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French Bread Soup Bowls Recipe

  • Author: Mindee
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-8 Bread Bowls 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


You don't have to go all the way to Panera to enjoy your favorite soup in a bread bowl. With my step by step instructions I will show you how to make these easy bread bowls at home!  You can eat hot soup as well as chili out of them!  The best part is you can make them large or make them small!


Units Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups Warm Water
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbs Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 6 cups All Purpose Flour


  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. (You can make this bread by hand too, it will just take some muscle). Let stand about 5 minutes until foamy.
  2. Mix in the oil, salt, and flour using a dough hook. Once all the flour is mixed in, knead at a medium speed for 5 minutes (10 minutes by hand). Cover dough with a dish towel and set in a warm place.
  3. Over the next hour, knead the dough about 3 times approximately every 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be exactly every 10 minutes, just make sure to have kneaded the dough at least 4 times over the next hour.
  4. After that hour let the dough rise until doubled. This will take about 30 minutes.
  5. Once the dough has doubled, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into pieces.
  6. 4 Pieces for 4 large bread bowls about the same size after baking, as you buy from the store.
  7. 6 Pieces for 6 Medium bowls about the size of cantaloupes after baking.
  8. 8 Pieces for 8 Small bowls about the size of grapefruits after baking.
  9. Shape the pieces into smooth balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Cover to let rise until doubled.
  11. While the bowls are rising, place an empty aluminum (never glass) baking sheet on the very bottom rack of your oven.
  12. Make sure the other rack is in the center of your oven.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  14. After placing the bread on the center oven rack to bake, before closing the oven door, throw a ½ cup of water onto the now super hot baking sheet you placed on the bottom oven rack and quickly close the oven door.
  15. This creates steam that sets that crusty, chewy crust you want.
  16. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
  17. Loaves should be golden brown and sound hollow when thumped.
  18. Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting the top off, hollowing the center, filling with soup and eating.


  • Learn how to use this recipe to make classic french bread loaves HERE.
  • For best results serve creamier soups and stew in these bread bowls.  Broth soup tend to make them soggy.
  • Nutritional Disclaimer

Keywords: homemade bread bowls, Panera bread bowls, bread bowls for chili, soup bread bowls, how to make bread bowls