Whole Wheat Bread Bowls

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The only thing better than warm soup on a chilly fall evening is a bread bowl filled with warm soup on a chilly fall evening.  I used to think that this soothing goodness was something that could only be found at Panera, but recently I found out otherwise.  With relatively minimal effort, you can enjoy bread bowls filled with your favorite homemade soup right in your own kitchen.

bread bowls 1

I learned something else cool while making these bread bowls.  See those cool slash marks on top that make the bread look oh-so-irresistibly-rustic?  Uh-huh.  You’re gonna learn how to do that too.

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Only one warning I must add: if you make these things once, be prepared to be making them again and again because everyone will be begging you for more.  They’re just the coolest way ever invented to eat your soup, what can I say.

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Check back this Sunday for loaded cheesy baked potato soup in a bread bowl!

potato soup bowl

Whole Wheat Bread Bowls
Yields 5
Write a review
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
4 hr
  1. 2 C. water
  2. 3 C. whole wheat flour
  3. 1 C. white flour
  4. 1/3 C. gluten flour
  5. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  6. 3 Tbsp. honey
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 3 Tbsp. ground flax seed (opt.)
  9. 3 tsp. yeast
  1. You can knead the dough in a stand mixer, a bread maker, or by hand, as follows.
In a bread maker
  1. Add in all ingredients in the order listed above.
  2. Run bread maker on "dough" cycle.
In a stand mixer
  1. Add in all ingredients listed above.
  2. Mix for 20 minutes with dough hook.
  3. Allow to rise for half an hour.
  4. Mix dough in mixer again for 5 minutes.
By hand
  1. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes (longer if you can do it!)
  2. Allow to rise for half an hour.
  3. Punch it down.
After above process is completed...
  1. Allow dough to rise for another half hour.
  2. Form dough into five equal-sized balls.
  3. Place dough balls on a pre-greased baking sheet or on a non-stick mat.* Make sure to space them out pretty far apart to allow lots of room for rising without sticking. You do not want them to stick together.
  4. Allow dough to rise in a warm place for 2 hours or more.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Using a pastry brush, paper towels, or your hand, lightly coat the dough with olive oil.
  7. Just before placing in the oven, use a sharp serrated knife to slash the top.**
  8. Place bread in pre-heated oven immediately.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden-brown on the outside.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  11. Cut off the tops.
  12. Cut in a circle around the inside.
  13. Scoop out the inside and fill it up with your favorite delicious soup!
  14. Check back on Sunday for my loaded cheesy baked potato soup recipe.
  1. *I loved using my baking stone for this recipe since it helps prevent the bottom from burning. A cookie sheet will work too, though.
  2. **Do not do this until immediately before you place in the oven. If you do this too early, your bread will rise and lose the "look." Trust me, we all learn the hard way first.
Adapted from My Mom
Adapted from My Mom
Veggie On A Penny http://www.veggieonapenny.com/
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  1. Those are simply perfect! I’ve never eaten soup from a bread bowl but can imagine how good it must be.

  2. Just made these this afternoon. (Because studying for exams is SO overrated..) They are delicious, but mine didn’t rise as high as yours, unfortunately. I’ll definitely be making them again though!

    • Could you just let them rise for longer? Or in a warmer spot? Maybe a little more yeast? I will have to say making bread can be finicky!

  3. Hi

    What is gluten flour? Is that the same thing as vital wheat gluten? Can I substitute the white flour and gluten flour for 1 1/3 cups of bread flour instead?

    • Good question! Gluten flour is indeed the same as vital wheat gluten (may be slight difference, but it should be close enough). I know that bread flour does contain higher gluten, but I am not sure how much more. I think it should work out ok, though, because this recipe does work out fine with less gluten. If it turns out a little bit crumbly, try adding some of the vital wheat gluten. Let me know how it goes!

  4. I tried to make these bread bowls last night and have failed. They taste great but they were more like bread rolls instead of round bowls like yours pictured. My main question is should the dough be sticky? After I made it accordingly to the ingredients stated it was very sticky should I just add more flour til it’s more “doughy”to knead properly?

  5. Tony Walton says:

    Hi,I first came across these bowls in Texas,there are a lot of eateries and quite a lot of them serve delicious soups in these bowls, they are quite a large bowl so as with most food in America you get a really filling portion. Really Delicious.

  6. Mary Alice Holz says:

    I made the bread bowls and they were really good…..however, I had to improvise and ended up using strips of tinfoil around the dough to keep the balls from going all over! How do you get yours so pretty and round?? Love your blog, btw.

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