Bread Bowls

I live in Colorado, where the weather is a bit bipolar.  Snow one day, sunshine and warmth the next.  Over the last few months, we seem to have had a family gathering on every cold swing in the weather.  The logical choice to feed a crowd when it is suddenly cold is soup.  Bread bowls make soup seem less ordinary.  But none of the grocery stores around me seem to have them.  My sister-in-law suggested this recipe to me, and it did not disappoint.

Be warned that this bread takes a bit of time.  Not actual “hands-on” time –  just rising time.  I missed a rising time in my first read through, so my soup was ready 40 minutes before my bread.  Oops.   The good news is that the rising time can be very flexible with your schedule, including refrigerating the dough.

As you scroll down, I know the carbs and sodium seem very high.  This is a giant roll, after all.  You don’t need to eat the top and all of the bread you scoop out of the middle.  You can save those until they are stale to make some homemade bread crumbs (or eat a snack of some delicious bread later, if we are being honest). By doing that, you cut down everything by at least one-third if not in half (depending on how much you scoop out of the middle).

Homemade Bread Bowls (makes at least 6 bread bowls)

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1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup hot water (for baking)

1. In a large bowl, mix yeast, 3 cups water, and salt. Add flours, mixing until there are no dry patches. The dough will be loose and may appear a little lumpy.

2. Cover bowl lightly with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2-5 hours (until you are ready to bake it). You can refrigerate the dough at this point for up to 2 weeks.

3. Using a serrated knife (or your hands), get a grapefruit-sized piece of dough (a little smaller than you want the final bread bowls to be.) Turn the dough in your hands to form a ball. Ideally, the top will be smooth and the bottom lumpy. Put the dough on a piece of parchment on an upside down rimmed baking sheet. Let the dough rest/rise for 40 minutes (room temperature dough) or 1 1/2 hours (refrigerated dough).

4. Place a broiler pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If using a baking stone, heat that in the oven for at least 20 minutes prior to baking. If using a baking sheet, heat that (upside down) in the oven for at least 10 minutes prior to baking.

5. Slash the top of each piece of dough 2-3 times with a sharp knife. Slide the dough (still on the parchment paper) onto your preheated stone or baking sheet. Pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan. Quickly shut oven to trap steam. Bake for 24-28 minutes, until nicely browned and crusty. Cool.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 475
Protein: 17 g
Fat: 2.6 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: O mg
Carbohydrates: 99 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sodium: 1172 mg

Recipe Notes: The original recipe really encourages you to mix the dough by hand. I used a mixer. Just don’t over mix the dough. If you are making these to eat right away, just let them cool a few minutes – enough that you can kind of touch them. Warm soup in a warm bread bowl = deliciousness. These also freeze well. Just reheat in the oven until warmed through. You can also microwave to reheat – but it will stale tasting more quickly as it sits. I got six bread bowls, but I think you could easily get eight. My sister-in-law does a half recipe and makes four.

Source: slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Low iodine adjustment:  Use non-iodized salt.

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