We’ll get to this part later.

The creamy soupy part, I mean.

First… carbs.

I know it’s sort of hypocritical since I often say that bread is not my drug of choice, but bread bowls? I’m all over them. I will never forget the first time I had one – it was long before Panera showed it’s face… well at least in my area – and it was one summer in Michigan where I found myself scraping spoonfuls of seafood bisque right up along with some soft sourdough loaf.

I seriously thought I had died and gone to heaven. Seriously.

No, really.

I had never tried something so delicious and I talked about it CONSTANTLY. I remember bugging my mom about it nonstop and just whining about how this soup came in this bowl made out of freaking bread and OMG why isn’t this a thing everywhere?

Then Panera came along and lah dee dah, the magic was gone. I mean bread bowls are still fantastic and I order one almost every single time I find myself there, but the fact that I can go and order one anytime I want? Not as exciting. Also totally amazing.

So these, obviously… are a slightly healthier twist on the giant standard sourdough bowls. I’m not gonna lie – I’d choose sourdough over whole wheat any day, especially when it’s dipped in soul-warming soup – but until I get my lazy rear in gear and either make my own sourdough starter or make friends with someone who is willing to gift me some… it’s not gonna happen. And the good news is that aside from your standard dough rising time, they are incredibly simply.

Like so incredibly simple that I’m now refusing to eat my soup out of any other vehicle.


Homemade Whole Wheat Bread Bowls.

Yield: 4 bread bowls

Prep Time: 2.5 hours

Cook Time: 40-45 minutes

Total Time: 3.5 hours


2 cups lukewarm water
1/8 cup active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, add warm water, yeast, honey and olive oil, quickly mixing with a spoon. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast gets foamy. In a separate bowl, measure out flour and salt.

Add in flour gradually with the mixer on low speed. Knead with the dough hook (I used the two lowest speeds for this) for 10-12 minutes, occasionally pulling the dough off with your hands and placing it back in the bowl. Remove dough from bowl (it will be sticky) and place it on a floured workspace. Knead it a few times by hand, adding a few sprinkles of flour until it's elastic and no longer super sticky. Oil a bowl with olive oil and place the bread in the bowl, flipping it to coat. Cover and set in a warm place (I set it on top of my oven, turned on) to rise for 1.5 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

After 1.5 hours, punch down dough and form into a large round, using more flour if needed to decrease the stickiness again. Cut the round into 4 equal pieces and roll them into balls. Place on a baking sheet, cover and let rise for 20-30 more minutes. Take the dough balls and roll them into tighter balls again, then brush each with beaten egg. Gently score the top of each loaf, then bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden. Let cool completely, then using a serrated knife, cut a round out of the middle and fill with soup!

[adapted from emeril]

Just wait until I tell you about it.

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114 Responses to “Easy Homemade Whole Wheat Bread Bowls. {For Soup!… and things.}”

  1. #
    Carol | a cup of mascarpone — September 12, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    These bread bowls are absolutely AWESOME!!!


  2. #
    Phi — September 12, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    So fun! I remember when I used to get get these at Panera Bread and coudl never finish the bowl… Love the new layout and design!


  3. #
    Meme @ Living Well Kitchen — September 12, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

    Stop it! Oh.my.gosh. I need to make these now. Or I guess I will wait until you post the recipe for whatever looks so heavenly inside that bread bowl


  4. #
    Andrea @ Barbells and Buttercream — September 12, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

    Holy Moly! Can’t wait for the soup recipe!


  5. #
    Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy — September 12, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    Yum! I ate at Panera tonight, but I could go for one of these!


  6. #
    Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking — September 12, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

    I always love eating soup from bread bowls. I make mine a little smaller, and it’s the perfect size for soup.


  7. #
    Delishhh — September 13, 2012 @ 1:01 am

    Just gorgeous!


