Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quick and Easy Bread Bowls


See? I keep my promises. I may have other faults (that include, but are not limited to, enlarging the waistlines of my friends/victims, reassigning the entire lower half of the food pyramid to chocolate, general laziness, etc.), but I am no liar. When I say I will bring you big, fat, beautiful bread bowls, I will bring you big, fat, beautiful bread bowls. When I say they're soft and pillowy on the inside and crackly and crusty on the outside, so they shall be. When I say they only take an hour to make, it will pretty much be the truth. 

Okay, so they actually take about an hour to prepare. They take about twenty minutes to bake after that, but WHATEVER. I pretty much tell the truth usually.

So, since I'm so truthful, I guess I should probably make a confession: my sister Nemo made these. She and I complete each other, I tell you. She's the Watson to my Holmes, the Loki to my Thor, the Timon to my Pumbaa. I build the cakes, she decorates them. She makes the pie crusts, I fill them. I make the Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup, she makes the bread bowls.

These bread bowls, like I said, are very easy. First you just mix up the dough in your mixer and let it rise for half an hour. Then you take some dough and form it into a ball. You'll want to pull it tight so it's smooth, like this:


Then pinch the bottom tightly together like so:

And then sort of seal off the bottom by twisting it on the counter, like this:

Nemo told me to be sure to tell you that the secret to success is keeping the surface of the dough moist. That's how you get a nice tall bowl instead of a flat hamburger bun. If the surface dries out at the beginning of baking, then the bread will no longer be able to rise upwards during the rest of the bake time. She spritzes them with a spray bottle full of water to make sure that surface stays moist long enough for the bowls to rise to their full potential.

    • Quick and Easy Bread Bowls 
    • Makes 3 big bowls
    • 1 1/2 cups warm water (Between 105ºF and 115ºF, hot enough to keep your finger in comfortably)
    • 2 tablespoons instant dry yeast
    • 1 tablespoon white sugar
    • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • A spray bottle of water
    • Combine the water and yeast. Let sit for a couple minutes. Add the sugar and flour and knead for 10 minutes by hand or with stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Add the salt. 
    • Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about half and hour. 
    • Preheat the oven to 500ºF. Divide the dough into three lumps. Stretch each one into a tight ball, pinching the bottom with your fingers and sealing it off by twisting it on the counter. 
    • Place on a greased baking sheet. Score the top and sprinkle with some salt. Spray with a spray bottle of water and allow to rise 15 more minutes. 
    • Place in the oven. After 2 minutes, open the oven, spray the bread bowls with the spray bottle and turn the heat to 425ºF. Continue to bake 18 more minutes or until done.
    • To cut the bread bowls, use a knife to cut a circle directly downwards, then pull it out.

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