Hello there! Are you a fan of bread bowls? If not, you’re in for a treat! Bread bowls are a delicious and fun way to enjoy your favorite soups and stews. They’re perfect for a cozy night in or as a unique option to serve at a party. In this article, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about bread bowls including what they are, how to prepare them, what types of bread work best, and how to serve them. We’ll also be sharing some ideas for adapting bread bowls to add extra flavor and some tips for making soups that are perfect for bread bowls. So, whether you’re a bread bowl pro or a first-time baker, this article has something for everyone! Let’s dive in and discover the delicious world of bread bowls!
What Are Bread Bowls and How Are They Used to Serve Soup?
A bread bowl is a round loaf of bread that has had the center carved out, creating a hollow space that can be filled with soup. The bread that is removed can be torn into pieces and used as a dip for the soup. The bowl itself can be eaten after the soup has been finished, adding a unique texture and flavor to the dish. Bread bowls are commonly used to serve soups such as clam chowder, French onion, and lobster bisque.
How to Turn a Loaf of Bread Into a Bread Bowl For Soup
Here are some basic steps to prepare a loaf of bread for a bread bowl:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Choose a round loaf of bread, such as a sourdough or a round boule. A round loaf of bread is ideal for making a bread bowl, as it will have a symmetrical shape and a consistent thickness.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, carefully slice off the top of the bread loaf, creating a lid.
- Scoop out the inside of the loaf using a spoon or your hands, leaving about a 1-inch thick bread shell. Be careful not to puncture the bottom or sides of the bread bowl.
- Place the bread bowl and the lid on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is slightly toasted.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Fill the bread bowl with your desired soup, then replace the lid.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Please keep in mind that these instructions are for a basic bread bowl, and you can adjust it to your preference.
Also, you can add butter or oil for a crispy crust, or brush with garlic butter or cheese for added flavor.
Ideas for Dressing Up a Bread Bowl
There are many ways to adapt bread bowls and add extra flavor to them. Here are a few ideas:
- Cheese: Sprinkling grated cheese on top of the bread bowl before baking can add a rich, creamy flavor to the bread. You can use any type of cheese you like, such as cheddar, parmesan, or gouda.
- Garlic butter: Mixing minced garlic with butter and spreading it on the inside of the bread bowl before baking can add a subtle garlic flavor to the bread. This is a great way to add some extra flavor to the bread without overpowering the soup.
- Herbs: Mixing dried or fresh herbs, like thyme or rosemary, with butter and spreading it on the inside of the bread bowl before baking can add a pleasant aroma and flavor to the bread.
- Seasonings: Sprinkling seasonings, like Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence, on top of the bread bowl before baking can add a complex flavor to the bread.
- Parmesan crust: Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top of the bread bowl before baking, it will create a delicious crust that will add a nice texture to the bread bowl
- Try different types of bread, like focaccia or ciabatta, which can be brushed with olive oil and herbs before baking for a more flavorful bread bowl.
- Keep in mind that the key is to add flavors that complement the soup without overpowering it, so be mindful of the soup’s flavor profile when choosing which flavors to add to the bread bowl.
Best Breads to Use to Make Bread Bowls
Many types of bread can be used to make bread bowls, but some are better suited than others. The ideal bread for a bread bowl is a round, dense loaf with a thick crust and a tight crumb, such as:
- Sourdough bread: Sourdough bread has a tangy flavor and a chewy texture that pairs well with a variety of soups.
- French bread: French bread is a classic choice for bread bowls, as it has a crispy crust and a soft interior that can hold up to a variety of soups.
- Round boule: A round boule is a type of bread that is similar to French bread in texture and flavor, making it a great option for bread bowls.
- Rustic breads: Many types of rustic breads like ciabatta, focaccia, and baguette can be used to make bread bowls, but they may not hold up as well as the previously mentioned breads. They tend to be less dense with a more open crumb so you may need to be more careful when scooping out the center.
Ultimately, it really depends on personal preference and what you like. Experiment with different breads and find the one that you enjoy the most.
Tips for Serving Soup in Bread Bowls
Here are some tips for serving soup in bread bowls:
- Serve the soup in the bread bowl shortly after it is prepared, as the bread will become soggy if it sits in the soup for too long.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the soup from the bread bowl, taking care not to puncture the sides or bottom of the bread bowl.
- Provide a plate or napkin for any crumbs that may fall from the bread bowl.
- Offer diners a spoon and a fork for eating the soup. The spoon can be used to scoop out the soup, and the fork can be used to eat the bread pieces that have been dipped in the soup.
- If you want to eat the bread bowl, you can use your spoon or fork to carefully scoop out the bread, leaving the crust intact.
- Once the soup is finished, you can enjoy the bread bowl as a final course, it is also good to provide butter or olive oil to dip the bread in.
- A bread bowl is a great way to make your meal more interactive and fun, and it can also be a good way to add some extra bread to the meal.
- Keep in mind that bread bowls are best eaten with the soup in them, as the bread tends to lose its texture and becomes soggy if it’s left for too long in the soup.
Best Soups to Serve in Bread Bowls
Many types of soups can be served in bread bowls, but some are better suited than others. Here are a few ideas for soups that work well in bread bowls:
- Cream-based soups: Cream-based soups, like clam chowder or broccoli cheddar, are a classic choice for bread bowls. They are thick and creamy, which helps them hold their shape and not make the bread soggy.
- Chunky soups: Soups with chunks of vegetables or meat, like minestrone or chicken noodle, work well in bread bowls because they add a nice texture to the soup.
- Thick and hearty stews : Thick stews like beef stew or lentil stew are great options for bread bowls because they have a substantial texture that holds up well in the bread.
- Vegan options: Vegan soups like lentil, black bean, or pumpkin are great options for bread bowls. They can be thickened with pureed vegetables, coconut milk, or cashews to make them more substantial and hearty.
- Tips for making soups for bread bowls:
- Thicken soups with pureed vegetables or a flour-based roux to make them sturdier and less likely to make the bread soggy
- Avoid using too much liquid, as it can make the bread soggy
- Consider using a thicker bread for the bread bowl, like sourdough or a round boule, as it will hold up better to the soup.
Remember that the key is to make a hearty, thick soup that will hold its shape and not make the bread soggy. With the right type of soup and bread, bread bowls can be a fun and delicious way to enjoy a meal.
Onion soup is perfect for serving in a bread bowl. In this recipe from Crisco, small bread loaves are turned into bread bowls which are used to give individual size servings find the recipe HERE.
In conclusion, bread bowls are a tasty and fun way to enjoy your favorite soups and stews. They’re easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste. With the right type of bread and soup, bread bowls can be a unique and delicious addition to any meal. Whether you’re looking for a cozy night in or a unique way to serve your guests, bread bowls are a great option. We hope this article has given you the information and inspiration you need to get creative with bread bowls. Happy baking!