Let me just say that bread bowls are the coolest. And I love them.
They are the prefect vehicle for all things soup-y and sauce-y. Like the pre-crazy Tom Cruise of soup containers. Or some other impressive action-y cool person. Because clearly I watch a lot of movies and am totally up on pop culture.
ANYWHO. BREAD BOWLS. I LOVE THEM. Because that’s the point here. Kyle loves bread bowls, too, so when I make soup in bread bowls for dinner I not only get awesome bread bowls full of soup – I get a super appreciative audience (THANKS KYLE YOU DA BEST).
These bread bowls are particularly lovely because they use wheat flour and have a hit of sweetness from some sugar and some – wait for it – MOLASSES. Yup. Molasses. It’s totally spectacular. I ate a whole mini-loaf out of the oven last night before I even got to soup-making. Whoops.
Speaking of soup, I’ll be sharing the recipe for the soup in these pictures tomorrow (AS IN, JANUARY 1, 2013 WHAT UP). But for now, just oogle these bread bowls. Dream a little dream of them. Make a few and save them for soup tomorrow. Or, y’know, eat them all straight out of the oven with a tub of butter and don’t even bother to sit down. Because we all know that is ALWAYS an acceptable way to eat bread.
- 2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees is usually good)
- 4 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 2 Tsbp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Molasses
- 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for greasing bowl
- 2 tsp. salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
- cornmeal, for dusting baking sheet or baking stone
- 1 egg
- In a stand mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes to let yeast bloom.
- Mix molasses and olive oil into yeast-water-sugar mixture.
- Add all-purpose flour and salt. Mix with a dough hook until most of the flour is incorporated into the dough.
- Add wheat flour to dough and knead with a dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer dough to a large bowl greased with oil. (In a pinch, you can spray the bowl and the dough with cooking spray if you don’t want to spread olive oil around the bowl!) Let rise in a warm place for 1 and ½ hours or until doubled in size.
- When the dough has doubled, punch it down and return it to the oiled bowl. Let rise another hour or until doubled again in size.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch dough down and cut it into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a roll shape. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
- Dust a baking sheet or a pizza peel with cornmeal. (I baked my bread bowls on a baking sheet and it worked fine! My baking stone is HEAVY and all the way on top of my fridge, which = not worth it). Place shaped loaves onto the baking sheet while you preheat the oven to 425. If you’re using a baking stone, place that in the oven while it preheats and let the loaves sit on the pizza peel for an easy transfer to the stone.
- Crack the egg into a small dish and add 1 Tbsp. of water to make an egg wash. Brush each loaf with the egg wash. Using a VERY sharp knife, make two slashes in the shape of an X on the top of each loaf of bread.
- When oven is preheated, place the bread bowls in the oven or onto the baking stone. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until bread makes a hollow sound when you knock on it.
- Remove bread to a wire rack to let it cool for 15-20 minutes (you can also make the bowls a day or two ahead!) When you’re ready to fill them with soup, insert a knife at a 45 degree angle and cut in a circle around the top of each loaf, then pull out the center and voila! Bread bowls ahoy!
* For extra crispy bread crust, spray water into the oven with a spray bottle every three minutes for the first nine minutes that the bread is baking. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also preheat a cast iron skillet on a lower oven rack and throw in an ice cube every three minutes for the first nine minutes of baking. The steam from the water helps to crisp the outer crust of the bread – the results are delicious! You can also brush on an extra layer of egg wash 15 minutes before the bread is done for an added sheen and crunch.