect for Fall and Winter!
I love soup. If it were up to me, I could eat it all year long (too bad my family doesn’t feel the same)! I can think of nothing better than a hot bowl of soup served in a warm fresh homemade bread bowl! The top that is cut out of the center of the soft bread bowl is perfect for dipping, and the soggy soft bread that is leftover after I have eaten my soup is the best part!
This recipe has been a favorite at our house for years! It really is so super easy and the results are amazing! It will become your new favorite thing to make and people will be amazed that you made your own bread bowl!
The Yeast for Bread Bowls
For years yeast doughs stressed me out! I had no clue what I was doing with yeast and I was completely intimated by it! I am here to tell you that it is so super EASY! A few quick bits of info and you will be whipping up all sorts of yeast doughs! (Try my Easy French Bread, No Fail Soft Dinner Rolls, Garlic Knots, and Easy Homemade Breadsticks).
The two main kinds of yeast you will find at your store are Active Dry Yeast and Instant Yeast (sometimes called fast rising or rapid rising yeast). I always use Instant Yeast if I can find it! If you are using Active Dry yeast you will need more of it! To use Active Dry yeast instead of Instant Yeast you would multiply the amount of yeast by 1.25. If the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of instant yeast, you would use 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast. If you are using Active Dry yeast, make sure to get more in there. Add a little more than double if you are confused and you will be ok! Better to have a bit more than not enough!
This recipe calls for Instant Yeast. You do not typically have to “proof” your yeast when you using Instant Yeast. It is made to be “instant” and you can just mix it all in with the dry ingredients. However, I always proof mine, just in case the yeast is old or not good anymore!
To proof any type of yeast you will first mix warm water, sugar (honey works too) and then your yeast. The sugar feeds the yeast and this is what activates it, making your breads rise.
Making the Dough for Bread Bowls
To make bread bowls, or any type of yeast dough I always use my Kitchenaid Mixer. The dough hook (obviously) is what works best, but in a pinch you can use the paddle attachment.
Add your water and sugar to your mixing bowl.
TIP: Instant Yeast is more forgiving with water temperature! This means it’s easier to work with! If your water is a bit on the hot side it will not kill the yeast! One more reason I love instant yeast!
Next add in your Instant Yeast to the sugar and warm water and give it a little stir. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and you will see it starts to get foamy/bubbly. This is proofing and means your yeast is active and it will do its job and the bread will rise!
Next add in your salt, and then 2 cups of flour. Make sure and use your dough hook, and start mixing on low. As the flour incorporates you can turn it up to medium. Let the 2 cups of flour mix in all the way and add 2 more cups. (Lower the speed or stop the mixer to avoid flour flipping out of the sides if needed) The dough should start to mix together and should be getting thicker in consistency. At this point, it will be sticking to the mixing bowl. See in the photos below.
You will need about 4 1/2 to 5 cups of flour total added to your dough. Continue to add in 1/2 cup more flour at time, letting it mix completely before adding more. Add 1/2 cup more at a time until the dough is cleanly pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl. It should be slightly sticky to touch but doesn’t stick and clump on your finger. (See photo below to know what it should look like when you have added enough flour.)
I use about 4 1/2 cups of flour every time. So many things factor into how much flour you need, so your amount may be different. Just add the 4 cups and add a little at a time from there!
Let your dough mix on medium-high speed to knead the dough for you. About 2-3 minutes is all you need.
Next, using your hands roll the dough into a large ball. Place the dough ball back in the mixing bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil or canola oil onto the dough in the mixing bowl. Rub the oil all over the outside of your dough ball.
Cover the dough in the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let it raise for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
Making the Bread Bowls
I use a half sheet pan to bake my bread bowls. Line a baking sheet or sheet pan with parchment paper, or grease the pan. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
After your dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.
TIP: Each bread bowl holds about 1 cup of soup (maybe a little more). If you are wanting larger bread bowls, divide the dough into fewer portions to make fewer but larger bread bowls.
