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Sourdough Bread Bowls

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Flavorful sourdough bread bowls: Perfect for soups and stews. Enjoy the homemade taste and presentation with this easy-to-follow recipe!

This simple sourdough bread bowl recipe produces homemade bread bowls with a rich, tangy flavor that complements a wide variety of soups and stews. A perfect recipe for beginners.
sourdough bread bowl on white plate and filled with soup.
two sourdough bread bowls on plates, filled with chowder and soup crackers behind

This sourdough bread bowl recipe produces two tangy bowls ideal for serving soups or stews. Mixing flour, starter, water, and salt creates a slightly sticky dough, rising twice before baking. A brief chill in the fridge or freezer aids in shaping. Once baked, cool before slicing and filling. Enjoy the homemade flavor and presentation!

Bread bowls are a fun recipe to try when you want to practice your shaping. They are basically just mini loaves. This recipe makes two big bowls, but you could also divide the dough into four parts to make four smaller bowls, too.

If you want to try your hand at other easy sourdough recipes where you practice shaping your loaves, you have got to try my sourdough hot dog buns, or give sourdough hamburger buns a try. Other great recipes for shaping include my sourdough dinner rolls, sourdough baguette, and my sourdough breadsticks. All are great easy recipes for beginners to practice shaping.

overhead view of bread bowl with chowder on table with spoon, napkin, and soup crackers

What you need to make this recipe:

  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure and texture to the bread. You can substitute it with bread flour for a chewier texture. 
  • Active Sourdough Starter: Adds flavor, leavening, and a delightful tanginess to the bread, thanks to its population of wild yeasts. The sourdough starter also contributes to the bread’s airy texture and extended shelf life. You can use a starter made with all purpose, rye, or whole wheat flour all the same. Learn how to make a sourdough starter if you don’t have one already. 
  • Water: Hydrates the dough and activates the gluten formation. It’s best to use water that’s at the right temperature to ensure that the yeast is activated. The ideal water temperature for sourdough bread making typically ranges between 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C).
  • Salt: Enhances the flavor of the bread and regulates yeast activity. You can
ingredients for sourdough bread bowls on marble counter with text labels

How to make sourdough bread bowls

This recipe is simple to make! For the full set of directions, please scroll down to the recipe card below. This is just a general overview on how to make it to help you plan.

Mix the dough

  1. Make sure your sourdough starter has been fed and is lively, bubbly and has doubled in size.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, active starter, warm water, and salt. Mix the ingredients with your hands, a wooden spoon, or stand mixer until everything comes together into a slightly sticky dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This helps the flour absorb the water and makes the dough easier to work with.

Stretch and Fold

  1. Wet your hands slightly and gently stretch one side of the dough up and fold it over the rest of the dough. Repeat this process, turning the bowl as you go, until you’ve done it about 6 times.
  2. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, and repeat this step two more times.
  3. You should do three sets of stretch and folds with 30 minutes in between each set. This will help the dough develop gluten.

Bulk Ferment

  1. Cover the top of the bread bowl again and place it in a warm spot.
  2. Let the dough rise on the kitchen counter until it is almost doubled in size. You can also place the bowl in the fridge overnight. 

Shape the Bread Bowls

  1. Using clean hands, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.
  2. Then shape each portion on a floured surface into a round ball using a bench scraper or by folding the edges under, forming a smooth top.

Final Proofing

  1. Begin by dusting the dough balls with rice flour, then place them in 2 floured mini bannetons or small bowls lined with a floured cloth.
  2. Cover the bowls or bannetons once more with a cloth or towel and place them in the fridga warm place to undergo a second rise. They will not double but will look more puffy.

To find out if the dough is ready, perform the “poke test” by gently pressing your fingertip into the dough; if the indentation springs back slowly, it’s ready!

Bake the Bread Bowls

  1. Preheat the oven with the dutch oven inside for at least 30 minutes so it gets nice and hot.
  2. Using a sharp knife or blade, create deep cuts on the top of each dough ball to help the bread expand.
  3. Carefully transfer one dough ball to a Dutch oven lined with parchment paper. Place the other dough in the fridge.
  4. Bake the bread for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and produces a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Bake the remaining loaf in the hot oven.

Cool and Enjoy

  1. Let the sourdough bowls cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing into them.
  2. Once they have cooled, slice off the tops using a serrated knife and hollow out the centers to create bowls.
  3. Fill your homemade sourdough bread bowls with your favorite creamy soup, stew, or chili, and enjoy!

Baker’s Schedule

Here is an easy estimate for how long this recipe will take you:

Day 1:

Morning: Feed your sourdough starter and wait for it to become active. About 2-4 hours.

