Fun-to-make sourdough rye bread bowls are so tasty and complement your favorite soups!
I had never thought to serve soup in a bread bowl until Panera came along. The first time I had its (now sadly long discontinued) Cuban Black Bean soup in that tender sourdough bread bowl, I was completely smitten. The whole experience is a soup lover’s treat: the soup thickens ever-so-slightly as it mixes with the bowl’s interior crumbs; the cap cut from the bowl is highly noshable; and finally, when the soup is gone, you get in there with your hands, tear the bowl apart, and enjoy the soup-soaked bread down to the last bite.
It’s not, perhaps, a meal to enjoy on a first date, or with your snarky co-workers who might be angling their camera phone in your direction as you go all medieval on the thing.
And actually, I’ve often wondered if people actually eat the bowl. Is it gauche? Is there a social faux pas in consuming the dinnerware?
Yes or no, I don’t care: I eat the bowl. Especially when it’s one of these adorable homemade sourdough rye bread bowls.
Last week, I shared with you a super easy, foolproof method for creating your own sourdough starter. Now, I won’t be bombarding you with sourdough bread recipes, but I did want to show at least one awesome little bread project you can create from it.
This is a honey-sweetened rye bread that complements the sourdough tang, and marries well with richly flavored soups. The dough is easy to make — there’s no special handling, just mix everything up in your heavy duty mixer, knead the dough, let it rise, and you’re off and running. The dough is also make-ahead awesome, and it develops even more flavor if left to rise overnight (or longer) in the fridge.
And aside from the ease and lovely flavor … aren’t they just the cutest? Before baking, cut festive slashes on the bread, which decorate the tops when removed to create the bowl.
Here’s a quick list of soups that are fabulous in sourdough rye bread bowls:
Vegetarian French Onion (from earlier this week, served in one of these very bowls)
Jalapeño Beer Cheese
Sweet Potato Chorizo Boursin
Sweet and Smoky Sriracha Black Bean Soup
White Bean Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup
Carrot Ginger Soup
It’s flurrying madly outside my window as I type this February morning — the perfect day for homemade soup and homemade bread.
Sourdough Rye Bread Bowls
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1/3 cup water room temperature, plus extra as needed
- 1 cup sourdough starter room temperature (recipe
- if you need one)
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose plus extra as needed
- 3/4 cup white or light rye flour*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten optional
- Add the web ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment until combined. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add one cup of the flour mix to the bowl and combine on "2" speed. Stop the mixer and switch to the dough hook. Resume mixing on "2". Add the remaining flour mixture one cup at a time. The dough should quickly come together in a dense ball. If the dough wants to hug the side of the bowl and work its way up and out, add a teaspoon of water directly on the dough and continue mixing to loosen it. Knead in the mixer for 8 minutes.
- Turn out the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for a couple of turns. Transfer the dough to a lightly oil bowl, cover loosely, and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours (or, refrigerate overnight for extra depth of flavor - bring to room temperature before continuing with the next step below).
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball by stretching the dough with your hands and tucking the two ends under. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and stretch and tuck the ends under again. Repeat rotating, stretching and tucking until a nice ball is formed. (Note that the bottom of the ball will look like a cracked mess, but that's okay - it will close up during oven rise.) Repeat with remaining three pieces.
- Place the dough balls several inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with a towel, and let rise for a half hour.
- Use a sharp, serrated knife (or a proper bread lame) and cut slashes across the top of the dough ball.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Begin checking at 30 minutes: the crust should be a nice, even golden brown. Remove and let cool.
- Before serving use a sharp paring knife to cut a circle into the top of each loaf, taking care not slice down too deeply into the bread. Use your fingers grasp the edges of the circle and lift out - a nice portion of the crumb should come with it. If you need more room in your "bowl" just pull out of more of the crumb (chef's treat!). Ladle soup into the bowls, and serve the tops alongside.
adapted from KingArthurFlour.com’s bread machine recipe