Apr 29, 2012

soup bread bowls

Panera is an little addiction of mine. The hazelnut coffee, the veggie sandwich, the cinnamon bagel, and the bread bowl.  Oh, the bread bowl...definitely my favorite and clearly the inspiration here.  The only thing better than a warm bowl of soup is soup surrounded by an edible bowl made of bread.  Bread makes everything more delicious. 

The 5 minute light whole wheat artisan bread is the base for this (I adjusted the recipe slightly...see below), so it's really fast and easy to make.  It looks way more impressive than it should for the amount of work required.  These bread bowls would be great for a small dinner party, especially since everything can pretty much be made ahead of time.

Just a warning: eat the soup before you dig into the bowl.  This seems obvious, but the bread is so tempting.  Consider it a challenge of will.  

My husband, being well-practiced with Panera bread bowls, decided to slowly chip away at the top of this bowl and dip it in the soup as he went.  Lucky for us, our plates have raised rims.  Otherwise, we would have ended up with soup dripping from plate to table and table to an eagerly awaiting pup who thinks he just might like soup.  (Sorry, no pictures of that little leaky bowl and soupy husband hands!)

I ate the soup first, though, and ended up with a perfectly clean plate.  We both ended up with warm, full, happy tummies.  So really, either way you win.

Soup Bread Bowls
Makes 2 bowls

This really is too easy to call for a recipe.  You follow the recipe for 5 minute artisan bread.  This time, I substituted one more cup of white flour for whole wheat flour to make it a little heartier.  Just as with the other recipe, I used a quarter of the dough, but I divided it into 2 to make two good sized bread bowls.  I did my best to keep them as tall as possible before putting them in the oven.

I cooled them for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, so they'd be easier to work with.

Finally, I cut a hole in the middle of each one (cutting straight down with the knife and then scooping out the middle piece.   Serve filled with your favorite soup.  I used a variation on the cheesy vegetarian chowder, but it would also be great with some creamy potato soup

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