Take each piece of dough and roll it into a ball. I pull the dough around itself to form a ball and tuck the dough under the bottom of the ball. (That may not make sense)! Place the ball of dough on the parchment paper lined baking sheet or sheet pan. Repeat with each piece of dough, making sure they are spaced out evenly on the pan.
Next, cover the pan with the same clean kitchen towel. Let the bread bowls raise again for at least 45 minutes or until more than doubled in size. See photos below for how much I let mine rise.
After they have risen, let them bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. The tops of the bread bowls should be golden brown, or to your liking!
Take the bread bowls out of the oven and they are ready to serve up. I love serving soup in a warm bread bowl, but they are just as yummy cooled.
Serving It Up with Bread Bowls
What kind of soup is your favorite? I love Cheesy Potato Soup, Chili, Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew, Taco Soup, Cheesy Hamburger Soup, Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup, Chicken Gnocchi and so many more! Any type of soup, chili or stew can be served in an Easy Homemade Bread Bowl.
Time to fill it up! Using a bread knife, make a shallow cut in the very top center of the bread bowl. You should get a little chunk of bread cut off the top that is perfect for dipping.
Then, take your fingers and gently push the inside of the bread bowl down, creating a bowl to hold the soup.
Now, fill that yummy bread bowl up with your favorite soup and enjoy! The best part about a bread bowl is tearing off the sides and dipping it in your soup. OK, the best part really is the soggy bread bowl leftover will all the soup remains on it…that is truly yummy (or is it just me?)!
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Easy Homemade Bread Bowls
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp Instant yeast See notes for Active Dry Yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 4/12 to 5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp olive oil or canola oil *for rubbing on the dough after it has been made
- In a mixer, using the paddle attachment, add your warm water, sugar and last your yeast. Mix it together. Let it sit for about 5 minutes or until it gets foamy and bubbly. (see blog post above for photos)
- Add your salt and 2 cups of your flour. Mix it together on low, increasing the speed once the flour is mixed in. Let it mix until the flour is incorporated fully.
- Add 2 more cups, mixing it until the flour is mixed in. The dough should still be sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl at this point.
- Add in 1/2 cup more flour and mix it in fully. You will want to add a little flour at a time until the dough is cleanly pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl. I usually add exactly 4 1/2 cups of flour, but if your dough is still sticky (if it sticks to your fingers leaving clumps of sticky dough behind) add more flour a little at a time. (See photos above in the blog post to see what it looks like when the dough has enough flour.)
- Once the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, let it continue to mix on med-high speed for 2-3 minutes. This will knead the dough for you!
- After it has mixed and kneaded, take the bowl off the mixer stand and form the dough into a ball. It should not stick to your hands!
- Pour 1 tsp olive oil or canola oil on to the dough and rub it all around. Keep the dough in the mixing bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel to rise. Let it raise for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan or baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease your pan.
- Once your dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 6 equal portions. (Each bread bowl holds about 1 cup of soup. If you want larger bread bowls, make less portions for bigger bread bowls). Roll each piece into a ball, pulling the sides around to form a smooth ball and pinching and tucking the ends under on the bottom. Place the ball on your parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with all pieces of dough, making sure they are evenly spaced out on your baking sheet.
- Cover the bread bowl balls with the same clean kitchen towel. Let the bread bowls raise at least 45 minutes or until they have more than doubled in size. (See blog post above for photos)
- After they have risen, bake them for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown, or to your liking!
- I love a warm bread bowl filled with soup, but you can let them cool. To fill up the bread bowl with soup: Take a bread knife or sharp knife, and cut a shallow circle out of the top center of your bread bowl. You will be left with a little bread top that is perfect for dipping. Then, using your fingers press the inside of the bread bowl down and around the sides, creating a bowl! Fill it up with about 1 cup of your favorite soup, stew or chili (see blog post above for links to my favorite soups, stews and chilis)!