Recently, I made Peter Reinhart's Italian Bread into soup bowls. This has been my all time favorite bread as part of the BBA challenge.
My husband firmly believes soup needs to be in a bread bowl in order for it to be a "meal."
Take your favorite bread recipe and divide them into 6 oz. portions. This Italian Bread recipe easily makes six bread bowls. This was the perfect size for a ladies function.
Gently shape each portion into a ball, stretching the outside and tucking the edges underneath. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. The dough will relax and the pinched part of the bottom will come apart. Bring the edges of the dough together again. This is creating surface tension.
After the dough has risen, it is slashed (I use a tomato knife) and put into a hot 500ºF oven. To create a crispy, artisan bread crust, take a spray bottle filled with water and quickly mist the area over the dough (don't mist any light bulbs or glass!) Shut the oven door; wait 30 seconds, and quickly mist again. Close the oven door, wait 30 seconds and mist one last time. Close the oven door.
Turn the temperature down to 400ºF and cooked them for 20-25 minutes, creating a thicker crust to hold the soup.
They were perfect. The right size, texture and flavor.
Twelve of these bowls were quickly enjoyed with soup by several ladies at a church function.