Soup season is upon us! I am a big soup advocate myself. As if soup needed an advocate. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather this week so soup is sounding extra good to me.The number one way to elevate any soup: Serve it in a bread bowl. Delious, comforting, and less dishes to clean. Love it. These are not just any old bread bowls either. These, my friends, are pretzel bread bowls.Pretzel Bread Bowls, makes 8. Recipe loosely adapted from last month’s Food Network Magazine.
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
8-10 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons coarse grain sea salt
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the 3 tablespoons butter, 2 cups hot water and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Stir to combine and also to melt the butter. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and allow to proof (foam/bubble up) for 5-6 minutes. With the dough hook attachment (you can also do this by hand instead of in a mixer) stir in three cups flour and two teaspoons salt. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining three cups flour. Mix until a dough ball forms. Continue kneading until dough becomes somewhat elastic like (about 4-5 minutes). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise for one hour. If your house is a little on the chilly side (as mine is this time of year) let the dough rise in a warmed oven. Just turn the oven on low for a couple of minutes (while you prepare the dough). Then, turn it off, but keep the door closed, trapping the heat. Before you place the dough in the oven, be sure it’s not too warm, you don’t want to bake the dough. Not yet anyway.
After and hour punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into eight pieces and roll into small balls. Place on a greased baking sheet, cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.In a large pot heat 8-10 cups of water until just boiling. Stir in 1/3 cup baking soda. Keep at a low boil and place each dough ball into the water. Cook for 45 seconds, flipping in the middle. Remove and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Once you’ve boiled each ball cut a small X on the top of each dough ball with a sharp knife. Brush with the two tablespoons melted butter and top with coarse grain sea salt.
Bake at 400°F for 15-18 minutes, until very brown on the outside.Now use a sharp knife to cut an inverted pyramid out of the center of the bread. Scoop out even more of the bread if you want a little extra space for soup. I made Campbell’s Tomato Bisque to go with my bread bowls. If you’re really feeling it make a homemade soup to go inside your bowls. You could try: broccoli potato, chipotle sweet potato, or curried pumpkin. But soup from a can is just fine in my book too. 🙂 Enjoy! xo. Emma
Credits// Author & Photos by: Emma Chapman