Bread Bowls – for soup or dips

Bread Bowls

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!


  1. Vegan Dad Said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

    I love The Fresh Loaf. And I love baking bread. Must remember to make these soon.

  2. renae Said,

    June 2, 2008 @ 10:51 pm

    The Fresh Loaf is a great resource! I think I remember that you have three sons, if so, I think making five loaves from this recipe would be perfect for you. Mark had I had trouble finishing ours when I divided the recipe into four.

  3. Nikki Said,

    June 4, 2008 @ 12:03 am

    I made bread bowls with the no-knead bread recipe from the times that you shared with me a couple of years ago. The regular recipe made 4 bowls that I baked in storeware crocks. I reaaly do need to get one of those dough whisks from King Arthur. They look like they would work great!

  4. Sarena Said,

    January 10, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

    I made these “based” on your recipe and they came out perfect! Thanks you for the step by step instructions, it really helped!

  5. renae Said,

    January 10, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

    I’m glad they worked out for you, Sarena!

  6. supersoygrrrl Said,

    January 30, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

    this looks easy enough for me but if i don’t have semolina what could i use instead?

  7. renae Said,

    January 30, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

    Supersoygrrrl, durum wheat if you can find it, although I imagine semolina is easier to find. Spelt flour would probably work. Or just use more bread flour. For any of these substitutions, check the hydration: you may need a little more or less than the 1 1/2 cups water called for. Hopefully the pictures help convey how wet the dough should be; it should be soft, but not sticky or tacky.

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