Thursday, April 26, 2012

Filling a Bread Bowl

I thought I would share a good recipe for making bread bowls and then some ideas of what to put in them.  I’m going to share a couple of my favorite dips and soups I have put in them.  They make a great soup bowl when you have made a thick soup like lobster bisque, chili or beef stew.  I just recently blogged my beef stew recipe.

If you don't want to make the bread watch for day old breads on sale.  I have picked them up on sale marked down to $1.00 at Walmart.  You can also buy frozen unbaked bread in your grocers freeze department.  Let thaw and cut into bowl size and reshape.  

Italian Bread Bowls

The recipe makes 3 bowls or loaves.  These work great for both soups or dip bowls.

¾  Tbs. of active dry yeast
1  ¼ cup warm water
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 to  3 ½ cup bread flour
1/2 Tbs. cornmeal

In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar.  Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Add salt, oil and 2 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well.  Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed.

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer).

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.  Punch dough down, and divide into 3-4 equal portions.  Shape each portion into a round ball.  Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use Silpat liners or parchment paper).  If desired, slash the top surface of the bread bowl several times with a sharp knife or razor. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and baked through.


Lobster Bisque

2 each 1 lb. lobsters
2 quarts water
2 Tablespoons salt
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
1 recipe lobster stock
1 pint half and half
1 cup dry sherry (Optional – replace with more lobster stock if you leave out)
1 each lemon, juice only

Bring salted water to rapid boil. Add live lobsters and cover, steaming 5 minutes over very high heat. Remove lobsters from salted water and set aside while separately reserving steaming broth for lobster stock. Remove lobster meat and
reserve shells for lobster stock. Dice par-cooked meat into small pieces, cover and refrigerate.

Melt butter in 4 quart sauce pan and stir in flour to make a roux. Cook this for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat. Slowly add the hot lobster stock constantly whisking to avoid lumps. Add the half and half and simmer gently over medium heat stirring often for about 15 minutes. Add the diced lobster, dry sherry and lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper as desired. Will make 2 quarts.  

Lobster Stock:

2 each lobster shells from above
1 Tablespoon butter
1 diced onion
1 each carrot, large dice
1 stalk celery, large dice
4 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry sherry
10 each black peppercorns
6 each parsley stems
1 each bay leaf

Add the shells to large sauté pan with butter, onions, carrot, celery and tomato paste stirring gently over high heat until mixture becomes slightly golden brown.

Add dry sherry and pour this mixture into the reserved steaming broth, adding the peppercorns, parsley stems and bay leaf. Boil uncovered for 30 minutes to make a stock. Strain and reserve hot stock.

Tomato Chili Soup

10 cups chopped fresh tomato
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
¼  cup fresh chili chopped
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbs. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic crushed

This soup is very easy and has a great flavor.  You can add hamburger or it stands very well on it’s own as a vegetarian soup.  Chop up all the ingredients and cook them in a large sauce pan for 20 minutes. Add garlic, olive oil, and fresh chili and tomato paste; throw in some ground coriander and cumin; adjust the seasoning with salt, back pepper, and Tabasco sauce. You may blend this smooth or serve as chunky. You may also add chili powder to your taste if you want a little more flavor. 


Dried Beef Dip

1 pkg. chopped dried beef
1/2 cup sour cream
Minced garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
Salt and pepper
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. salad dressing
Minced onions
1 tsp. chives
1 tsp. parsley

Mix ingredients and serve in bread bowl with broken bread.

Spinach Dip

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped
1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
3/4 cup  Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup Light Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Spoon into 9 inch pie plate or quiche dish.

Bake 20 min. or until heated through. Serve in bread bowl and use bread that you tore out of the bowl for dipping.  Crackers and assorted cut-up fresh vegetables also work well.  Makes 22 servings.

Variation - Spinach and Mushroom Dip  -  substitute 1 cup chopped mushrooms for the artichoke hearts.

Reuben Dip in a Bread Bowl

1 round rye bread loaf
1 cup mayonnaise
8 oz. cream cheese
6 oz. sour cream
2 pkgs. Buddig corn beef, sliced thin
6 oz. grated Swiss cheese

Cut out top of bread and hollow out to create a bowl. Reserve removed bread for serving.

Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer to bread bowl and wrap bread in foil, leaving dip exposed.

Bake for 1 hour; serve with bread pieces.

You can also try this with rye rolls and make small individual servings. 

Chili Con Queso Dip

A super simple and quick recipe my grandsons love is to take a can of no bean store bought chili and a can of jalapeno cheese dip and combine.  Heat and serve in a nice crusty bread with tortilla chips around. 

Or make your own thick chili and add cheese to melt and heat up with jalapeno and/or hot sauce.  

Easter Bread Bowl

Want to really get fancy?  Try making your bread in the shape of a bunny.  At Easter time I have even purchased bunny shaped bread from bakeries.  Fill it with egg salad or a dill veggie dip with veggies around it (don’t forget the carrots).  This is really beautiful on a Easter Brunch buffet. 

Get creative and make into what ever shape you want.  Don’t want to fuss making bread then get the frozen loaves in the freezer department and reshape before you bake them.  

Lobster Dip

2  8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 teaspoon grated onion
Season with salt to taste
2 boiled lobster tail

Boil lobster tail for 8 minutes until red.   Remove the cartilage and flake the lobster.

Melt cream cheese slowly over direct heat, stirring constantly.  Blend in mayonnaise or salad dressing, garlic, sugar, mustard, onion, and salt.  Stir in lobster; heat through.

Keep warm over hot water bath until serving in bread bowl.  I served this at a bridal shower and it went over really big.  Use the bread that you took to make the bowl to dip with.  Serve with a knife so you can start cutting up the bowl to get every bit of the dip.  

These make a great addition to your table when you are entertaining.  If I'm taking it to a party or get together I get to leave it, although there is seldom any left overs.  

Since I'm on a bread making subject, I think tomorrow I'll talk about bread pudding.  A great way to use up that day old bread.  I'll give you sweet and savory.  

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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