One of the famous eateries in San Francisco is The Boudin Bakery that serves breads in various shapes along with soups, salads and sandwiches. Their signature Sourdough Bread bowl is simply superb. Warm soup of the season served in freshly baked bread is a perfect meal by the ocean on Pier 39!!
Having had this bread bowl pretty often there, I decided to try out a Rosemary Bread bowl at home, without the sourdough. These bowls are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. A simple recipe with just the same ingredients as any other bread, this bowl can be used to serve soups like Roasted Tomato,French Onion or Roasted Butternut Squash or any soup of your choice. Or use it as a bowl to present dips at a party. Make a bulk of these bowls and use as required.
Allpurpose Flour/Maida 3 cups
Rapidrise Dry Yeast 1 sachet (2 1/4 tsp)
Olive Oil 3 tbsp
Herbs ( I used fresh Rosemary and Oregano)
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Warm Water 1 cup (100-110 F)
Butter 1 tsp
In a cup of warm water add Yeast, sugar and 1 tsp salt. Let the mixture stand for ten minutes till it foams. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, 2 tbsp Olive Oil and herbs. Pour the frothy yeast mixture into this mixture and make a soft dough. Add little water if required and knead well. The mixture may be sticky at first, knead it well till it converts to a soft dough. Apply oil over the dough and place it in a large bowl, cover it with a moist cloth and let stand for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, the dough will be almost double it's size. Punch down the dough and knead it for 5 more minutes. Divide the dough into four parts and from each part roll out a tight round ball. Place the bread balls in a greased baking tray with the seam side down. Let the balls rise again for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F/ 200 C.
Bake the bread balls for 20-25 minutes or till the crust turns golden brown. Remove from oven and quickly brush some butter on it. To serve, cut 1/8th of the top using a sharp knife. Using a spoon, core out the bread from inside, ensuring not to core till the bottom else the soup will flow out :( Use the bowl to serve hot soups like Roasted Tomato Soup, French Onion Soup or Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.