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Old 10-22-2006, 09:31 PM   #1
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Question ISO: bread suggestion for bread bowls

Hi, I would like to make bread bowls to serve for a dinner party. Planning to fill it with chili. I'm not sure what kind of bread to make for this? Can I just use ciabatta bread? I have several bread recipe books. A lot of recipes I see on the web say to go buy round bread from the store. Figure if I buy it and many end up not eating the bowl, or only eat a little of the bowl,it'll end up wasting $$. Any ideas?

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Old 10-22-2006, 10:23 PM   #2
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Personally I'd buy the round bread from the store. It's nice and crusty on the outside, and you can scoop out the inside and use it for fondue or croutons, etc.
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Old 10-22-2006, 11:53 PM   #3
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Go to a bakery and buy small rounds of bread--called boules, often. They are about 6" in diameter.
As Amber says, it needs to be very hard and crusty on the outside--and it needs to be taller than most ciabatta is. If you have never made the artisanal style bread this requires, it may not be satisfactory.
Yes, people will not eat it all--or maybe any of it. It is a cute way to serve, but not my favorite. They don't hold a lot so be prepared to refill.
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:00 AM   #4
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If you do bake the bread, use a mold because you will want to be sure the bread comes out tall enough to actually use as a bowl.

I commend your thinking behind the project, but consider this: you plan to serve it to company, yes? Rather than risk the bread not coming out the way you planned, in the long run, wouldn't it be easire to simply make the purchase of the boules? This way, if they don't come out as you like, you haven't added the extra expese and time and effort of baking the bread in addition to purchasing the boules. Artesan bread does tend to be slightly more expensive than your average loaf of rye, but it will be worth it.

Once you know where to buy the bread, I'd give them a head's up a day before you need them. That way you know they'll have as many as you need.
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:53 AM   #5
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I used a bread bowl recently with an Italian vegetable filling. It was very popular. I brushed the inside with good oilve oil and toasted it to help prevent it sogging too quickly.

Refilling probably will be necessary, so keep your chilli on a low hotplate so you can scoop some into the bowls quickly. I think largish individual breads are the best best. There are a millioan uses for the bread crumbs from inside, and as chili is not a costly dish to make, even with the expense of good bread I think it will be a really lovely way to entertain!
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:46 AM   #6
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Really good point about toasting it before serving in it.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:29 PM   #7
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I'm wanting to bake my own bread for the practice. It's a very small get together (family), so if it doesn't turn out perfect, they'll forgive me. I've made artisan bread before, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. I know how to shape the boule (kind of). Most of the time it turns out pretty good. I have the bread bakers apprentice book, so I'll just find something in there.
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:39 PM   #8
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My experience has been that the bread for a bread bowl needs to be denser than Ciabatta. My best successes have been with a rye bread.

A couple of suggestions to ensure that you don't end up with soup all over the table, are to serve those bread bowls IN bowls, or at the very least, in a plate with a high collar; to brush the inside of the bowl with olive oil before filling; to make sure you chili is not watery.
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Old 10-23-2006, 01:16 PM   #9
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I think the bread dough needs to be pretty stiff because it needs to stand higher than usual--shouldn't spread out on the baking surface. I guess ChefJune said something similar by saying "dense". The suggestion to use a mold was good--small souffle dishes would work nicely. But if the bread will rise nicely and have a hard crust, it will be fine--even ciabatta. It would help to spritz the bread with water to encourage a harder crust.
I would not care for a rye bread bowl unless it was a reuben soup maybe. ;o)
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Old 10-23-2006, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu
I used a bread bowl recently with an Italian vegetable filling. It was very popular. I brushed the inside with good oilve oil and toasted it to help prevent it sogging too quickly.

Refilling probably will be necessary, so keep your chilli on a low hotplate so you can scoop some into the bowls quickly. I think largish individual breads are the best best. There are a millioan uses for the bread crumbs from inside, and as chili is not a costly dish to make, even with the expense of good bread I think it will be a really lovely way to entertain!
Sounds like you'll do fine lulu - using a mold sounds like a good idea!
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