Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Edible Bread Bowls - Fresh From the Oven - October Challenge

Thanks Ria for September’s "Fresh From the Oven" challenge and your lovely recipe for Stuffed Buns. They were delicious – and well done everyone on the challenge!

I am hosting the October challenge for "Fresh From the Oven". I have chosen to do the recipe - ‘Soup Bowls’, from Richard Bertinet’s fabulous book ‘Dough – Simple Contemporary Bread’. I bought the book in 2005 and have been meaning to make the soup bowls ever since but haven’t gotten around to it until now. To make it interesting, for this challenge, you can make any soup, stew or dip that you would like to go with the bread bowls. I have made Hungarian Goulash (gulyás) in the bowls.

The bread bowl recipe is quick and easy, It’s a great recipe to have in your repertoire and a lot of fun, There are no dishes to clean up afterwards and you get to lick the bowl as well as eat it. If you are organized, you can have it ready in time to serve up for dinner. They also freeze well for a few weeks.

This dough has a small amount of semolina added to give it a nice texture, and some fruity olive oil to make it soft, resilient and give it a good flavour. You can also add a little chilli or spice to the dough for extra flavour.

I found that the recipe makes 6 bowls using 16 x 10cm diameter pyrex bowls or 8 if you use 12cm bowls . Preparation takes 30 minutes, with 60 minutes resting time and 20 to 25 minutes to bake.

500 gm strong bread flour
20 gm course semolina
15 gm fresh yeast (or 1 sachet dried)
10 gm salt
50 gm good-quality fruity olive oil
320 gm water
chilli or spice (optional for added flavour)

Preheat the oven to 250˚C (500˚F). Mix together the flour and semolina and rub in the yeast as if you were making a crumble (Richard Bertinet’s method – see below for video link). If using a mixer, switch it on to the slowest speed, add salt, olive oil and water and mix for 2 minutes, then turn the speed up to the next lowest speed and mix for 6 to 7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

If you are kneading by hand, knead for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until you have a nice smooth elastic ball of dough. Richard Bertinet has a unique kneading technique referred to as the French fold that can take approximately 5 to 10 minutes depending on practice. You can view his method in a online video at the Gourmet Webpage. In this video, he is actually doing sweet dough but the same technique can be used for most bread dough.

Place the dough into a bowl that has been floured, cover with a tea towel and leave in a draught free place for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in volume.

Lightly oil or spray with non-stick spray, the outside of 6 ovenproof bows (I used pyrex bowls). Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 to 8 pieces (depending on the size of your baking bowls). Taking one piece of dough at a time and using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle (similar to making pizza). Shake off excess flour and shape each piece over an upturned bowl, patting into shape and pressing gently to remove air bubbles from between the dough and the bowl. Rest the dough for 10 minutes. Place the upturned bowls, two at a time, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, then into the preheated oven. Turn the oven down to 200˚C (400˚F) and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Using a fine-bladed knife, gently loosen the bread from the bowls and ease off. Cool on a wire rack.

It is probably safer to serve the bowls on a plate, as they do become soggy after a while and the soup may leak through.


  1. Hi Corry! Thanks for the bread bowl challenge and sorry I credited Jules with it and not you. I have amended my post now to correct this. Happy Baking!

  2. They look fab Corry - round and smooth too!!! thanks for a great challenge.

  3. Thank you so much for hosting this month's challenge. I really enjoyed making (& eating!) the bowls.