I’m so excited to share this step-by-step tutorial for how to make perfect Homemade Bread Bowls right in your own kitchen! These are nothing short of AMAZING, with a perfect crusty exterior, and soft in the center. 
I’m here to tell you, including a homemade bread bowl with your soup will turn it into the best meal you’ve made from scratch! The first time I served homemade bread bowls to my family, I served my favorite broccoli cheese soup inside, and it’s one of those meals everyone remembers, and now requests all the time.  I also love them with Clam Chowder and Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.
A homemade bread bowl on a white plate with the center cut out, resting on the edge of the plate, broccoli cheese soup in the bread bowl and a spoon on the side.

Homemade Bread Bowls

My goal with this recipe is to instill confidence in even the most amateur bread makers out there. Homemade bread is soo EASY and anyone can do it! I love that I usually always have the pantry ingredients I need to make it, and it tastes way better than anything you could buy at the store. Follow these simple steps and you’ll feel like a professional baker!

I adapted this recipe from the Food Nanny, as I knew I wanted a great base for an Italian bread that was crusty on the outside and soft inside, but had a sturdy enough crumb to hold its own when hot soup was added. The end result is absolutely perfect and will take your soup-for-dinner experience to a new level!

6 Pantry Ingredients:

  1. Active dry Yeast
  2. Granulated sugar
  3. Salt
  4. Butter
  5. All-purpose flour
  6. Eggs

8 Simple Steps for Homemade Bread Bowls:

  • Proof the yeast – Combine the water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl.  Stir just until the yeast is dissolved. Cover with a towel and let stand until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix the dough ingredients – In a large bowl, add the salt, remaining sugar, butter, yeast mixture, and 3 ½ cups of the flour, and mix.
  • Knead the dough – Slowly keep adding more flour (about 1 cup at a time) until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead/mix the dough for about 5 minutes. Stop and touch the dough with a clean, dry finger. The dough shouldn’t be “sticky”, but may barely stick to your finger. Add a little more flour, as needed, until you reach that consistency. Knead for 2-3 more minutes.

Four process photos for making dough for bread bowls, including the yeast proofing in a measuring cup, added to a stand mixer, flour added and the dough kneaded, resting in the mixer.

  • Allow dough to Rise – Lightly spray another large bowl with nonstick spray and transfer the dough to that bowl.  (Flip the dough over once so both sides are coated with spray).  Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Divide the dough. Punch down the risen rough, and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Pat them down well to remove any air bubbles and fold them into a tight ball.  Make a very small “X” slit on the top of the dough rounds with a serrated knife.
  • Brush with egg wash.  Beat an egg with 1 tablespoon of milk to make an egg wash. Lightly Brush the tops of each dough ball with a very thin layer of egg wash.
  • 2nd Rise – Cover the rolls really lightly with a piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 30-40 more minutes.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Four process photos for rising bread dough, divided into 8 balls, brushed with egg wash, and baked into a bread bowl.

Do I need any Special Equipment?

NO!  The bread bowls bake on a regular baking sheet and can be mixed by hand or in a stand mixer.  Anyone can make this easy recipe!

A baking sheet with four bread bowls baked on it, next to another photo of a bread bowl with the center cut out to fill with soup.

The BEST soups to serve in a bread bowl:

I think bread bowls are especially delicious served with cream based or thicker soups.  These soups have a slightly thicker consistency that won’t cause the bread to get soggy as quickly.

Eat the Bread Bowl!

This bread bowl is more than just edible, it’s absolutely delicious!  So don’t just scoop your soup out of it with a spoon; tear it, dip it and enjoy it!

Storing and Freezing Bread Bowls:

To freeze the dough, punch it down after the first rise and store in an airtight, freezer safe container or bag for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then continue with step 5, dividing the dough.

To freeze the baked bread bowls, store them in an airtight, freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw on the counter and then warm them in the oven before serving.

Broccoli cheese soup served in a bread bowl with a spoon.

