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.

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST for more great recipes!

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
Add to Meal Plan

Video

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

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

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.

Related Posts

Share Recipe

Categories

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.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Lauren, thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve been fiending for a bread bowl recipe into which I can pour some soup, Panera style!

  2. I made these tonight and they were DELICIOUS! I brushed with an egg white wash at the beginning and half way through baking time and they came out with a perfect crust that held in our soup perfectly. This recipe is a keeper for sure! Thank you!

  3. Nice recipe. Simple and clear. Me and my wife new to this homemade bread thing. It looks delicious. Surely next bread which we make in our kitchen will be yours.

  4. 5 stars
    One of my favorite bread recipes! Bread comes out perfect, not too dense and nice and light :).

  5. Lauren,
    As clarification on my earlier comment, the recipe notes “4 Tablespoons butter, melted.” Two lines later recipe notes “butter,” with no quantity noted.
    Step 2 notes, “…add the salt,… butter, …” with no quantity noted.
    Is the second notation of “butter” as a recipe ingredient superfluous?
    Thanks,
    Reno Dave

    1. 5 stars
      Oh my! This recipe is really good. Together with Lauren’s /mom broccoli cheddar soup, was enjoyed by the entire family. Thank you for sharing. As I will share with family and friends

  6. 5 stars
    These were delicious! We made them along with your Broccoli Cheese soup (which is so good I wanted to eat until bursting just so I could taste it again!) and they were perfect bread bowls. They’re rather large for one tray (oven constraint), so mine grew together but still worked fine regardless. Nice and soft, like a roll and not like crusty Italian or French bread. Next time I’ll split the dough into ten so I can eat plenty of soup and have room to eat the bowl-I feel so bad when they’re wasted! Delicious, Laur!

  7. 5 stars
    These were perfect!! I made them a little larger and made 6 instead of 8. The insides were nice and soft and the outsides were firm and golden brown. Held up well with the clam chowder. I thought they’d be too small but the size held 3 full ladles of soup. Wonderful recipe! Thank you!

    1. Mine as well, Thad! I’m not positive but I think my issue was too little flour. Its quite a wet day today and I think I needed a bit more. I’ll try it again another day and see what happens. Flavor was great! I followed the recipe and added plenty of garlic powder and basil when adding the salt.

  8. 5 stars
    First time ever making bread from scratch. It is Easter Sunday and I wanted to do something different. I was worried but they came out perfect. Fiiled them with made from scratch broccoli cheddar soup. Thanks!

    1. You can use the same amount of instant yeast. You won’t need to let it “proof” since it’s instant.

  9. I made these today but won’t be using them for two days. How do I store them for two days? Is it ok that I made them in advance?

  10. When I made, they weren’t quite down in the middle. I took the bread out at 25 min because the tops were getting quite brown. Probably should have cooked them longer. How can you check for doneness?

  11. If I make these again I would make 6 instead of 8 they were a little small.
    These also had to be taken out at about 23 minutes and we live at 2700 ft.

  12. 5 stars
    I made these tonight. The recipe was easy and the bread bowls were delicious. I filled them with clam chowder. Thanks for sharing.

  13. 5 stars
    Very good – I used 7.5 cups of flour plus another half on the bench and rolled them into 6 bowls instead of 8. They came out perfect.

  14. I had trouble with making the shape into a way that I could hollow out later for soup to go in. Any suggestions on how to get the bread bowl to stay more symmetrically round? Or for loaf making it look like a nice shape?

  15. mine came out a little flat. the first rise was great, then I rolled them into balls, cut my little x’s.covered lightly with plastic wrap and after 2nd rise i baked. not sure where I went wrong.

  16. 5 stars
    Made bread bowls the first time and loaves the second. My husband says it is a great bolio recipe! I am going to use this for many breads now! Does it work well to cut the recipe in half? It makes quite a bit of bread for just the two of us.
    Thank you

  17. Made half recipe for four bowls. Were delicious, but during second rise were a little flat instead of rising. Also recipe ingredients said egg white with milk for wash and recipe instructions say egg with milk. Any suggestions so plastic wrap doesn’t stick to dough after second rise? Thought wash would keep that from happening. All in all will definitely make again.

  18. 5 stars
    I just finished making these bowls and I must say they are delicious and so easy!!! I made the mistake of making 4 out of the batch instead of 8. It doesnt look so big until you eat. Then oh my gosh, it was too much!

    Thrilled otherwise and my fault for not following the recipe!

  19. I attempted to make this and it was a miserable fail. I thought it went great, but they did not rise at all. I made hockey pucks, instead of bowls.

  20. 5 stars
    This was sooo delicious and came out perfectly. I will be saving this recipe and making it again in the future. Definitely a keeper, thank you!

  21. 5 stars
    I made the recipe,its perfect it’s a no fail recipe,the only difference is I will make smaller bowls next time,after I brushed it wit the egg white I sprinkled all things bagel on top from Costco it was amazing,thanks for sharing 🙂

  22. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday and they turned out beautifully. Thank you for the recipe! Question: have you ever added herbs or cheddar to the dough? If so, when would be the proper time to add that?

  23. 5 stars
    I made these tonight to serve chili in for dinner. They came out great, my family loved them. Thank you for sharing, I’m definitely keeping this recipe.

  24. 4 stars
    I should have added more flour? I made the recipe with 7 1/2 cups. I thought that was enough, but they didn’t rose/bake high as I had hoped.

  25. 5 stars
    I have made these twice in 4 days, they were such a huge hit!! I followed the instructions and they came out perfectly both times. Definitely keeping this recipe handy!

  26. Are the bowls as big as the restaurants typically have? Can I separate the dough in 4 instead of 8 and if I do is it the same time and temperature?

    1. Sure you can make them bigger if you want! They may need a bit longer to bake–just keep an eye on them.