I often use any bread recipe I’m into at the moment shaped into smaller loaves, but this time I made a bread bowl-specific recipe, which I found on The Fresh Loaf. The person who made the post says the recipe was “originally from KA”, which to bakers means King Arthur Flour. I substituted a cup of white whole wheat flour for one of the cups of all-purpose flour, which you don’t have to do.
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cup white whole wheat)
1 cup semolina
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (this is the amount contained in one packet, if you buy your yeast that way)
1 Tbsp non-diastatic malt OR 2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
Mix together all of the ingredients except the water, then add the water and mix until it forms a ball.
You can knead this by hand if you like, although I use a stand mixer. It will start off looking shaggy, then start to look smooth and supple:
When you have a nice, smooth ball like this:
… lightly mist a bowl with oil and put the dough into it:
Then put it somewhere warm to rise. I don’t get too worked up about the temperature when I’m letting dough rise, although I do put it in the warmest place in the house, which in this case was a sunny window:
Let the dough rise until it is doubled. How long this will take will depend on the temperature of the room; it will usually take 1 to 1 1/2 hours. It will then look like this:
The original recipe said to divide the dough into 5 pieces to make 5 “large” bread bowls, but not only is 5 an uneven number for my household of two, I was damn sure that wasn’t going to make 5 “large” bread bowls. I therefore weighed it …
… divided the weight by four, and then created four small rounds of equal weight. Place the four balls onto a sheet pan lined with parchment (I re-use parchment, which is why it looks dirty), or lightly oiled.
Cover lightly with a clean towel and place in a warm place to proof. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I usually proof my dough on top of the stove when I’m preheating the oven; it gets really warm there (sometimes too warm, in which case I put it next to the stovetop instead of on it). Allow the rounds to almost double, then remove the towel and let them finish their proof out in the open for the last 10-15 minutes, which toughens the surface of the dough.
Spray the rounds heavily with water and bake for 18-22 minutes. (If you are doing 4 instead of 5, you’ll probably be at the longer side of this time.) Turn the oven off and prop the door open a bit and let the loaves sit for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and cool thoroughly on a rack before serving.
To serve, cut a cone shape out of the top, …
… then hollow out the insides (reserving the carved-out parts for dipping, or for another use such as croutons).
I need to remember to put bread items on something more contrasty before taking pictures.
Next up is something to put in the bread bowls!