Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Fresh from the oven - Edible bread bowls

This months Fresh from the oven bread challenge was hosted by Corry. She chose ‘Soup Bowls’, from Richard Bertinet’s fabulous book ‘Dough – Simple Contemporary Bread’.

I really enjoyed baking these bread bowls and found them simple and reasonably quick to make. They were a great novelty idea but not something I will make regularly. I replaced a 1/3 of the bread flour with smoked bread flour (more about here) which added an extra flavour to the soup. I served spiced vegetable and chickpea soup in mine, a recipe from this months sainsbury's magazine which was delicious (I will post the recipe shortly).

Here's what corry had to say about the bread bowls (recipe at the bottom).

The bread bowl recipe is quick and easy, It’s a great recipe to have in your repertoire and a lot of fun, There’s no dishes to clean up afterwards and you get to lick the bowl as well as eat it. If you are organized, you can have it ready in time to serve up for dinner. They also freeze well for a few weeks.

This dough has a small amount of semolina added to give it a nice texture, and some fruity olive oil to make it soft, resilient and give it a good flavour. You can also add a little chilli or spice to the dough for extra favour.

I found that the recipe makes 6 bowls using 16 x 10cm diameter pyrex bowls or 8 if you use 12cm bowls . Preparation takes 30 minutes, with 60 minutes resting time and 20 to 25 minutes to bake.

Bread bowls

500g strong bread flour
20 gm course semolina
15gm fresh yeast (or 1 sachet dried)
10 gm salt
50 gm good-quality fruity olive oil
320 gm water
chilli or spice (optional for added flavour)

Preheat the oven to 250˚C (500˚F). Mix together the flour and semolina and rub in the yeast as if you were making a crumble (Richard Bertinet’s method – see below for video link). If using a mixer, switch it on to the slowest speed, add salt, olive oil and water and mix for 2 minutes, then turn the speed up to the next lowest speed and mix for 6 to 7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

If you are kneading by hand, knead for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until you have a nice smooth elastic ball of dough. Richard Bertinet has a unique kneading technique referred to as the French fold that can take approximately 5 to 10 minutes depending on practice. You can view his method in a online video at the Gourmet Webpage. In this video, he is actually doing sweet dough but the same technique can be used for most bread dough.

Place the dough into a bowl that has been floured, cover with a tea towel and leave in a draught free place for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in volume.

Lightly oil or spray with non-stick spray, the outside of 6 ovenproof bows (I used pyrex bowls). Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 to 8 pieces (depending on the size of your baking bowls). Taking one piece of dough at a time and using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle (similar to making pizza). Shake off excess flour and shape each piece over an upturned bowl, patting into shape and pressing gently to remove air bubbles from between the dough and the bowl. Rest the dough for 10 minutes. Place the upturned bowls, two at a time, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, then into the preheated oven. Turn the oven down to 200˚C (400˚F) and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Using a fine-bladed knife, gently loosen the bread from the bowls and ease off. Cool on a wire rack.

It is probably safer to serve the bowls on a plate, as they do become soggy after a while and the soup may leak through.

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Chele said...

Great idea to use the smoked flour for part of the recipe. Your bowls turned out well.

Jules said...

I've pulled this recipe out of the Sainsbury's mag too! I imagine it went really well with the smoked flour used in bread bowls.