  8. #
    tania@mykitchenstories.com.au — September 13, 2012 @ 6:54 am

    They look delish. I havent seen these for years but a bread bowl is bliss


  9. #
    Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa — September 13, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    Yes, yes, yes!! These are fabulous. I love eating creamy, cheesy soup out of a bread bowl. All that cheesy deliciousness gets sopped up by the bread and it’s like heaven in your mouth. Awesome!!


  10. #
    idiosyncratic eye — September 13, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    I’ve never had soup from a bread bowl and I’ve never seen done in cafés or restaurants, I’d love to try it for the novelty factor and for the fact that I can only ever eat my soup if I have some nice crusty bread to dunk it in! :)


  11. #
    Ruthy — September 13, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    The first time I saw a bread bowl is blew my mind!! Like, Inception blew my mind. I’ve had such bad luck with bread boules in the past, I’m going to give this one a whirl and keep my fingers crossed. The weather has me on such a soup kick lately that this would be perfect.


  12. #
    The Food Hound — September 13, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    AHHH!! I love the idea of bread bowls and I finally let myself have one at Panera a few months ago. I waited so long because I was pretty sure I’d end up being morbidly obese once I discovered how wonderful they were, haha. I would love to make my own!! Perfect for fall and winter when there is nary a bathing suit in sight! And I’m with you on sourdough starter. You could just make these with white flour if you wanted them to be a little extra indulgent. But the whole wheat nuttiness would go really well with some soups. What am I saying… bread goes well with every soup :_


  13. #
    Colette — September 13, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Soup in a boule! An edible bowl….brilliant!


  14. #
    Cupcake and Talk — September 13, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    I know I’ll be making these in the near future. It takes me back to my college years. Thank you for the recipe.


  15. #
    Jody — September 13, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

    Your blog is magical.
    I think you’ve inspired me to attempt to learn to bake bread again for the upmteenth time. My hands are to bread what a “brown thumb” is to a gardener. :(

    But if my bread were saturated with soup… possibilities!


  16. #
    Linda — September 13, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    My son will love me because of this! He absolutely loves soup and always loves bread bowls. Will be making this one when he comes home this weekend from school!


  17. #
    Mimi @ Culinary Couture — September 13, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE your new site design SO much!


  18. #
    Shari — September 14, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    Looks wonderful. You can buy fresh sourdough starter at King Arthur Flour – http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/classic-fresh-sourdough-starter-1-oz#1522#


  19. #
    Gisele — September 14, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    I made your bread bowls tonight.. Served them with carrot soup and they were a huge hit. So easy too! Thank you.


  20. #
    Lisa S. — September 15, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    Yum! Just made a half batch to try ’em. Ate one right out of the oven with butter & honey. (Oh yes I did!!) Think I might try the Roasted Pecan Pumpkin Butter tomorrow to put on the other one. Maybe next weekend I’ll make some bread bowls with that yummy sounding Beer Cheese Soup!!!


  21. #
    Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake — September 15, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

    Oh I love bread bowls! I end up eating like the whole bread bowl after I eat the soup that’s in it!;) love that this is whole wheat too!


  22. #
    Bridget — September 16, 2012 @ 8:38 am

    I don’t have a fancy electric mixed. Would kneading by hand do the trick or is there some better way to do it? I just have to eat this with the beer cheese soup!


  23. #
    Kelly — September 16, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    Made these tonight—my very first foray into bread making ever! I don’t even own the dough hook thing you mentioned, so I just kneaded by hand. And they turned out fantastic!!!! I thought bread-making was only for extremely accomplished cooks like yourself, but I’m delighted to find out delicious homemade bread can be mine as well :) Thanks!


  24. #
    Becky — September 17, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    I’ve attempted bread bowls before but didn’t quite get the results I wanted. Am definitely going to try this recipe very soon – it looks perfect!!


  25. #
    Daisi — September 19, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

    I cannot wait for our weather to cool off so I can try these! If I gain a million pounds, am I safe to blame you?


