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These homemade bread bowls are surprisingly easy to make. Crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, they make a perfect vessel for your favorite soup!

Warm and comforting, these bread bowls are way better than store bought. Undeniably, the BEST way to enjoy a bowl of warm soup. Try filling with these delicious soups: Easy Cheesy Potato Soup, Creamy Tomato Basil Soup, or Italian Sausage Soup.

Bread bowl recipe with soup inside

Easy Homemade Bread Bowls

There is something SO good about eating a delicious soup out of a freshly made bread bowl. It is simply so comforting and honestly good for the soul. Am I crazy? To me, cooking is love!

These pillowy bread bowls only require a handful of ingredients. They are simple, tasty, and freezes well. Fill these beauties with your favorite soup and get your dip on.

These homemade bread bowls are hearty and dense and perfect for filling up with a delicious, comforting soup. Yes, you can definitely serve soup in a bowl, but I think we can all agree it’s even better if served in a delicious bread bowl. And once you try these, you’ll see just how easy they are. 😉

How to make bread bowls images

How to Make Bread Bowls

MIX. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth, but still slightly tacky.

KNEAD & RISE. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and light rise until doubled (about one hour).

FORM. Gently punch down the dough and divide into six equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cut an x in the top of each dough ball.

RISE & PREP. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of rise time, preheat the oven to 400.

BAKE. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

SERVE. To serve, cut a circle out of the top of the bread bowl, then scoop out the inside of the bread to make a bowl. Ladle hot soup into the bowl and serve immediately.

Homemade bread bowls recipe on baking sheet

Recipe FAQ + TIPS

Bread Bowls vs Dip Bowls? I usually divide the dough into six bread bowls, and they’re the perfect serving size for my family. If you are using the bread bowls to hold a dip, or just want a bigger portion size, the dough could be divided into fourths instead.

Why do I cut an x on top? This technique is called “scoring” the dough. Many people use this when making beautiful designs into artisan bread. The reason you make cuts, in our case a simple x, is to encourage the bread to evenly rise and expand upwards. Be sure to use a sharp knife when scoring.

Egg wash helps give a crisp shiny finish: Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with 1 tbsp milk in a bowl. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of each ball of dough right before you score an x on top. For an extra crisp-ness brush again with egg wash halfway during the bake time.

Don’t toss the inside of the bread bowl: the extra bread can be used to make bread crumbs or croutons.

  • Crumbs: grind the bread in a food processor until you reach a fine bread crumb texture. Spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet. Heat the overn to 350°F and bake for 5-10 minutes depending on how fine you chopped them. Allow the crumbs to cool before storing them. Crumbs should last for 3-4 weeks at room temp or 3 months in the freezer. 
  • Croutons: Tear the bread into evenly sized pieces, ½-¾ inche pieces work great. Lightly and evenly coat with olive oil. If you choose to add seasonings such as garlic salt, pepper, onion salt, rosemary etc…Set the oven to 375°F. Spread the bread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes then stir. Repeat until all the pieces are toasted and crip. Store at room temperature for about 2-3 weeks or for about 1-2 months in the freezer. 
Bread bowls on baking sheet

How to Store?

I love using freshly baked bread bowls for the soup. However, you can STORE them in bread bags 2-3 days before using or placing them in the refrigerator will extend their shelf life a few more days.

You can also wrap them with plastic wrap and again with foil before putting them in the freezer. FREEZE for up to 3 months. Thaw before cutting and using. You can warm them up in the oven as well. 

Make Ahead Instructions: If you want to get the dough started and then place it in the fridge/freezer to finish later you can.

After the dough has risen for the first time, punch it down. At this point you can either cover the bowl with plastic and place it in the fridge for 1-2 days or freeze the dough in a Ziploc for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to use it allow the dough to thaw overnight in the fridge. Remove the dough from the fridge and form into dough balls. Continue with the recipe as written.

Bread bowl recipe

Soups + Dips Perfect for Bread Bowls

Do bread bowls get soggy? If left filled for too long, all bread bowls will eventually get soggy due to the moisture in the soup. Using a creamier soup will help your bread bowl last longer than if you were to use a more watery soup. Some of our favorite soups to use include:

Not only can you use bread bowl for soup, but they make fantastic serving dishes for DIPS:

Homemade bread bowls with soup inside

More bread recipes

4.98 from 73 votes

Bread Bowl Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
This bread bowl is surprisingly easy to make. Crusty on the outside, and soft on the inside, they are perfect for your favorite soup!
Servings: 6
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients 

  • cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ tablespoon rapid rise yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour plus more as needed

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix warm water, oil, sugar, salt, yeast, and 2 cups of flour. Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth, but still slightly tacky.
  • Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Gently punch down the dough and divide into six equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • With a sharp knife, cut an x in the top of each dough ball. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 30–45 minutes.
  • During the last 15 minutes of rise time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • To serve, cut a circle out of the top of each bread bowl, then scoop out the inside of the bread to make a bowl. Ladle hot soup into the bowl and serve immediately. NOTE: Bread bowls are best served with creamier and chunkier soups, as opposed to broth-based soups.

