Chili is one of my son’s favorite dinners…has been for a while now. Not so much mine. However, if I have chili in a bread bowl, for some reason, it becomes one of my favorite dinners! There is something about the combination of the chili and bread bowl that just tastes sooo good together! So after having them from a local restaurant, I wanted to be able to make them at home for when we make chili. This recipe makes the best bread bowls. It does take a couple of hours from start to finish, but is so worth it. Really. And to me, they are fun to make. It’s a great recipe to make on a Sunday afternoon in the cooler months kind of thing…
Place the yeast, warm water, olive oil and sugar in your stand mixer bowl and stir together. Add about half of the flour to the bowl and stir it a little with a spoon. Attach the dough hook to your mixer. On low speed, slowly add in the rest of the flour. Add in the salt. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Take out the dough so you can lightly oil the mixing bowl. (Because why have to wash two bowls, right?!) Make the dough into a nice ball and place it back into the oiled mixing bowl, turning the dough ball to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in size. This takes about 40 minutes.
Okay, when your dough has about doubled in size, you are ready for the next step! Cover your baking pan with parchment paper. Take out the dough ball and cut it into six even sized portions. Round out each portion of dough into a ball, pulling the dough tightly toward the bottom center. Roll them around between your hand and the counter to make them into a nice looking ball. Line them up on your baking pan. Using a sharp knife, make an “X” on the top center of each one. Cover them again with the damp towel and let them double in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take another baking sheet and fill it with a cup of hot water. Place the baking sheet with the dough on the middle baking rack and the other one with the water on the bottom rack. The extra baking sheet filled with hot water creates steam and helps the bread bowls rise. Bake for 25 minutes, or until browned.
Once they are out of the oven, rub the tops and sides with butter. It is important to do this step while they are warm. Once cooled, it is just not the same. I usually do this while they are hot and right out of the oven either with my hands or by putting the butter on a fork. I find that the butter often falls off the fork, so I usually just give in and use my hands. :o) Once they are all buttered, let them cool.
Cut out the top center of each bread bowl. Scoop out the bread and fill with chili or a creamy soup. Check out this Quick and Easy Chili recipe that would be perfect in these bread bowls. Don’t forget to use those extra pieces of bread that you scooped out to dip into while eating!
- 4 1/2 teaspoons 2 packets instant yeast
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus a little extra to oil the bowl
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Place the yeast, warm water, olive oil and sugar in your stand mixer bowl and stir together with a spoon.
- Add in half of the flour and mix together with a spatula or spoon. Place the dough hook on your stand mixer. On low speed, slowly add in the rest of the flour. Add the salt.
- Once ingredients are well mixed, increase the speed to low-medium on your mixer and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. (about 5-7 minutes)
- Remove the dough and lightly oil the mixing bowl. Place the dough ball back into the bowl, turning to coat.
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise until it is doubles in size. (about 40 minutes)
- Remove the dough and cut into six equal portions. Make each portion into a ball, pulling tightly towards the bottom of the ball. Roll in between your hand and the counter to give it a nice round shape.
- Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper and place the six dough balls onto the baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, make an “X” on the top center.
- Cover with the damp towel and let them double in size. (about 30 minutes)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Take another baking sheet and fill it with one cup hot water.
- Place the baking sheet with dough balls on the middle rack and the one with the water on the lower rack. Bake for 25 minutes, or until browned.
- Remove from oven and rub bread bowls with butter using your hands or a fork.
- Let them cool slightly before serving. Best served warm.
- Cut out centers of the bread bowls and scoop out the bread. (Save the bread to dip in the chili or soup.) Fill with chili or thick soup, using extra bread to dip with.
Adapted from Handle the Heat