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Broccoli soup in a whole wheat bread bowl.

Sweet Wheat Bread Bowls

  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 4-6 bread bowls 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These easy whole wheat bread bowls are perfect for soup, chili, or dip!


Ingredients

Scale

For the bread bowls: 

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (9 grams)

  • 3 Tablespoons honey (55 grams)

  • 390 grams water (about 1 ¾ cups)

  • 300 grams all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting (about 2 ½ cups)

  • 300 grams whole wheat flour (about 2 ¼ cups)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (6 grams)

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tablespoon water

Note: If you double or triple the recipe, you do not need to double the egg wash (still use just 1 egg – it should be plenty!)


Instructions

Mix the dough and first rise (10 minutes to mix, 60 minutes to rise)

  1. Add yeast, honey, and warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy. 

  2. Add all-purpose flour, wheat flour, and salt. Mix on low speed until all flour is incorporated and dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Continue to knead for 4-5 minutes on medium-low speed, until dough is smooth and elastic.

  3. Cover bowl with a clean tea towel. Let rise in a warm spot on the counter until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Shape the dough and second rise (40 minutes)

  1. Tip dough out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough is sticking to the bowl, dip your hand in cold water and gently run it around the sides of the bowl to pull the dough out.)

  2. Divide the dough into 4-6 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a round by gently pulling the edges in towards the center and pinching to form a ball. 

  3. Place the bread loaves on a sheet pan lined with a nonstick baking mat, keeping them several inches apart to allow room for expansion. Cover the baking sheet with a clean tea towel and let bread rise another 30 minutes while you heat the oven.

  4. Heat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit.

Egg wash, score, and bake (30 minutes)

  1. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Add water and whisk to combine. 

  2. Use a pastry brush to brush a light layer of egg wash over each loaf (you likely won’t need all of the egg wash!)

  3. Use a very sharp paring knife to make two slashes, about ¼-inch deep, in an X shape on top of each loaf.

  4. Transfer bread bowls to the centermost rack in your hot oven. Bake at 425° Fahrenheit for 15-30 minutes.

  5. Remove bread to a wire rack to let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

  6. When you’re ready to serve, use a small serrated knife or a sharp paring knife to cut the top off each loaf. Scoop out the bulk of the bread to form a hollow bowl, then fill each bread bowl with soup, pasta, or dip. Serve immediately.


Notes

How warm should my water be? Use water that is warm to the touch, about 100° Fahrenheit – you should be able to comfortably hold your hand under the water while it runs. If your water is too hot, it can kill your yeast and your dough won’t rise. 

How to measure flour. Please use a kitchen scale if you have one! Measuring by weight (in grams) is much more accurate than measuring by volume (with cups) and will make your bread much more consistent. If you don’t have a kitchen scale and need to measure with cups, use a large spoon to first stir and loosen the flour, then gently spoon the loose flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge.

What size should I make my bread bowls? This recipe makes four large bread bowls (about 262 grams each if you’re using a scale to portion your dough) or six small bread bowls (about 175 grams each). The large bread bowls are about the size of a standard soup bowl and hold about 2 cups of soup when hollowed out; the small bread bowls hold about 1 cup of soup. I personally prefer the smaller bread bowl size, though I do find that we usually have to re-fill the bowls or serve a second cup of soup on the side. Small bread bowls will bake in 15-20 minutes; large bread bowls will take 20-25 minutes to bake.

Do I need a stand mixer? Not at all! We do prefer using our stand mixer and dough hook attachment here because it makes the kneading process much easier, but you can absolutely make this bread with a mixing bowl and some elbow grease! Mix the dough as directed in a large mixing bowl (use a stiff, sturdy spatula or clean hands to bring the dough together), then knead the dough on a large cutting board for 4-5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return the kneaded dough to the mixing bowl to let it rise.

Flour brands and substitutions. We recommend using high-quality flour with a high protein content for all of our bread recipes: look for King Arthur Flour or Bob’s Red Mill products if you can. You can use less wheat flour here if you like, and/or you can use bread flour in place of some or all of the flours in this recipe. You can use up to 100 grams of rye flour or buckwheat flour in place of some of the wheat flour. Whatever flours you choose, just make sure that you use 600 grams of flour TOTAL in this recipe for best results. We don’t recommend using more than 300 grams of whole wheat flour here, as whole wheat flour absorbs quite a bit more water and takes some extra work to be quite as smooth and pliable (if you’re interested in whole-wheat baking and custom flour mixes, make sure you join Everyday Artisan Bread! We walk you through all of it, step-by-step!)

To make this recipe vegan, use agave syrup or maple syrup in place of the honey, and brush each bread bowl with olive oil or avocado oil in place of the egg wash.

What should I do with the extra bread? You’ll have extra bread pieces from hollowing out your bread bowls – serve these pieces along with the soup as extra dippers, or save them for homemade bread crumbs or croutons! 

What to serve in a bread bowl: Use these bread bowls for your favorite soups (we love broccoli cheddar soup, clam chowder, and roasted tomato soup!), pastas (mac and cheese in a bread bowl = YES), and dips. 

If your oven tends to run hot, you may want to reduce the baking temperature here to 400° Fahrenheit to avoid burning.

Be sure to read the full article above for how-to photos and additional bread bowl tips! If you enjoy bread-baking and want to learn more (including how to bake without a recipe!) we’d love to see you inside our Everyday Artisan Bread course!

Keywords: soup, winter, dip