Video

Notes

Make ahead of time. Place cooled (or baked) loaves in large resealable plastic bags for 2–3 days. Storing in the refrigerator will extend the shelf life by a few days. You can also wrap each bowl in plastic wrap and then in foil to freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before cutting and using. You can warm them up in the oven after thawing as well.
Dip bowls. I usually divide the dough into six pieces to make bread bowls, and they are the perfect serving size for my family. But you can also divide the dough into fourths for larger bowls to hold a dip, or if you just want a bigger portion size for your soup bowls.
For a crisp, shiny finish. Make an egg wash by beating 1 egg with 1 tablespoon milk in a bowl. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of each ball of dough right before you score an x on top. For extra crispness, brush again with egg wash halfway during the bake time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 359kcal, Carbohydrates: 65g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 392mg, Potassium: 88mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 0.002mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




51 Comments

  1. I am wondering since I have men eating this can I just make the bills bigger. This said 6 bowls. Someone said they are the size if hamburger buns. I am guessing I will need to double the recipe for 5 bowls. Also do you think this would work for Chilli. I thought about spreading butter all over and sprinkle with garlic salt. Do you think this would work?

    1. Yes, you could certainly make them bigger. You might want to double the recipe in that case. And yes, they would work for chili too! That sounds delicious!

    2. 5 stars
      Easy peasy. Couldn’t believe how tasty. Made with chili first time. Today I’m doing with spaghetti. Yummy. We made them a little bigger and sliced the left over and made garlic bread. 😍

  2. Made these today going to have soup in them tonight. I definitely will be doubling the recipe next time to make bigger bowls. They are a lot smaller then I was thinking they’d be.

  3. Haven’t made yet but looking forward to. Never made bread before, do u have to use
    bread flour or would all-purpose flour work?

    1. You can use either. The bread flour has a higher protein content, so it makes a slightly more chewy texture, but you can use all-purpose if you don’t have bread flour.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this dough in my bread machine….worked perfectly!…made two loaves as I wanted one for a dip for the Super Bowl, so that left an extra one. Anyway, who can resist fresh from the oven bread…certainly we can’t, so we tore into the second loaf and ate nearly half of it while it was hot…perfect for spreading with butter! Wow…super delicious, and now I can’t wait to make it again, making individual ones to fill with some hot and creamy soup…maybe the cream of broccoli. I can think of several that would be wonderful! So glad I found your recipe. Thanks! `

    1. Oh you’re welcome! That makes me so happy to hear! I’m so glad the bread turned out and was a hit with your family.

    2. Hello Vicki,
      I realize your post was over a year old, but hope you will remember the bread bowl recipe.
      I am interested in making this dough in my bread machine. Can you describe the recipe you used and the procedure you followed. Thank you.

      1. This is to Jackie….I made this recipe here that I’m commenting on (Lil’ Luna’s)….I just put the liquid in first, then all other ingredients except the flour and yeast. Then, put in the flour, make a little indentation and add the yeast. When the machine is done, proceed per the recipe. Hope this helps!

      2. Forgot to add…be sure to use the dough cycle. 🙂 Came here to make this recipe and noticed my omission!

  5. 3 stars
    I made the recipe two times today, both times the dough didn’t rise much. I’m in Florida so maybe that has something to do with it, but then it should be noted. I am a novice when it comes to making any bread from scratch. Not sure what was wrong as I followed the recipe. To divide the dough into six sections it’s basically a hamburger bun size. Second time I only divided into four but still small. If anyone ever had a Perkins bread bowl salad, that’s what I was hoping for. They are more like a bread to go with a salad.

    1. Valerie–Possible reasons for dough not rising: The water temperature and the freshness of your yeast are big factors in getting a proper rise of bread dough. Water temperature should be between 105 and 115 degrees fahrenheit. I use a meat thermometer to make sure the temperature is right before adding ingredients to it. This recipe doesn’t call for “proofing” the yeast, but it may be a good idea to do it so you can be sure the yeast is activated before moving on. To proof your yeast, mix the water, yeast, and sugar together first and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before adding the other ingredients and continuing on with the recipe. If the yeast is activated, the mixture will get foamy, then you’re good to go with the rest of the ingredients. Hope this helps. 🙂