These baked bread bowls have a really soft interior with a crisp exterior. They are created with a simple yet adaptable bread dough made with common components. Although this recipe makes six bread bowls, the dough can also be used to make smaller dinner rolls or pizza crust. Refer to the entire recipe's notes.

Ingredients:

  4 cups of all-purpose flour

  1 tablespoon of sugar

  1 teaspoon of salt

  1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) of active dry yeast

  2 tablespoons of olive oil

  Optional: 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Instructions:

Activate the yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

Mix the dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture along with the olive oil. Mix until a dough forms.

Knead the dough: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it for about 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You may need to add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky.

First rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until it doubles in size.

Shape the bowls: After the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air. Divide it into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving enough space between them.

Second rise: Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rise again for about 30-45 minutes, or until they puff up and almost double in size.

Preheat the oven: While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).

Bake: Optional: Brush the risen dough balls with beaten egg for a shiny finish. Bake them in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they turn golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Cool and serve: Allow the bread bowls to cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing off the tops and hollowing out the centers to create a bowl shape. Fill them with your favorite soup, chili, or dip, and enjoy!

Now you have freshly baked homemade bread bowls ready to be filled with your favorite savory or creamy concoction!