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 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 2 hrs
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 2 Tablespoons +½ teaspoon granulated sugar , divided
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter , melted
  • 7 to 9 cups all-purpose flour , divided
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 egg white

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 8 equal pieces (I like to cut it with a serrated knife into equal portions. 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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  1. 5 stars
    Just got them out the oven and oh my! They are fluffy with crunchy sides and smell amazing!! In love so far, I did half the recipe and made no other changes. Thank you for sharing this!!! <3

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! I used Costco roasted bell pepper tomato soup! The only things I would suggest is to use about 8 cups of flour or more. Also, I would use a pie dish to cook the bread bowls because mine came out a little flat. It might have been because I didn’t use enough flour, but other than that it was so good! I totally recommend this recipe! Awesome!

    1. Hi Richard, you will cut all the ingredients in half! Also, cut the ingredients listed in the instructions in half.

  3. 5 stars
    These were amazing! After many failed attempts at making any type of bread, I was sure this was going to fail too. I was very wrong! These bread bowls tasted and looked awesome.

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