Friday, September 17, 2010

Bread Bowls

• 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
• 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 7 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tablespoon cornmeal
• 1 egg white
• 1 tablespoon water

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.

3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

4. Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

7. To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately

Optional Recipe:


2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 cup warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour


1.In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, shortening, sugar, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

2.Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into eight pieces; shape each into a ball. Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place four balls 3 in. apart on each prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

3.For bread bowls, cut a thin slice off the top of bread. Hollow out bottom half, leaving a 1/4-in. shell (discard removed bread or save for another use). Fill with chili, chowder or stew.

Use olive oil and added a Tbsp. of sugar. I made 6 bowls, which were a good size. (A secret I learned from Alton Brown from the Food Channel - place the dough in an oiled bowl or tall container. Cover with a cloth. Boil water and pour into a bowl. Place both in the oven. The steam creates the perfect temperature for rising the dough. Works great every time!)

For those who find these TOO simple in taste, add 2 tblsp Garlic Powder to the recipe and when putting egg wash on, sprinkle garlic and oregano over both times. This helps the flavor of the bread tremedously!

Follow recipe as given, but use an inverted oven safe cereal bowl as a form, spray with Pam, and simply take an appropriate size cut of dough and wrap it around the bowl. Be sure its not overly thick unless you really like thick bread. Bake for 12-15 min.and you have a perfect bowl every time.

Fantastic recipe! I usually make 6 bowls and I've never had them flatten out. I think the cornmeal helps to keep them from spreading. Adding a little sugar to feed the yeast also helps, and I always store my yeast in the freezer so it stays fresh longer (it also improves the proofing).
TIP: For the second raise period, split up into individual bowls on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. DO NOT reknead the bowls- avoid handling them directly before baking so they will stay raised.

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