Delicious Bread Bowl Recipe – Perfect for Soup!

Bread Bowl filled with Butternut Squash soup topped with maple candied walnuts.

Using Paul Hollywood’s Cob Recipe, you can create 2 – 4 soup worthy bread bowls!

I live in Colorado and on a cold day there is nothing better than a fresh bread bowl filled with a hot creamy soup. We use to go to the store to buy bread bowls, but they always fell short. The bread was soft, too soft, and made with words I cannot pronounce. Those bread bowls were also missing the crusty outside. Another draw back, they were wrapped in plastic. I felt like it was a one – two punch, chemicals that were bad for me and plastic that were bad for the environment.

Fast forward to my new obsession – baking! Once I learned how to make bread I realized just how easy it is to make a bread bowl. All I need is a little time to prepare and I can enjoy a creamy soup in a crusty — fresh out of the oven — bread bowl.

If this is your first time baking bread, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. The work is minimal, about ten minutes, but the process cannot be rushed. It will take a little more than 3 hours to make these bread bowls from start to finish. Don’t worry, the yeast and the oven do most of that work.

Let’s get started making bread bowls!

Start with pulling out all your ingredients. I like to have all ingredients measured and on the counter before I start baking. I am kind of nerdy like that. It just makes everything go smoothly. It also helps to make sure I do not miss an ingredient (it’s happened. A lot.)

Pour the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, yeast and salt and then mix together.

  • Note: Place the salt and yeast on the opposite side of the bowl. If they come in direct contact the salt will kill the yeast.

Add about half of the water using a wooden spoon or spatula. Once the initial mix has occurred, use your hands and continue to add water a little bit at a time until the dough has picked up all the flour in the bowl. You might use all the water, or a little more or a little less depending on your climate. The key is to use as much water as needed to reach a well combined a rough ball of dough that is not too wet. Your dough should look like this

Kneaded dough, ready for the first rise.
Mixed dough ready for kneading

Lightly grease your workspace with about a teaspoon of olive oil (Paul Hollywood recommends oil vs flour). Place the dough on the workspace and kneed the dough for four to five minutes. You are done when the dough will not stick to your hands.

If your new to kneading check out these resources:

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lighted oiled bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rest until it doubles in size. About an hour. This step known as the first prove or the first rise.

Great British Baking Show Bake

Season 1, Episode 3,
Technical Challenge

These bread bowls are actually made using Paul Hollywood’s Cob recipe cut into two and rounded into bowls.

I liked this challenge. It was pretty easy and I could tell I was becoming more comfortable baking bread. This time I read the recipe twice instead of twenty times:)

One last thought on this challenge, I am still wondering why bread rolls are called Cobs. I did a quick search, but could not find the answer.

If your reading this and know the answer, please write it in the comments. I would love to know.

Count: 7 down and 271 to go!

Bread Bowl Ingredients and Equipment
(Consolidated list and Amazon links)

* Bread flour
* Butter
* Yeast
* Water
* Olive Oil

* Flat baking tray
* Roasting tin
* Clean towel
* Parchment paper

Once the dough has doubled, lightly oil your work surface and place the dough on the surface. Cut the dough into two or four depending on the size of bread bowls you would like. Then work the dough into balls. This is done by using your hands to roll the dough into a ball and then turn the dough by a quarter turn and tuck, turn and tuck. Repeat several times until you have a smooth ball. Cover the dough with a clean towel or lightly oiled saran wrap. Let the dough rest until it doubles in size. This is known as the second prove or the second rise.

Dough cut into two balls starting the second rise

While the second rise is happening, preheat the oven to 425 and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

Once the rise is complete, lightly dust flour on the dough and using a knife make shallow cuts across the top.

Pour cold water in a roasting pan just before you place the bread in the oven. This step is necessary to create the crusty outer shell of the bread bowls. Place the dough in the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The bread bowls are done when when the outside is golden and it sounds hollow when you tap the under neigh. Transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy in about 30 minutes.

Not in the mood for a bread bowl? Try one of these recipes instead!
* Easy bread recipe
* Perfect biscuit recipe
* Amazing Ugly Delicious Cinnamon Rolls

Bread Bowl filled with Butternut Squash soup topped with maple candied walnuts.

Delicious Bread Bowl Recipe – Perfect for Soup!

Using Paul Hollywood's Cob Recipe, you can create 2 – 4 soup worthy bread bowls!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people


  • 500 g bread flour
  • 40 g butter
  • 12 g yeast (fast acting)
  • 10 g salt
  • 1,25 cup water
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the butter.
  • Place the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl to start. If the two com in direct contact the salt will kill the yeast.
  • Mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.
  • Add half of the water and mix well. Add the rest of the water a little at a time and combining well. In this stage you should be able to mix the flour that was left behind. During this stage, you should be mixing the dough by hand. The dough well become well mixed, but is rough looking.
  • Use a little bit of oil, about a teaspoon, to grease a working area and begin to knead the dough. To knead dough form the dough into a ball. Using your palm push the dough away from you. Fold the dough in half. Turn a quarter turn and repeat for 4 -5 minutes.
  • Clean the bowl and lightly oil the clean bowl. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with cling wrap or a damp towel until the dough doubles in size. This should take about an hour.
  • Line a baking tray.
  • Once the dough has doubled, remove the dough from the bowl. In this stage the dough should be smooth and shinny.
  • Place the dough on a lightly oiled surface and knock the air out of the dough.
  • Divide the dough by 2, 3, or 4, depending on the number and sizes of bread bowls you would like to make. Shape the dough and cove with cling wrap for one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Sprinkle some flour on top and very gently rub it in.
  • Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts about 1cm deep across the top of the loaf to create a diamond pattern.
  • Place an empty roasting tray in the oven. Pour cold water into the roasting pan. This creates steam which helps form a crusty bread bowl.
  • Place the bread bowls on a the lined baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  • The bread is done when it has risen and is a nice golden color. To check, tap the under side of the bowl and if it is hollow the bread is done. Once cooked, place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
  • When your ready for soup, scoop out the inside of the bowl and fill with soup.
Keyword Bread, Bread Bowl, Bread Bowl Recipe, Paul Hollywood Cob Recipe

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