Use these fluffy dinner rolls as a soup bread bowl!
We love a cozy soup dished up in a warm bread bowl. Change out the orange and green for a classed up version. These bread bowls serve as a classic dinner roll, or as the cute vessel for your main dish.
Heather Thomas shares how to use baker’s twine to make rolls into a pumpkin shape. She uses her basic French bread recipe for these bowls so they hold up when you add your soup. She gives her tips to making sure your twine doesn’t stick to your dough.
Pumpkin Bread Bowls
- 1 & 1/2 cup (341g) warm water (110°F)
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4–5 cups (480g – 600g) bread flour
- 1 egg, plus 2 Tablespoons of water
- 4 pecan halves
- 4, 42-inch pieces of baker’s twine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Make the dough: Attach the dough hook to your electric mixer. Add the water, yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil and 4 cups of the bread flour to your mixing bowl. Combine on low speed until the dough comes together in one large mass (about one minute). Stop mixer and check dough with finger. If it’s excessively sticky or wet, add 1/4 cup of flour and mix until combined. Check with finger again and repeat if needed. Dough should be soft but not wet. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Dough should clean the sides of the bowl and form a soft ball. Let it rest in the mixer for 5 minutes after kneading.
- First rise: Spray the inside of a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put the dough in the bowl and turn so all sides are coated. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
- Prepare the baking twine: In a small bowl, soak the 4 pieces of baker’s twine in olive oil. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes before using. I start soaking it up to 2 hours before using.
- Prepare your baking pans: Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
- Scale & Shape: Sprinkle work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, about 8 ounces each. Round each piece of dough into a ball. While cupping the dough ball with your hands, rotate the dough in a circular motion until the outer surface of the dough ball tightens and you feel the interior of the dough come together to form a solid ball of dough with no air pockets.
- Remove one piece of string from the bowl of olive oil, pinching off any excess while sliding it between your thumb and finger tip.
- Wrapping the dough: Find the middle of the piece of twine and place it over the center of the dough ball horizontally. Flip the dough over and bring the ends of the twine together. Tie a double knot in the center of the dough ball, making sure not to pull the twine too tightly around the dough. Take the ends of the string and arrange them vertically (in the opposite direction as the twine you just double knotted). Flip the dough back over, bring the ends up and tie another double knot in the center, loosely wrapping the twine around the dough. Arrange the ends of the twine diagonally, flip the dough over and bring the ends together. Tie a double knot. Arrange the ends of the twin diagonally in the opposite direction. Flip the dough over and bring the ends together, tying a double knot again in the center. Cut off the excess string. You should now have a dough ball that is wrapped with twine, creating eight sections.
- Place the twine wrapped dough ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat steps 6 & 7 with the remaining three dough balls.
- Second rise: Cover the dough balls with the kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled in size, about 25-45 minutes. Don’t over proof or the twine will be very difficult to remove from the baked bread.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. If baking with steam, preheat with a metal pan on the bottom rack of the oven.
- In a small bowl, crack one egg and add 2 Tablespoons of water. Whisk together and brush onto the loaf. This will give the bread a shiny, golden crust.
- Put the bread in the oven on the center rack. Before closing the oven door, carefully place 2 cups of ice in the preheated metal pan on the bottom rack.
- Bake for 18-24 minutes and golden. Remove the steam pan half way through the bake, after about 10 minutes. Continue to bake for the remainder of the bake time. When tapping on the bread, it should have a hollow sound.
- Transfer bread bowls to a wire cooling rack. Once they have cooled enough to handle (about 5-10 minutes), cut the twine and carefully remove it from the bread bowls. Discard the twine. While still warm, place the pecan half in the center on top of the bread bowl, creating the look of a pumpkin stem.
- Once completely cooled, cut a circle around the top of the bread bowl with a sharp serrated knife. Carefully remove the top. Gently tear out the interior bread, saving the crumbs of bread for dipping later. Create a hollow interior for pouring soup into – being careful not to tear the sides or bottom of the bread bowl. Pour your favorite soup into the bread bowl and enjoy! Use the extra crumbs that were removed from the inside for dipping.
- Make a smaller version for pull apart rolls. When dividing the dough, divide it into 12 small dough balls, about 2.5 ounces each. Repeat the same process of wrapping them in baker’s twine, using pieces of twine that are about 36 inches long. Bake at 375°F for 16-20 minutes and golden.
- There are many factors that can change the results of a yeast bread dough. Heat, humidity, altitude, flour types can all yield slightly different results. When I’m adding flour to a bread recipe, I always check my dough before adding the last cup of flour. I touch the dough with my finger and gauge how much more flour it needs. If the dough is still very sticky and wet, I add 1/4 cup flour at a time, mixing for about 30 seconds and checking again. Bread dough should be soft to the touch, but not sticking excessively to your fingers. It’s always best to go lighter on flour, because you can always add more during the shaping process. Mixing in too much flour will yield a dry loaf. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at knowing how the dough should feel.
- I’ve made this bread substituting two of the cups of flour for wheat flour. This gives it a great flavor and adds extra nutrition!