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Italian Bread Bowls


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This wonderful recipe for Italian Bread Bowls comes from Melanie at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Just a little bit ago she posted her two favorite bread bowl recipes. So the other day, when I decided to make clam chowder for dinner, I thought of her bread bowl recipes. I also thought how wonderful it would be to take them to accompany the clam chowder.

The first recipe that Melanie had posted required the dough the sit in the refrigerator for 4-24 hours, and Melanie said the longer the better. Well, I didn’t have time for that so I made the second recipe she posted for Italian Bread Bowls. They were easy too make, it just took some time. These were wonderful. They made a soft yet dense and chewy bread. The egg wash also made a crunchy crust. Thanks again Melanie!

I would recommend not making more than 6 bread bowls with this recipe. I did 6 and those bowls were able to fit around 1 cup of soup in them. These were so much better than a bread bowl purchased from the store. I still want to give Melanie’s other bread bowl recipe a try. It would be nice to have the dough waiting for you in the refrigerator. I just have to try it on a day when I know in advance that I want them to accompany some soup. Oh, and don’t worry. I’ll share my clam chowder recipe with you tomorrow.

Italian Bread Bowls | realmomkitchen.com

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Italian Bread Bowls | realmomkitchen.com

Italian Bread Bowls

  • Author: Laura
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 bread bowls 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp water


  1. In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer-I used my kitchen aid), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups, I think I used 6 1/2 cups).
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  4. Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
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This is the origianl photo from when this recipe was first posted in November 2008.

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Sara October 4, 2015 - 4:14 pm

Tried this recipe out today. Turned out fabulous!!! This will be my go to recipe for Italian bread of any kind as well as my bread bowls.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup in Breadbowls Recipe - Little Light Design Collective November 18, 2014 - 10:00 am

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autumn December 10, 2012 - 6:37 pm

If I mix with my stand mixer, do I use the paddle attachment, or a dough hook?

Marianne November 2, 2012 - 10:04 am

These are fantastic! I’ve been trying out a pinterest recipe every night to see which ones are worth keeping and which ones to just unpin and this is definitely a KEEP! We had missionaries over for dinner and they loved them along with my hubby and my 9 month daughter who mooched off of mine. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing!

Happy New Year! and Crockpot Potato Chowder | Real Mom Kitchen August 11, 2010 - 6:16 am

[…] with and I couldn’t resist to add a little shredded cheddar cheese. I also served it in the bread bowl recipe I have posted on […]

paula November 18, 2008 - 9:36 am

Thank you so much for this recipe! I made the bowls last night and filled with the potato soup recipe you posted, and they were both great! My husband thinks I’m awesome! I’ve never heard him “mmmm…” and wow like he did last night.

Mary Ann November 16, 2008 - 3:27 pm

These bread bowls look great. Thanks for letting me know you got your gift certificate, I got mine too, a week ago or so. The clam chowder sounds yummy!

Melanie November 16, 2008 - 1:51 pm

Glad you liked the bread bowls, Laura. I just made them this week, too! And I can’t wait for the clam chowder recipe.

Kim November 16, 2008 - 11:19 am

your blog has always been all white to me. weird.

Cathy November 16, 2008 - 10:16 am

Oh Yummy! This is our Christmas Eve tradition. Cheese Soup and also Clam Chowder in store bought bread bowls. I’m going to try this out! Thank you!

ps – I like the look of the blog!