This sourdough bread bowl recipe makes perfect edible soup bowls for serving thicker soups and dips. This delicious bowl is made using a traditional sourdough method. The amazing flavor of these homemade bread bowls will rival the true sourdough bread that San Francisco made famous!
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How to Make a Sourdough Bread Bowl
Let’s get started and gather your simple sourdough recipe ingredients.
Sourdough Starter Ingredients
- 50g all-purpose flour to start (more added when feeding the starter)
- 50g filtered water to start (more added when feeding the starter)
Sourdough Starter Recipe
In a small bowl or mason jar, measure out and mix the all-purpose flour and water. If you don’t have a food scale you can easily find one here: food scale.
Mix thoroughly until well combined.
Your sourdough starter should be nice and smooth without any lumps.
Next, leave uncovered at room temperature overnight. Your flour and water mixture will now become a perfect home for the wild yeast to multiply. This wild yeast lives everywhere including your kitchen counter. There is no need for any added yeast for this starter. Over the next several days we will need to regularly feed the starter as the yeast begins to feed and multiply.
Feeding the Starter
To feed the starter you will remove 1/2 of the starter mixture. This is referred to as sourdough discard. The discard can be saved in a separate container and used for a variety of delicious recipes. Check out what you can make with this sourdough discard here: Quick Sourdough Recipes (Easy Discard Recipes).
Once you remove half of the mixture, add equal portions of all-purpose flour and water. Use 50g of flour and 50g of water for each feeding. Repeat this process daily for the next 4-7 days. You will know your starter is ready to use when you see many small bubbles and it has a slightly sour, yeasty aroma.
Sourdough Bread Bowl Dough Ingredients
- 150g of Active Sourdough Starter(you just made this!)
- 500g of Bread Flour
- 250g of Filtered Warm Water (100 degrees F)
- 20g fine sea salt
- 25g of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sourdough Bread Recipe
In a large mixing bowl combine the active starter, the filtered water, and the olive oil. Whisk until thoroughly incorporated.
Next, slowly add the bread flour into the bowl.
Mix with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough is formed. Turn out the loosely formed dough onto a floured surface. Be sure to scrape out any remaining dough left in the bowl.
Add the sea salt to your shaggy dough mixture.
Knead the dough using the palms of your hands for about 10-15 minutes. Press down on the dough with the heel of your palm, grasp the edge of the dough farthest away from you, and fold it back onto itself, turn the dough a quarter turn, and repeat. The result will be a nice, smooth dough ball.
Lightly coat the bottom of a large bowl with extra virgin olive oil. Then lightly coat the dough with the olive oil as well. Place the oiled dough ball into the bowl.
Next, you will need to cover the bowl to allow the dough to rise. You can use plastic wrap or a damp towel. Leave your covered ball of dough in a warm place for the first rise. Ideally, the temperature should be between 72-85 degrees.
How Long Does Sourdough Need to Rise?
The amount of time your dough needs to rise will depend on how active your starter is and the temperature. Be prepared to allow anywhere between 4-12 hours. Look for the dough to double in size before moving on, setting it aside at a warmer temperature will give you a faster rise. Don’t be afraid to leave it to rise overnight if it needs extra time. The longer the rise the more the sourdough flavor develops.
Forming the Bread Dough
With clean hands, remove the dough from the bowl and slowly fold it under itself to form a tight round ball.
Baking the Sourdough Bowls
Lightly dust a Dutch oven with flour. Place the dough in the center of the Dutch oven. If you don’t have a cast iron Dutch oven you can get one online here: Dutch oven. Or, there are alternative baking options down below.
With a sharp knife or razor blade, score several slits in the top of the dough about 1/2″ deep. Get creative with your scoring. A simple ‘X’ or square pattern will make your homemade sourdough bread bowls look absolutely stunning when they come out of the oven!
Now place the cover on the Dutch oven and set aside for a second rise in a warm place for 1 hour. While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
How Long to Cook a Sourdough Bread Bowl
Place the covered Dutch oven into the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the cover. Your sourdough bread bowl should have a light golden brown color. Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes with the cover removed.