Afternoon/Evening:

  • Mix the dough: 20 minutes
  • Let the dough rest: 30 minutes
  • Stretch and fold the dough (repeat this step twice with 30-minute intervals). 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Let the dough bulk ferment until almost doubled in size. 4 to 6 hours/overnight:
  • Shape the bread bowls: 20 minutes
  • Allow them to rise in the floured bannetons or bowls for 2-3 hours or overnight in the fridge

Day 2:

Morning/Afternoon:

  • Preheat your oven and Dutch oven: 30 minutes
  • Score the tops of the dough balls: 5 minutes
  • Baking: 30 minutes
  • Cooling: at least 30 minutes
  • Slice off the tops and hollow out the centers to create bowls: 15 minutes

Recipe Note: Remember that the temperature and humid of your house will affect the timing of this recipe. The times given are guidelines to follow, but always adjust based on your dough, not the clock.

bread bowl with top cut off on counter with crackers and other soup items

Recipe Tips and Tricks:

  • Preheat Oven Properly: Make sure your oven is fully preheated before baking to achieve a golden-brown crust and proper oven spring.
  • Score the Dough: Score or slicing the bread dough just before baking helps to control its expansion and create a pretty pattern on the crust.
  • Cool Completely Before Cutting: Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing to prevent it from becoming gummy.
  • Use parchment Paper: Placing your shaped dough on a piece of parchment paper will help you easily transfer it in and out of the Dutch oven.
  • Easy handling: Placing the dough in the fridge slows fermentation, firming it up for easier handling and shaping. For quicker results, a brief stint in the freezer—around 30 minutes—can achieve similar firmness without halting fermentation entirely.

Storage & Reheating:

To store the sourdough boules:

Let them cool completely, then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or in a freezer bag. They can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To freeze:

Wrap the cooled bread bowls individually in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and then place them in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the bread and then preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the bread bowls directly on the oven rack for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are heated through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add flavor additions?

Yes! Enhance the flavor of the bread bowls by adding herbs like rosemary, thyme, or garlic powder to the dough. You can also add grated cheese, chopped olives, or sun-dried tomatoes for additional flavor and texture.

How do I prevent the bread from becoming too dense?

Make sure you properly hydrate the dough and allow it to rise sufficiently. Also avoid over-kneading the dough, because this can lead to a dense texture.

Can I make smaller or larger bread bowls?

Yes, you can adjust the size of the bread bowls by dividing the dough into more portions before shaping.

Can I use this recipe to make regular loaves of bread?

Yes, you can certainly use this recipe to make regular loaves of bread instead of bread bowls.

What types of hot soup can I enjoy with my sourdough bread bowl?

Chicken corn chowder, potato soup, chili, and broccoli cheese soup go really well with bread bowls. You want to use a thicker based soup or stew. A soup with a really thin broth will just soak in.

two sourdough bread bowls on plates filled with chowder and spoons

For other great sourdough bread recipes, try making:

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sourdough bread bowl on white plate and filled with soup.

Sourdough Bread Bowls

This simple sourdough bread bowl recipe produces homemade bread bowls with a rich, tangy flavor that complements a wide variety of soups and stews. A perfect recipe for beginners.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 1160kcal
Author: Jenni

Ingredients

  • 600 g all-purpose flour unbleached
  • 150 g sourdough starter fed and active
  • 400 g water lukewarm
  • 10 g salt

Instructions

  • Make sure your sourdough starter is lively and bubbly. If it’s been in the fridge, feed it and let it sit out at room temperature for a few hours until it’s bubbly.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, active starter, warm water, and salt.
  • Mix the ingredients with your hands, a wooden spoon, or stand mixer until everything comes together into a slightly sticky dough.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This helps the flour absorb the water and makes the dough easier to work with.
  • Wet your hands slightly and gently stretch one side of the dough up and fold it over the rest of the dough.
  • Repeat this process, turning the bowl as you go, until you’ve done it about 6 times.
  • Recover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, and then repeat this step two more times. This will help the dough develop gluten.
  • Cover the top of the bread bowl again and place it in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 4 hours. You can also place the bowl in the fridge overnight.
  • Using clean hands, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and then shape each portion on a floured surface into a round ball using a bench scraper or by folding the edges under, forming a smooth top.
  • Begin by dusting the dough balls with rice flour, then place them in 2 floured mini bannetons or small bowls lined with a floured cloth.
  • Cover the bowls or bannetons once more with a cloth or towel and place them in the fridge or a warm place to undergo a second rise.
  • To find out if the dough is ready, perform the “poke test” by gently pressing your fingertip into the dough; if the indentation springs back slowly, it’s ready!
  • Preheat the oven to 450 F with the dutch oven inside. Allow it to heat for about 30 minutes to ensure it is thoroughly hot.
  • Place a dough ball on a piece of parchment paper. Using a sharp knife or blade, create deep cuts on the top of each dough ball to help the bread expand.
  • Carefully transfer one dough ball to the preheated Dutch oven. Place the other dough in the fridge.
  • Bake the bread for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and produces a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
  • Bake the remaining loaf in the hot oven.
  • Let the sourdough bowls cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing into them.
  • Once they have cooled, slice off the tops using a serrated knife and hollow out the centers to create bowls.
  • Fill your homemade sourdough bread bowls with your favorite creamy soup, stew, or chili, and enjoy!

Notes

You can also divide the dough into four smaller loaves.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 1160kcal | Carbohydrates: 243g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 1955mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 14mg

2 Comments

  1. Am I stupid or does the recipe not give a temperature for the oven?

    1. You are definitely not stupid. I try really hard to make sure I edit everything before publishing, but sometimes I make mistakes. It seems this slipped through the cracks! The oven temperature is 450 F. I have updated the recipe card to make sure this information is included. Thanks for kindly bringing this to my attention!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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