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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homemade Italian Bread Bowls

I was looking for something unusual to take to my in-laws' for a 'Bring a Dish and Come' Friday. These bowls were beckoning to me for a long time. Now, be warned... this recipe made 14 bowls and I think I made mine pretty big. Its a whole lot of dough to knead! I'm pretty sure you can halve it if you don't want to make so many.

Homemade Italian Bread Bowls


5 cups warm water
2 Tbs instant yeast (or 2 pkgs)
2/3 cup sugar

Let sit for about 10mins until creamy. This step isn't really necessary with instant yeast, but I find that the warm water helps to mix the other ingredients better and because I buy my yeast in bulk I can make sure that it is still alive this way.


2 Tbsp salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp garlic powder
3 cups flour

Beat vigorously (you can also start this off in your mixer), gradually adding remaining flour one cup at a time until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. I used a total of 15 cups from start to finish.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes) adding more flour if necessary. Your dough shouldn't be so sticky that it sticks to your hands and the board, but a little soft is okay.

Place in a well-greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth, allowing to rise in a draft free place (I use  my oven or I make a place in a kitchen cupboard) until doubled in bulk. Mine took about 45 minutes. 

Because I live in the Caribbean it is naturally warm in my kitchen, but you could try this trick. Place the bowl of dough into your oven and place a pan of boiling water on the rack below.  The steam will help the dough to rise. 

Punch down dough. Divide into 12 to 14 equal pieces, depending on the size you want your bowls to be. Shape each piece into a round ball and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise again in oven or cupboard until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F. Brush loaves gently with egg wash ( 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water. You can sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds, sea salt, oregano, or rosemary or any combination of the above.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden. I put mine back into the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up when we were ready to eat them. They were nice and crusty. 

To make bowls, cut a half inch thick slice from top of each loaf and scoop out centers, leaving a 3/4 inch thick shell. 

These bowls are great with any chowder, stew or thick soup. We had it with a yummy cheesy corn chowder. I'll share that recipe next time.

My family really enjoyed these. I hope you do too!


Gail Purath said...

It's a great idea to make these at home. They are always such a treat in restaurants. And yours look beautiful!

Kristin Bridgman said...

These look SO yummy! Wish I was there to eat one with you:)

Lisa Maria said...

Thank you Gail..I like to challenge myself to make something new every now and then.

Kris...you and I both!

Marissa said...

Oh my - I have made this recipe as dinner rolls for years, thanks to my grandmother who taught me as a young child, but I never even thought to change it up and make them in to soup bowl! What a great idea. And the oven trick works great as I live in a colder climate and never have the right conditions to get my bread to rise

Craig said...

Lisa Maria, it ALMOST made me think I could do this myself – and I know I could – but I won't – but I got joy, and a smile reading what you wrote. And for some reason that dough in the green bowl – that made me smile – and I thought of the spiritual analogies of bread, and yeast, and unleavened bread. And I thought of how nice it was you did this for your family. And I smiled through the whole post. Thank you! God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours my friend.

Craig said...

Just here to smile and say hi - and ENCOURAGE you - hang in there - pray - I'll be praying - already HAVE! I AM really glad we "bloggy" met. God bless you and your family and your marriage – 50+ more years of an evermore blessed marriage!