Today I wanted to share my recipe for Quick and Easy French Bread Bowls. I made a Skinny Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and wanted something yummy to serve it in. These French Bread Bowls were the perfect solution and SO easy to make!
These Quick and Easy French Bread Bowls use minimal ingredients
First of all, this recipe makes 9, generously sized bread bowls and uses ingredients that most people already have on hand. In this recipe, I used water, yeast, butter, salt, sugar, and flour. I adapted it from a French Bread recipe I got from my mom.
These French Bread Bowls can be made quickly
The next thing I love about this recipe is that it can be completed, start to finish, in under an hour. It takes me about 45 minutes start to finish, which is really impressive for homemade bread. Due to ease of use, I use a Bosch Mixer to make my bread dough. That said, my mom uses a Kitchen Aid. Also, others have used a bread maker on the dough setting with equal success. In addition, you can also knead the dough by hand, though it’s a little bit messier:) . However you choose to do it, serving your soup in a bread bowl definitely takes it to the next level! I can usually have these done by the time my soup is done cooking.
Forming Bread Bowls are fairly easy
Because I like working with bread dough, I may be a little bit biased. However, forming these bread bowls is surprisingly easy. After kneading my dough for 10 minutes, I cut the dough into roughly 9 equal pieces. I then stretch the top of the ball and push the dough into the bottom, forming a nice, smooth surface for the top of my bread bowl. Once each ball is formed, place the bowls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet for rising. After they have risen, cut a criss-cross pattern into the top of the bread bowl and brush an egg white wash on top for a shiny look.
Preparing your bread bowls for serving
Finally, this recipe makes small bread bowls, perfect for a single serving. You can always add more soup before you eat your bowl. To make the bread bowl, I cut around the edge (without breaking through the the bottom of the bread bowl) and pull out the middle. I then pour in warm soup and and eat it right away! My favorite part of using a bread bowl is dipping the center pieces of the bread into my soup and eating them. Then, if I’m still hungry, I finish off my meal by eating my bowl. And that’s it! Here’s the recipe:
Quick and Easy French Bread Bowls
These Quick and Easy French Bread Bowls are totally worth the effort! They are warm, yummy, and take your soup to the next level.
- 2 1/2 c warm water (between 105 and 110°F)
- 2 T yeast
- 2 T butter, melted
- 2 T sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 5-6 c flour (I used 3 c wheat and 3 c white flour)
- 1-2 egg whites, whisked a little bit
- Step 1 First, place warm water (I make it hot to the touch but not too hot), yeast, butter, and sugar into a mixing bowl. Stir together and let sit for one minute. (Tip: You will know your yeast is still good if you start to see bubbles and yeast expanding in your water mixture. I store my yeast in the freezer to keep it active.)
- Step 2 Next, while the mixer is on, add 5 c flour and salt to the water mixture. This should form a smooth dough. Add more flour, a little bit at a time, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl. Once the dough looks good, knead mixture for 10 minutes. (Tip: Be sure to use a dough hook with your mixer. You want your dough moist, but not sticking to the bowl. Try not to use too much flour or you will get a dense bread bowl.)
- Step 3 Once dough has been kneaded, oil your hands and separate the dough into 9 pieces. Form the dough into 9 round balls, flattened slightly with your hand. Then, cut criss-cross slits on top and brush the tops gently with egg white.
- Step 4 Rise the dough in a warm location for 15 minutes. (Tip: I pre-heat one oven to 170°F and then turn off my oven. This provides the perfect environment for the bread to rise.) . While the dough is rising, pre-heat your oven to 350°F. (Tip: I have a double oven, so I rise the dough in one oven and pre-heat the other oven. You can also rise dough in your garage, pantry, on top of a hot water heater, or any other slightly warm location.)
- Step 5 After the bread bowls have risen, bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, or until the bread is slightly golden on top. It is important that the dough is completely cooked in the center.
- Step 6 Once the bread bowls are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool a little bit. Cut around the sides of the bowl (not all the way to the bottom) and pull out the center, forming your bowl. Break the center piece of bread up into bite-sized pieces for dipping in your soup. Fill with warm soup and enjoy! (Tip: Thicker soups work better in bread bowls.)
Until next time!
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