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Recipe

A homemade bread bowl on a white plate with the center cut out, resting on the edge of the plate, broccoli cheese soup in the bread bowl and a spoon on the side.
Prep 25 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 2 hours
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Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Combine the water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Stir just until the yeast is dissolved. Cover with a towel and let stand until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the salt, remaining sugar, butter, yeast mixture, and 3 ½ cups of the flour, and mix.  Slowly keep adding more flour (about 1 cup at a time) until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Knead the dough (with your stand mixer, or using your hands) for about 5 minutes. Stop and touch the dough with a clean, dry finger. The dough shouldn't be "sticky", but may barely stick to your finger. Add a little more flour, as needed, until you reach that consistency. Knead for 2-3 more minutes.  
  • Lightly spray another large bowl with nonstick spray and transfer the dough to that bowl.  (Flip the dough over once so both sides are coated with spray).  Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 6 or 8 equal pieces (for large or small bowls). I like to use a scale to make sure they're all the same size. Pick up one section of the dough and pat it down with your hands to remove any air. Use your hands to gently fold the dough into a tight ball.  Place the dough ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make a very small "X" slit on the top of the dough rounds with a serrated knife.
  • Beat an egg with 1 tablespoon of milk to make an egg wash. Lightly Brush the tops of each dough ball with a very thin layer of egg wash.
  • Cover the rolls really lightly with a piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 30-40 more minutes.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting for bread bowls.

Notes

To Make Ahead: After dough has risen the first time, punch it down in the mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to make, remove from the fridge and continue with step 5, dividing the dough. 
Freezer Instructions:
To freeze the dough, punch it down after the first rise and store in an airtight, freezer safe container or bag for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then continue with step 5, dividing the dough. 
To freeze the baked bread bowls, store them in an airtight, freezer safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw on the counter and then warm them in the oven before serving.
To make crusty Italian Bread Loaves: Divide the dough in half after the first rise, to make two loaves of bread. Brush with egg wash and rise again. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 88gProtein: 12gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 936mgPotassium: 130mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 177IUCalcium: 21mgIron: 5mg

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

 

I originally shared this recipe December 2013, Updated August 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made in such a hurry, noticed I had forgotten melted butter after I kneaded & ready to rise. Threw about half the melted butter into dough, kneaded some more…and as expected not super fluffy but still delicious. Thank you!!

  2. 4 stars
    I have made this 3 times and surprisingly the 1st time produced the best bowls. I expected to get better not worse. That said taste was good each time. I wonder if anyone has suggestions to make bowls not spread. My second 2x they ended up more like saucers than bowls. No trouble getting dough to double in size but doubled in width not any in height.
    Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    I am just a home baker but I do make homemade bread a lot but this was my first time making bread bowls. They turned out perfect. Your recipe was easy to follow and I even novice bakers shouldn’t have a problem making these. The only problem I had was making the serrated cross on top but that’s because I have cheap knives. Lol

  4. Today is a snowy day and thought it’s a perfect day to try this recipe and I’m so glad I did! They are delicious. The recipe is added to the recipe box. Thank you for sharing the recipe

  5. 3 stars
    The how-to instructions are helpful BUT I would add more of the sugar to the yeast activation step and less to the dry ingredients initially. Also I think 2 packets of yeast is too much. Dough rose like crazy 3 times and over proofed really bad because it just wouldn’t stop rising even in the fridge.

    1. 4 stars
      I have made this 3 times and surprisingly the 1st time produced the best bowls. I expected to get better not worse. That said taste was good each time. I wonder if anyone has suggestions to make bowls not spread. My second 2x they ended up more like saucers than bowls. No trouble getting dough to double in size but doubled in width not any in height.
      Thanks

  6. 5 stars
    Amazing!! I made 1/2 the recipe for my family of 3, and we all enjoyed these immensely (including my 3-year-old). My husband can’t wait until the next time we have these for dinner, and even requested them for Christmas Eve dinner next weekend. I paired these with our favorite soup (chicken enchilada) but I think I want to try these with loaded baked potato soup next time I make them—they are so tasty that the possibilities of soups to pair them with are endless. I can’t say enough good things about them!

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