  26. #
    Oldman — September 24, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    These are great soup bowls! I made these for my Italian Lentil Soup.


  27. #
    Amanda — October 7, 2012 @ 11:11 am

    I cannot believe I successfully made bread bowls! I love to cook but making bread terrified me. These just looked to delicious not to try. They were surprisingly easy, came out beautifully, and were a delicious accompaniment to that fantastic beer cheese soup!


  28. #
    Megan — December 10, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    I’ve been looking everywhere for an easy whole wheat bread recipe. This is perfect. What would you recommend for the temperature and cooking time if I wanted to make a loaf of this as opposed to a bread bowl (though the bread bowl will definitely be made too!). Thanks!


  29. #
    Elizabeth — January 16, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    Ok, dumb question…

    It seems like I don’t ever give myself enough time when making bread. This whole 1.5 hour rise and then rise again means that I have to make the bread when I have about 2.5 hours that I’ll be home w/o interruptions. Since I am easily distracted, I’m wondering if there’s something that i can do to slow down the rise if I have to run out and can’t be here when it hits the rise time…Any suggestions? Someone told me to put it in the fridge during rise time and it will slow it down…can anyone confirm this strategy? Thanks!


  30. #
    VMacK — February 3, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

    These bread bowls coupled with the Beer Cheese soup were so easy to make and a great SuperBowl starter! I really enjoyed making the bread part most! Thx for the recipes!


  31. #
    J — March 28, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

    I just made this and it smells delicious! But it cracked open while baking. I don’t think I rolled it right… I will definitely give this recipe another crack another day! Some things to keep in mind: I baked mine for only 35 minutes; if I left it in for the full 40-45 minutes, it would have burned! Next time I think I will put parchment paper on the bottom of the pan before putting it in the oven! Thanks for an easy recipe (already bookmarked, lol)!


  32. #
    Monika — April 19, 2013 @ 1:05 am

    I made these today! They are so yummy! Thank you for this recipe! Now I need to try and have some self control :)


  33. #
    Diablo 3 Gold Eu — June 20, 2013 @ 2:30 am

    Me and my friends is happier if the class cap is increased to 5 or 6. Playing the game simply by friends is fun, playing with more friends and family, more fun


  34. #
    Diablo 3 Gold — June 20, 2013 @ 2:30 am

    Soooooooo, lots of hate soon after people spent 200+ (at least) hours on the. If the game in is that bad, we all quit in the first few hours. Got tired of it requires, gab a new game to learn to kill 20+ hours period.


  35. #
    Karen — January 7, 2014 @ 7:22 am

    These were delicious and easy, however I am wondering if that much yeast is needed as it seems like double the amount I usually use for that amount of flour. Also, I only baked them for 25 minutes. They kept fresh longer in the refrigerator than any other homemade bread.


  36. #
    Amy — March 10, 2014 @ 7:09 pm

    Made these today with homemade chicken rice soup. I did not have whole wheat flour on hand for once, so I used all purpose unbleached for all the flour. They turned out well. Would definitely like to try whole wheat and sourdough variations. Relatively simple…I was in and out and let mine rise both times for longer than the recipe called for, and they still turned out. Will made these again! I have always wanted to try making bread bowls, and this was a fairly simple and easy to make recipe! Thanks!


  37. #
    Bojana — March 16, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

    The first time i had a soup in a bread bowl was many years ago, in Chicago. I loved it, but haven’t seen it here in Macedonia, so I wanted to make them at home. i made this bread today, it’s very tasty, delicious. But the dough didn’t rise in height while baking, instead they spread. I think i need to use more flour, will try again :-)


  38. #
    Sarah — October 14, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

    Just wanted to stop by and thank you for this recipe. I found it on Pinterest a few weeks ago and made them for dinner tonight. They were perfect with the potato soup I made. We’ll definitely be making these a lot. Thanks again!



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