Your bread bowls are done when the crust has a dark golden brown color. Another sign that your bread bowl is ready is tapping on the bread bowl will produce a hollow sound. The total bake time will be about 1 – 1-1/4 hours.
Remove the bread bowl from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.
Making Your Own Sourdough Bread Bowls
Once cooled place your sourdough bread bowl on a cutting board.
Insert a serrated knife into the top of the bowl and cut out a circle that is about the size of a large coffee mug. Next, remove the bread cap and cut off the excess bread. Continue to remove the bread from the interior by scraping the insides of the bread bowl, leaving just the crust.
Make sure to save the bread pieces for dipping into the hot soup later. Your bread bowl is now ready for your favorite soup or dip.
Sourdough Bread Bowl Recipe Alternatives
Alternative Baking Methods:
- What if I don’t have a Dutch oven?
- Instead of baking your sourdough bowls in a Dutch oven, you can use a baking stone. For this method preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the stone on the middle rack of the oven. When the oven is ready spread a light dusting of cornmeal on the stone and carefully place the dough ball on the center of the stone.
- Another baking alternative is to place your dough on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven.
Both of these alternative methods will require a baking tray on the lower rack. When it’s time to place the dough into the oven you will add a large bowl of ice cubes to the baking tray. Adding the cold ice to the hot baking tray will add steam to your oven. This steam will prevent the crust from forming too quickly and allow the bread to fully blossom. The steam also helps to create a beautiful crispy crust.
- Can I add toppings to my baked sourdough bread bowl?
- For a shiny crust, you can coat the dough with an egg wash before baking. Simply beat an egg in a small bowl and using a pastry brush, paint on the egg wash.
- Get creative by adding some sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or even Nigella seeds for added deliciousness! Sprinkle the seeds on the dough just before baking. A great way to get the seeds to stick to the dough is to lightly mist it with water then sprinkle on your seeds and lightly press them into the dough.
Make sure to check out all of our bread recipes:
Sourdough Bread Bowl Recipe FAQs
- What kind of soup will go best with my sourdough bread bowl?
- The best option for your homemade bread bowl is a creamy soup. New England clam chowder is always a popular choice. Try serving a rich tomato soup. Maybe a French onion soup, top it with Swiss cheese and melt it under the broiler for a hearty meal on a cold winter’s day.
- Can I use my bread bowl for a vegetable dip?
- Absolutely! Serve an incredible spinach and artichoke dip in your sourdough bread bowl for a fun way to liven up your next cocktail party.
- Can I use whole wheat flour?
- You can substitute whole wheat flour in place of the bread flour for both the bread bowl recipe as well at the sourdough starter recipe.
- Can I use this recipe to make loaves of bread instead of bread bowls?
- Of course. Just don’t scoop out the insides.
- 50g All-Purpose Flour
- 50g Filtered Water
- 150g Active Sourdough Starter
- 500g Bread Flour
- 250g Filtered Water
- 25g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 20g Sea Salt
- In a small bowl or mason jar add the all-purpose flour and water and mix until smooth. Leave the starter uncovered overnight
- After 12-24 hours, remove half of the starter and discard.
- Add an additional 50g of flour and 50g of filtered water and mix until smooth.
- Repeat steps 2-3 everyday for 4-7 days until the starter is active.
- In a large bowl combine the active sourdough starter, extra virgin olive oil and water. Whisk thoroughly.
- Add the bread flour and mix until a shaggy dough is formed.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and add the sea salt.
- Knead dough for 10 minutes
- Lightly coat the dough ball and a large bowl with extra virgin olive oil.
- Place the dough ball into the oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or clean tea towel and allow to rise for 4-12 hours)
- Form the dough into your final bread bowl shape by folding the dough on to itself until you have a tight ball.
- Lightly dust the Dutch oven with flour and place the dough ball in it and cover.
- Allow the dough to rise for an additional hour.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the Dutch oven into the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and has a 'hollow' sound when tapped.
Making the Bread Bowl
- Cut a circular hole in the top of the dough about the size of a large coffee mug.
- Remove the cut top and remove the bread.
- Scoop out the remaining bread inside the bread bowl.
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